Home Startup & Entrepreneurship Dean J. Ramler, 2010 Anthill 30under30 Winner

Dean J. Ramler, 2010 Anthill 30under30 Winner


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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative that was launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.

Dean J. Ramler, VIC (b. 1982)

Name: Dean J. Ramler
Age: 28 (Born: May 1982)
Gender: Male
State: VIC

Pull up a Paul Vother Coroner chair and footstool and let us tell you the story of Dean J. Ramler.

The 28-year-old, hard-charging Melbourne native was born into a retail furniture family. While his friends spent their summer holidays at the beach, he would work full-time at his grandfather’s furniture factory, learning everything there is to know about the business.

Several years ago, after touring Milan, Italy, he sensed a growing consumer hunger for replica designer furniture. In 2007, with partner (and fellow 30under30 memeber) Ruslan Kogan, he launched Milan Direct, an online-only retailer. The business ships replica designer home and office furniture to consumers. A streamlined supply chain allows Milan Direct to sell its products with deep discounts.

Milan Direct has sold more than 370,000 pieces of furniture to more than 100,000 customers. It enjoyed a turnover of $3.6 million in 2008-09, landing the company on BRW magazine’s Fast Starters list. Turnover for 2009-10 was close to $5 million. The company expanded into the UK a year ago, and is already a multimillion-pound business there.

The compact staff of Milan Direct (about 10 people) is paid on “value add” rather than tenure, Ramler says. “This ensures we attract and retain the best staff.”

As for his entrepreneurial fire, Ramler says he is a “competitive beast.”

“I wake every morning with the burning desire to smash my competitors in all aspects of business,” he says. “I want to have the best products at the best prices, providing the best value to our customers. In business and life you have a choice: Get up early and win or slouch around and get run over.”

— Written at eye level in Dean J. Ramler’s shower. “It’s a mantra I live by.”

Milan Direct launches in UK


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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.

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