Entrepreneurs of Australia: Ruslan Kogan.
Hyundai is all about the pursuit of ideas and creating possibilities. We’re all for thinking outside the box – Asan, the founder of Hyundai, was an entrepreneur himself. That’s why, in each edition of myHyundai News, we’re going to be profiling Australia’s top entrepreneurs – people for whom the Hyundai mantra of “New thinking, new possibilities” is a way of life.
Australian retail and technology entrepreneur, Ruslan Kogan, has achieved remarkable success in a short space of time. Kogan first made his name in the business world 12 years ago, aged 23, as the founder and CEO of Kogan.com – the hugely popular direct-to-consumer retail website and ever-expanding platform of online services. In 2011-12 he was Australia’s richest person under the age of 30. Since then Kogan’s wealth, reputation and business empire have continued to soar.
ROAD TO THE TOP
Born in Belarus in 1982, Kogan arrived in Australia with his parents seven years later. While living in Housing Commission flats in suburban Melbourne, 10-year-old Kogan took his first steps into private enterprise, finding and cleaning lost golf balls before selling them in egg cartons to golfers at the local course. As a teenager he launched a mobile phone repair business and web design agency, among other ventures. After graduating with a Bachelor of Business Systems (Information Technology) from Monash University, he performed lucrative IT and management consultant roles with Bosch and Accenture respectively.
Rejecting the comfort of a corporate career, the budding entrepreneur quit his job and started Kogan.com from his parents’ garage in 2006. Initially selling televisions online, Kogan quickly emerged as a key figure in Australian consumers’ shift away from physical retail stores and towards online shopping.
Kogan’s lightbulb moment was recognising the value of an online-only business model allowing consumers to make direct, affordable purchases. Before long Kogan.com was selling all manner of consumer goods including electronics, homewares, furniture, appliances and more. Kogan.com is one of Australia’s fastest-growing businesses and has even moved into new verticals such as Kogan Travel, Kogan Mobile and Kogan Health. It’s a true ‘garage to global’ story, with Kogan.com now a multinational company operating in competitive markets around the world, yet still based in Melbourne.
Ruslan Kogan’s meteoric rise has seen him named in the Top 50 Most Influential People in Tech, BRW Rich List, The Age top 100 most influential people and Australian Retail Association Retail Innovator of the Year.
WORDS OF WISDOM
In a 2017 interview with mybusiness, Kogan was asked which single factor had contributed most to his success. “Having the conviction to turn an idea that everyone told me was crazy into an operational business,” Kogan said. “Lots of people come up with great ideas all the time but not many actually go through with them. When other budding entrepreneurs ask me what the best advice I've ever received is, I always tell them: ‘Nike has been printing it for years. JUST DO IT!’.”
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