Featured Business Leader Ruslan Kogan
This week’s featured business leader is leading businessman Ruslan Kogan, technology entrepreneur and special guest at AIB’s Melbourne Alumni event on October 2nd. Here we’ll learn a little more about his business venture, Kogan Technologies, and how he is changing the face of both technology and retail around the world.
Ruslan Kogan was born in Belarus in November 1982, before moving to Australia with his parents and sister in the late 1980’s. Like so many technology professionals, Ruslan was interested in technology from an early age, having built his first computer by the time he was 10 years old. He was also a keen businessman from an early age – he and his family were living near a golf course for much of his childhood, so he started his first retail venture collecting stray golf balls, cleaning and repackaging them, and then selling them back to the keen golfers at his local club for 50 cents apiece.
This business acumen continued to grow as he did, and the interest in technology grew also. After completing secondary school, he completed tertiary studies in Information Technology, and went on to work in several major businesses including Bosch, GE, Telstra and Accenture – however, his drive to become an entrepreneur won, and he left his role at Accenture in 2006 in order to start his own business.
At the age of 23, Ruslan Kogan began Kogan Technologies from his parent’s garage. As a tech aficionado, he was disappointed that he wasn’t able to afford the latest in LCD TV technology – so he started workshopping the idea of marketing affordable, easy access premium technology. He had no start-up funds available, so he took a chance and set up an eBay account where people could pre-purchase the product. With these funds, he was able to arrange a manufacturer for his low cost televisions. Despite obstacles, such as eBay shutting down his account, with the assistance of friends, family and a great deal of credit advances, he was able to fulfil the orders – and the business has grown expotentially since.
In addition to the affordable, high quality technology offered by the Kogan brand, the Kogan Technologies website quickly began to sell a wide range of technology products from other major brands like Samsung, Apple, Canon, Motorola and Nikon, among others. These products were sold at a reduced cost, generally far cheaper than many of Australia’s ‘brick-and-mortar’ technology retailers.
From this expansion of products came the expansion of locations. Kogan Technologies is now a global operation, present in many major markets including the United Kingdom, Belgium, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, and the US.
This global expansion, and the competitive prices that are offered by Kogan on a huge variety of products, has led Ruslan Kogan to becoming an advocate for honest retailing, consistently challenging the prices and conduct of many of the world’s largest retailers. As his company website states, “Ruslan Kogan believes technology can make the world a better place, and Kogan’s goal is to make it more affordable for everyone.”
On a more personal note, the great success of his business and sales philosophy has led to Ruslan Kogan’s financial success also. He has been widely recognised for his achievements as a person of influence both within the business world and the technology industry. He is regularly listed on BRW’s Rich Lists (with a current net worth estimated at around $320 million), and has been recognised by a multitude of publications for his leadership and revolutionary approach to customer service and sales.
A serial entrepreneur, he continues to grow and develop both his own businesses and the businesses of others, which makes him a fantastic business model to follow. We are delighted to have him as a special guest speaker at our Melbourne Alumni Event, occurring on October 2nd, 2014.
We hope to see you there!
This article was written by Simone Ball on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: Kogan, Wikipedia and Dynamic Business.