Robert Herjavec is a gregarious entrepreneur who has built and sold several multi-million dollar IT companies and who now runs The Herjavec Group, a fast-growing security software company. His business success has earned him global recognition and seen him chart as a bestseller as the author of “Driven” and “The Will to Win.” Robert is a goldmine for budding entrepreneurs who are looking to tap into some hard-earned wisdom.
It was in Canada that Robert learned his early lessons in the working world, as an immigrant from the farmlands of Croatia discovering what it meant to be poor in an alien economic landscape. He quickly learned to make ends meet as a newspaper deliveryman and a waiter, picking up valuable lessons in relating to his customers, maximizing his tips and turnover.
Before his foray into entrepreneurship, he experienced a variety of industries including working in retail, in film production as an assistant director and even as a collection agent. Adaptability is a trait that Robert prioritizes as key to success for an entrepreneur.
Robert’s entry into the tech industry involved him convincing Logiquest, a computer start-up, to let him work there for free. He was under qualified for the position selling IBM mainframe emulation boards, but after 6 months he earned himself a paycheck and went on to become the General Manager. He was eventually fired from the company, which gave him the push to start his own company to keep up with his mortgage payments.
Robert says he’d never thought of becoming an entrepreneur, yet after starting BRAK Systems in his basement, it soon became Canada’s top provider of Internet Security Software, before being sold to AT&T for $100 million. Within couple of years Robert managed to sell RAMP Networks, another technology company, to Nokia for $225 million.
Robert attributes his success to working in a field that he’s passionate and knowledgeable about. After taking three years retirement to spend time with his family, he started his best business yet, The Herjavec Group. It’s an IT integrator that does computer security and information storage for enterprise and government. He says its like a mini IBM. The Herjavec Group has become the fastest growing Canadian security company to date, earning tens of millions of dollars in revenue every year.
Aside from technology, Robert has a love of racing cars, achieving multiple podiums in the Ferrari Challenge North America Series.
In response to the question of what he would differently if he had to do it all again, Robert says he would have dreamed bigger.