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John Ilhan Biography (Mustafa Ilhan) : Crazy John's (Mobile phone retailer)
Famous for : being the founder and frontman of the Crazy John's mobile phones chain of retail stores in Australia and for being the richest young Australian in 2005, according to the BRW Young Rich List.
Ilhan details : Born - 1965 Turkey (moved to Australia at 5 years of age) / Died - October 23, 2007 Brighton, Victoria, Australia

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John Ilhan Bio

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John Ilhan founded the Crazy John's company and became one of the largest privately held mobile phone companies in Australia. Ilhan succeeded in a competitive industry and overcame the challenges of growing up in a poor migrant family to become a wealthy businessman and respected leader in his community and around Australia.

John Ilhan was born Mustafa Ilhan in 1965, in the city of Yozgat, located in central Turkey. Ilhan and his family migrated to Australia when he was just five years old. He grew up in the working class suburb of Broadmeadows in northern Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Growing up in a migrant family was a struggle for Ilhan at school as he had to deal with racist taunts from other school kids.

In 1991 John Ilhan opened his first mobile phone store called "Mobileworld" in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick. John offered crazy deals like $1 phones while his competitors were selling the same products for $200. His unusual marketing methods influenced the name change from "Mobileworld" to "Crazy John's."

Ilhan worked long hours and overcame numerous challenges to become a phone retailer with more than 120 stores and 600 employees in Australia.

A major personal struggle that Ilhan had to deal with was the suicide of his brother in the 1990s. The Ilhan family was a close knit family and the loss of a brother hit John hard. The businessman was quoted as saying "When my brother passed away I struggled, I was so sad, so traumatized by the whole experience, I didn't go to work for three months, I didn't get out of bed, it wasn't depression but it was something, I was so traumatized." Ilhan got through the traumatic situation by praying regularly.

The Turkish-Australian entrepreneur created a wealth of more than $300 million. Before turning 40 he was ranked the richest young person in Australia by the BRW magazine. In 2007 the magazine ranked Ilhan as the 126th richest man in Australia, with a net worth of $310 million.

John Ilhan was a generous philanthropist and regularly gave to various charities. He started the "Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation" with a starting $1 million dollar donation after learning that his daughter Jaida had a severe allergy to peanuts.

John Ilhan died at the young age of 42 on the 23rd of October, 2007. Ilhan was walking not far from his home in Brighton, Victoria when he collapsed and died from a suspected heart attack.

Ilhan lived with his wife Patricia and their four children Jaida, Hannah, Yasmin, and son Aidan.

The Managing Director of Crazy John's Brendan Fleiter said "John did something very special in his life. He followed his dream and created a business that employed hundreds of people and provided real competition in the mobile phone business for the first time. He cared about looking after his customers and the people who worked with him

Islamic Council of Victoria's
secretary Sherene Hassan was quoted as saying "He was much loved in the business community, and provided a tremendous amount of inspiration for Australian Muslims. We will all miss him terribly."

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John Ilhan Quotes John Ilhan Quotes

If you treat staff as your equal, they'll roll their sleeves up to get the job done.
John Ilhan - Leadership - Job - Partnership

It was quite tough, not many opportunities. I remember in primary school, one of my teachers said, "As for you young man, you haven't got much of a future."
John Ilhan - Criticism - Opportunity - Challenges

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John Mustafa Ilhan Biography

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