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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.
Ruslan Kogan, VIC (b. 1982)
Name: Ruslan Kogan
Age: 27 (Born: November 1982)
The 30under30 entry form asks applicants to suggest a fresh category for our special awards. Ruslan Kogan’s response says a lot about his entrepreneurial DNA.
Kogan, the founder and driving spirit behind his eponymous, online-only home electronics retailer, suggests a Challenger Award.
“The award needs to recognise brands that have successfully taken on established, archaic business models and brands,” he says. “Companies like Kogan come along to crack industry, and use innovation, buzz and hard work to take on the big-name brands in a David vs. Goliath battle.”
Indeed, the thrill of competition is the thing that gets Kogan out of bed every morning, he says.
Kogan uses overseas manufacturers to build company-brand products such as flat-screen TVs, digital video camera and ebook readers. By eschewing popular name brands, shortening the supply chain and selling strictly online, the company is able to price its products at enticing levels.
Kogan the man, who has run more than 20 businesses since age 12, employs a canny marketing approach that attracts news media attention and plays up the David / Goliath aura. in 2008, he tweaked the government’s nose by putting out a “Kevin 37” television and selling it for $900 — the amount offered to each Australian household under PM Kevin Rudd’s stimulus plan. Earlier this year, he stoked the fires of a verbal spat with Gerry Harvey, head of traditional electronics retailer Harvey Norman.
Oh, and for all his success, Kogan doesn’t measure up for a job at McDonald’s.
The result of Kogan’s stick-out-your-chin approach: A company founded in 2006 now commands 10% of Australia’s home electronics retail market. Earlier this year, it made its 100,000th sale. In September, Kogan Technologies was named Innovator of the Year by the Australian Retailers Association.
And in October, the company announced plans to expand into the United Kingdom.
“People come to me all the time with business ideas, asking for advice. Most of the time if I see them six months later and ask how their business is doing. The response is, ‘What business?'” Kogan says.
“There are many great ideas out there, but a true entrepreneur has the ability and the drive to convert those ideas into an operational and successful business. The best quote I’ve ever heard is one that Nike has been printing on T-shirts for years: Just Do It!”
Ruslan Kogan talks about expansion to UK
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.