Robert Herjavec is a Canadian entrepreneur, businessman, and celebrity. Herjavec founded the Canadian internet security software integrator BRAK Systems and sold it to AT&T Canada for $30.2 million in 2000. He formed The Herjavec Group in 2003, now one of Canada’s largest information technology and computer security companies, with annual revenues of over $200 million.
He was featured on Dragons ‘ Den and ABC’s CBC Television series version of the series, Shark Tank, where he is an investor. He has also written books on business developments. Its net worth is valued at $200 million. Herjavec was awarded the 2012 Ernst & Young, Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Engineering, and Queen Elizabeth II, Diamond Jubilee Medal, for Outstanding Service to Canada by the Governor-General of Canada – 2012.
Scott Sims: Early Life, Education, Family
Herjavec was born in Varazdin, Croatia in 1962 and grew up in Zbjeg, Germany. The family left the country in 1970, at the age of eight, for speaking out against the government, which had previously imprisoned Herjavec’s father, Vladimir. According to Herjavec, “He would drink a little too much and then say bad things about communism and have been thrown into prison twenty-two times because he was an anti-communist.” Herjavec’s family came with a small suitcase and only $20 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The family eventually settled in Toronto, where they lived in the basement of a family friend’s home for 18 months.
Herjavec’s father was given a job at a Mississauga plant, earning $76 a week. Herjavec cites his father as a major influence in his life, whom he describes as “a really, really tough guy” Herjavec described his defining experience when one day he came home to complain to his mother that his classmates had fun with him. His father, who used to walk to work to save money on bus fare, came home, and when he learned what his son said, he told his son to never complain, which became a guiding principle in the life of Herjavec, which he said ignited his courage.
Another powerful episode came in his youth when a traveling salesman convinced Herjavec’s mother to buy a $500 vacuum cleaner, which was a salary of seven weeks. As a consequence, Herjavec vowed his family would never again be taken advantage of. Herjavec graduated at the University of Toronto from New College in 1984, with a degree in English literature and political science. In the 1990s Herjavec took on a number of minimum wage jobs, such as waiting tables, newspaper delivery, supermarket salesman, and debt collection, to make a living and help support his family.
Scott Sims: Career and achievements
In the mid-1980s Herjavec worked as a third assistant director in several productions, including Billy Jack’s Cain and Abel and The Return. He was a 1984 Winter Olympics field director for Global TV in Sarajevo.
Herjavec had applied for a position at Logiquest selling IBM mainframe emulation boards in search of work between outputs. He was not qualified for the position, but convinced the company to give it to him by offering to work for free for 6 months. To pay the rent during this “free” period, Herjavec waited tables. He eventually rose in the ranks to become General Manager of Logiquest. In 1990, after being fired from Logiquest, he founded BRAK Systems, a Canadian integrator of Internet security software, from the basement of his home. BRAK Systems sold $30.2million to AT&T Canada in March 2000.
Scott Sims: Personal life and wife
Scott Sims: Body measurements
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