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A Christchurch company that sells web-based language learning packages to the world has not experienced any slow-down since the recession began, growing by more than 100 percent every year since its formation in 2004.
Rocket Languages was ranked 34th in the Deloitte/Unlimited Fast50 index last year and took out the top spot for the company with the fastest growing investment in Research and Development.
“We expected a dip in the curve as the economic pressure went on last year, but we’ve experienced quite the opposite,” says Chief Executive, Jason Oxenham.
“Because we’re a digital product in an online market we can offer our language learning courses at a significant price advantage over our nearest competitors, so maybe that works in our favour when times are tougher. But, due to our gains with the US dollar, if there’s less money around, it’s not showing.”
Rocket Languages currently has upwards of 60,000 customers across more than 90 countries.
"In 2004 we set out to test the waters and ended up making waves, so it's satisfying to see our plans work out,” says Mr Oxenham.
“But it’s a highly volatile environment so we keep on our toes to ensure we're right up with the play. The goal is 'more languages on more lips', even if we are in the midst of a world recession.”
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Rocket Languages is a New Zealand-based company that sells interactive web-based learn-a-language packages to the world.
Whilst studying Spanish part-time at Canterbury University, co-founder Mark Ling noticed a gap in the market for online language products. He teamed up with friend Jason Oxenham to form Rocket Languages.
'Rocket Spanish' and 'Rocket French' were the first products they wrote, packaged and launched, marketing entirely on the Internet.
Incorporated in 2004, the company has grown from small start-up to being the 2nd largest online language course producer in the world, with over 20,000 unique visitors every day to their web site www.rocketlanguages.com.
It now also offers Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese and Sign Language.
Rocket Languages still produces its courses at its in-house studio in central Christchurch, and now employs over a dozen staff, ranging from language specialists and instructors, to writers, graphic designers, audio technicians, software developers and computer programmers.
The business is rocketing forward, currently developing courses in Korean, Arabic, and Hindi, along with more advanced level courses for French, Spanish, and Japanese.