Ruslan Kogan

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Ruslan Kogan
Ruslan Kogan Founder and CEO Kogan Technologies.jpg
BornNovember 1982[1]
NationalityAustralian
Alma materMonash University
Known forFounder of Kogan.com
Net worthIncrease A$349 million (2014)[4]
Websitewww.kogan.com.au/ruslan-kogan/

Ruslan Kogan (born November 1982)[1][5] is a serial entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of Kogan.com as well as several other eCommerce related companies in Australia.[6][7][8] He was Australia's richest person under the age of 30 from 2011 to his 30th birthday in November 2012. His wealth has multiplied more than 20 times in half a decade, making him number 162 of the richest 200 in BRW Australia's Rich List 2014,[9] and one of the top 10 richest in Australia's Young Rich List 2014, with a personal wealth of $349 million.[10]

Kogan holds several publicised controversial views regarding the consumer technology industry, expressing his opposition to the Australian Government's proposed internet filter[11] as well as lambasting them for their handling of the Set Top Box Scheme.[12] He was also the only executive from a consumer electronics vendor in Australia to campaign against the introduction of 3DTV into homes around the world.[13][14]

He has written articles as both a guest and regular for several large media outlets, including a guest article for Forbes giving his views on Facebook,[15] a guest article for Fast Company about the importance of social proof in business,[16] a guest article for VentureBeat about affiliate marketing,[17] a guest post on Gizmodo outlining his opposition to the filter[18] and The Age regarding the future of TV.[19] He was also a guest columnist for business magazine BRW throughout 2011,[20] and has on several occasions provided guest opinions on the world's largest technology blog, TechCrunch.[21][22] In 2015, he was interviewed on the Bloomberg Television series High Flyers.[23]

Early life[edit]

Ruslan Kogan was born to Belarusian parents,[24][25] and moved with his sister Svetlana and parents to Australia in 1989.[26]

Kogan grew up in the Elsternwick Housing Commission flats, and started his first business at the age of 10 by finding lost golf balls, cleaning them and selling them for $0.50/each[26] to golfers at Elsternwick Golf Course on Saturday mornings.[27]

Kogan was interested in technology from an early age, building his first computer at the age of nine.[28] He has started approximately 20 businesses since the age of 10, with Kogan.com being his most recent and most successful venture.[29]

Kogan attended Brighton Secondary College and Melbourne High School[2] before going on to complete a Bachelor of Business Systems (Information Technology) at Monash University.[30]

By the age of 23, he had worked at the IT departments of Bosch, GE, Telstra, and was a management consultant at Accenture.[31]

Starting Kogan[edit]

Kogan left his job at Accenture in 2006,[32] and started Kogan.com at the age of 23 in 2006 from his parents' garage in Melbourne, Australia.[33]

The company rapidly expanded to a broader range of products such as Digital Radios, GPS devices, Netbooks, Tablets, and Video Cameras,[34] and in September 2011 began selling complementary products from a range of brands including Apple, Canon, Nikon, Samsung, Motorola and others.[35]

Kogan achieved $3 million in its third year,[36] followed by $8 million in the fourth,[37] $22 million in the fifth,[38] $70 million in the sixth,[39] and over $200 million in the seventh year.[40] The Wall Street Journal speculates Kogan is worth over $400M.[41] More than 2 million products have been delivered by Kogan, with daily sales of more than $1 million.[42]

Having started with no external funding or capital, Kogan.com has grown to become one of Australia's fastest-growing businesses in any industry.[31][43][44][45]

Awards[edit]

Kogan and his company Kogan.com have won the following awards:

  • Top 50 Most Influential People in Tech. Joins Mark Zuckerberg and Mike Cannon-Brookes as the only Gen Ys on the list.[46]
  • SmartCompany Hot 30 Under 30 CEOs[47]
  • The Australian Top 5 Young Chief Executives.[48]
  • T3 29th most influential person in the technology industry.[49]
  • Virgin Australia Top Guns in Tech.[50]
  • The Age Top 100 most influential people in 2008.[51]
  • BRW Young Rich List 2009 with a reported wealth of A$15M.[52]
  • BRW 2009 Fast Starters list at rank 37.[53]
  • BRW 2010 Fast 100 at rank 15.[54]
  • BRW 2010 Fast Starters list at rank 17.[55][56]
  • BRW Young Rich List 2010 with a reported wealth of A$29M.[57]
  • Charter Security Retail Innovator of the Year 2010[58]
  • Anthill Top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs for 2010[59]
  • The Age Top 100 most influential people in 2011.[60]
  • BRW 2011 Fast 100 at rank 27.[43]
  • SmartCompany 2011 Hot 30 Under 30.[61]
  • BRW 2011 Young Rich List with a reported wealth of A$62 million, Australia's richest person under the age of 30 (2011 - 2012, his 30th birthday).[62]
  • BRW 2012 Young Rich List with a reported wealth of A$145 million.[63]
  • BRW 2012 Fast 100 at rank 14, valued at A$75.2M.[64]
  • Men's Style Magazine 2012 Men of Influence.[65]
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Southern Region Winner[66]
  • Deloitte Technology Fast 50 - 4th fastest growing technology company in Australia in 2012.[67]
  • BRW Fast 100 2012 - Ranked 14[68]
  • BRW 2013 Young Rich List at number 4, with a reported wealth of A$315 million[69]
  • BRW 2014 Rich List at number 162, valued at $320 million[70]
  • BRW 2014 Young Rich List at number 6, with a reported wealth of A$349 million[71]

Open source[edit]

Kogan has been a strong believer in open source solutions for many years, telling Computerworld: "We are huge believers in cloud computing and open source software. The reasons are simple: open source software is usually faster, better and has more features."[72]

Kogan believes that open source tablets like Android present a significant challenge to the Apple iPad's dominance of the tablet market, and was the first to launch an open source tablet in the UK for under £100.[73]

In Australia, he launched a laptop running the open source version of Google's Chrome OS before multinationals like Samsung and Acer could launch their own products.[74]

Criticism[edit]

Kogan is known for using social media to take a swipe at his competitors[75] and has been accused of making 'outlandish statements' through his company's blog about giant retailers like JB Hi-Fi.[76]

At Kickstart Forum 2008, in Gold Coast Australia, Kogan was called a 'loudmouthed punk', when he said the future of retail was heading online.[77]

On International Transgender Day of Visibility in 2018, Kogan was asked to apologise after a transphobic tweet referencing the 2018 Australian ball-tampering scandal and Caitlyn Jenner.[78]

Personal life[edit]

Kogan purchased a BMW Z4 in 2010 and is training for a pilot's licence.[79] He rents an apartment on St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, overlooking Albert Park Lake.[26]

Kogan was the first Australian to register as a passenger on Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic sub-orbital spaceflight, having paid a deposit on the US$200,000 ticket.[80][81][82][83]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b "Meet The Founder: Ruslan Kogan" (PDF). Nicta. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  3. ^ "News Views: June's Big Issues" (PDF). The Banking & Finance Report. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
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  12. ^ "Government Set Top Box Scheme Blows Out". Kogan.com.au. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  13. ^ "3D TV offerings limited as manufacturers strike 'exclusives' with movie rights holders". The Courier-Mail. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  14. ^ Melissa Singer (19 April 2010). "3D television". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
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  44. ^ [2] BRW Magazine. Retrieved November 2011.
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External links[edit]