In memory of Mustafa ‘John’ Ilhan

Image copied from

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 living  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 Рthat 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 Рto achieve this Рbut in the end he prevailed at playing the game his way and always  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