World Housing Solution, Inc.
Ron Ben-Zeev, Founder/President
Join Us! Florida Companies to Watch Awards Celebration
February 9, 2019
Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa, FL
Reception, Dinner & Awards: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Individual Ticket: $150.00 each | Corporate 10 pack $1,400.00
RSVP by January 7, 2019
1100% Job Growth
WHS designs, engineers, and manufactures technology-integrated shelter solutions uniquely able to meet the needs of expeditionary organizations worldwide. Through continuous innovation, we strive to evolve and redefine how WHS expeditionary solutions create safer, more comfortable, and more cost effective sheltering systems. WHS expeditionary solutions around the globe provide best-of-class shelters for those in the defense, disaster response, humanitarian, and medical services.
With a Focus on People, Planet and Profit, World Housing Solution is Building for the Future
For many entrepreneurs, the road to success is long – but for few, that road spans 4 different continents, 6 different countries and 5 different languages.
Ever since he can remember, Ron Ben-Zeev, President of World Housing Solution, was always busy doing something. He started his first business when he was 13, showcasing the motivated and innovative characteristics of a future entrepreneur. From country to country, one thing remained the same, Ben-Zeev’s belief of ‘If there’s a need, and I can fill it, why not me?’
“Then heartbreaking stories about the plight of the refugees around the world, but particularly Haiti, motivated us in trying to solve the refugee housing disaster in the world,” he said. “After the earthquake in Haiti and after a lot of press about women being abused in refugee camps and just refugees in general, it seemed obvious to me that sending a stick and a cloth, a tent, was not a good idea, especially long term.” Ben-Zeev saw an immediate need and he knew he could fill it. Unfortunately, the world did not beat a path to his door.
World Housing Solution designs, engineers, and manufactures technology-integrated shelter solutions uniquely able to meet the needs of organizations worldwide who need a smaller logistical footprint while providing housing and more. Their solutions create safer, more cost effective and more comfortable sheltering systems for those in defense, disaster response, humanitarian and medical services.
World Housing Solution got involved with defense shelters through a simple email. “We got an email by the U.S. Navy to which we responded, and they asked us to design a system that could be built and taken apart rapidly.”
To his much surprise after further discussions with the U.S. Navy, Ben-Zeev was shocked to find out that they were the only company to respond to the Navy’s requests. “A win is a win. And now every email that gets sent to our “info” email, goes straight to me,” he laughed.
Whether delivering ultra-efficient shelters for the military, FEMA, Puerto Rico or refugees, Ben-Zeev has strived to keep the 3 P’s at the forefront of all he does.
“People, Planet, and then Profit, the three P’s. You really cannot have one without the other. The old days of just profit is out the window,” he said. “Now we ask ourselves, are we doing something that betters not only the customers, but does it leave the environment in a better place too? And then ultimately are we making money? Because in the long run, you can’t do good without doing well, so we have to look at both of them.”
Keeping a Competitive Edge
Technology-sheltered housing units may seem like a small market with few competitors, but Ben-Zeev disagrees. “If you think you’re the only one working on a cool idea you’re delusional.” Then he went on to say if you are on to something, do something about it. Quoting Thomas Edison, “Vision without execution is hallucination.”
In order to keep a competitive edge, Ben-Zeev focuses on providing a superior, longer lasting structure that can be rebuilt multiple times but that also has a much smaller power requirement.
He gave an example of how he has done just that through working with the U.S. Military. “Our race was to figure out how we can logistically reduce the amount of fuel used by the military. For every gallon of fuel that is used on the front line, it takes 7 gallons to get there. So we reduce the logistical challenges of the U.S. military by providing them structures that need so much less power to heat, which then reduces the need for fuel dramatically.” Less fuel means less convoys, which is one of the most dangerous jobs in the military.
To help accomplish this, Ben-Zeev has cultivated a ‘work hard, have fun’ culture for his employees. “That’s what we want to do. If the people that work with you are not happy, it won’t work. We’re nurturing and we’re fun but we work hard. There are times when we deal with short deadlines and everyone puts their nose to the grindstone, but we know we have a purpose.”
As for the future of World Housing Solution, Ben-Zeev doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon. He hopes to grow the local footprint of World Housing Solution, hiring more people and strengthening their roots in Florida.
“We’re always keeping our eyes on opportunities down range for growth. We want to be part of the local community and global community when it comes to growth. We’re so passionate about serving our troops but want to find a way to serve others as well. We always play “what if” What if we could we deliver a school in a box? Classrooms in a box? Clinic in a box?”
Notable Community Involvement
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017, the entire WHS team and volunteers assembled at their manufacturing facility in Sanford to help outfit one of their expeditionary buildings and ship it to Houston. When there, it was used, off the grid powered by solar and batteries and a tiny generator, by the local responders outside of NRG Stadium.
What it Means to be a Florida Companies to Watch Honoree
Florida Companies to Watch honors second-stage companies headquartered in Florida that demonstrate high performance and growth in the marketplace. As excitement filled his voice, Ben-Zeev touched on what it means to be a Florida Companies to Watch honoree.
“We’re ecstatic, without a doubt. Not only are we with an esteem group of companies, some around for a while and some up and coming, but we still consider ourselves very entrepreneurial, so it still gives us the ability to meet other people and learn from both establish and budding entrepreneurs,” he shared. “It is the credibility and the pat on the back for the hard work our entire team has been putting in for so many years and the energy to continue forward.”
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
For those following in his footsteps, Ben-Zeev has a few tips of advice. “There is no better time than right now. That’s the first thing. If you have an idea, figure it out but remember people don’t care about your solutions they care about their problems. There’s so many ways to look at how you can validate and find out if your solution is solving a problem that is market wide and deep enough. If it is, go for it.”