In memory of Mustafa ‘John’ Ilhan

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John Ilhan was a late Australian entrepreneur. He was born in Turkey in 1965 and passed away on 23 October 2007. In his 42 years of livingĀ  he left his city [Melbourne] and community in a better state than which he found it.

What he was most known for were his mobile phone stores – that made the once luxury item, accessible to the wider public. His desire was for everybody to one day own a mobile phone. He had to take on many rivals, obstacles and giants – to achieve this – but in the end he prevailed at playing the game his way and alwaysĀ  achieving a win-win for the customer and his business.

This article expresses the impact John Ilhan has had on me, a young person and a son of migrants to Australia. I also hope to educate my friends and any readers of who John Ilhan was and why his life is important for all Australians to learn from.

I first heard the news of John Ilhan’s death while working at a desk job when the radio announced the event at around lunch time. At that time, I wasn’t very aware of who he was however, it made me feel for his family to lose this man at such a young age. I live in Canberra so Crazy John’s was more famous from the advertising at sporting events than his local stores (there are only two in Canberra). I remember telling the news to a co-worker who knew more about him as she had seen an interview about him on the programme ‘compass’ on the ABC. I felt eager to find out more and went on the internet to get a view of him on google images. I had recognized the face from a show about businessmen and entrepreneurs (it was Catalyst on ABC). It was at that point that I started to discover more about this ‘crazy John’. Continue reading