Sep 6, 2019 in Business

The main subjects of the report are Eugene Kaspersky and Alan Michael Sugar. Both men are famous entrepreneurs who succeed in business due to achievements in IT industry. However, their ways to success and biographies differ. To start with, Kaspersky is the founder of an IT security company Kaspersky Labs that has been on the market for about 15 years. Today it operates in 200 countries selling computer protection to more than 300 million users. He has office in Moscow and his annual revenues reach about ?400 million (Mumford, 2012). According to the official website of Kaspersky’s company he started to investigate the computer viruses in 1980s during his work at a multi-disciplinary research institute in Moscow. On the other hand, Alan Sugar is a more controversial personality. He started his business career with selling car aerials out of a van. Then he founded his own company Amstrad which specialized in selling simple PCs made from cheap components. There was a period when the company was valued more than ?1bn. However, gradually it lost its popularity among customers. In addition, Alan Sugar was an owner of a football team and TV presenter.

Besides, he is involved in property business. As for his financial status, Alan Sugar’s capital is estimated at ?840 million. In addition, he is a popular personality in the Great Britain. Moreover, the British queen even gave him title “sir” for his contributions to business. Therefore, the main difference between Kaspersky and Sugar is that the first businessman was aimed at producing qualitative products, whereas the second one based the success on low price and fast money (Anthony, 2008). As a result, the company of Kaspersky is still popular among customers. On the other hand, Sugar sold his computer company a long time ago and has now focused on quite different area.

Description of Kaspersky’s Journey through Life

Eugene Kaspersky was a bright kid. Therefore, at 16 he was accepted to a five-year program at the KGB-backed Institute of Cryptography, Telecommunications, and Computer Science. Even today, twenty years after graduation he cannot tell what exactly he studied there (Shachtman, 2012). Nevertheless, after finishing the Institute in 1987, he started working at a multi-disciplinary research institute. That work was the beginning of further successful career because he started investigating computer viruses in that period. The first virus that he detected and then disinfected was “Cascade” virus. Kaspersky worked with it in 1989 and achieved big results in this area. Today his Anti-Virus database includes more than eight million records and 94 million samples of malware. That makes Kaspersky’s antivirus programme one of the most reliable in the world. As for the business career of Kaspersky, he and his colleagues founded an independent company, named after its main inspirer Kaspersky Lab. Ten years later businessman became the CEO of it. Nowadays, Kaspersky Lab operates in more than 200 countries and territories all over the world, has its regional offices in 30 countries, and employs over 2,500 people. However, Kaspersky still continues to develop his business. For example, according to Forbes, retail sales of Kaspersky antivirus software increased by 177% and reached about 4.5 million a year between 2009 and 2010. Moreover, 50 million people are currently members of Kaspersky Security Network. In addition, such famous producers as Microsoft, Cisco and Juniper Networks embed Kaspersky code in their products. It gives the Kaspersky Lab 300 million users. However, the company does not only produce antivirus programs, but also it is a leader in uncovering cyber-espionage (Shachtman, 2012).

Description of Sugar’s Journey through Life

Alan Sugar was born in a poor family in London in 1947. His father worked as a tailor so he did not bring big income to the family. Therefore, Sugar started to work early. However, his first job was not prestigious. He sold vegetables in greengrocers. Nevertheless, that job brought him money and very soon he had to leave school. His first business was selling of car aerials and electric goods out of a van bought for ?100. Then when he was 21, he founded the company named Amstrad. It gained popularity among customers due to low price. On the hand, products that it sold were of low quality either. That is why that business did not last for a long time. Nevertheless, that computer business allowed Sugar become popular in Britain. Apart from computers, the businessman invested money into sport, particularly in football. He was the owner of Tottenham Hotspur from 1991 to 2001. However, Sugar himself calls those ten years waste of time and has a right to say so because the club did not have any success on the pitch in that period. Besides, Alan Sugar worked on TV in programme The Apprentice, which was a reality show where contestants presented their business plans (Anthony, 2008).

Comparing and Contrasting Their Personalities and Approach to Business

The biographies of Alan Sugar and Eugene Kaspersky demonstrate they have completely different backgrounds. As a result, their personalities and approach to business are not similar either. To start with, the business of Kaspersky is based on producing high-qualitative products that are able to compete with goods of other companies. In addition, high quality of software helped Kaspersky to gain stable reputation on the market. Therefore, his company actively operates all over the world for about 15 years, whereas Sugar is oriented on faster profits. His famous project Amstrad became popular for a shorter time. On the other hand, it could not compete on the market for a long period. However, Alan Sugar is the type of a businessman that made himself. Therefore, everything that he worked with gave him an opportunity to become popular in his county. Furthermore, he even got knighthood for the big contribution to the business development. In addition, business analysts distinguished the separate style of doing business in Sugar’s way. For example, Emma Murray (2010) writes about several key strategies that Sugar implied and others can use as well. First, people who want success in business or career need to avoid pushing and shoving. Secondly, it is necessary to start revolution and know the customer. Thirdly, staying true to values and learning from mistakes are also important. Apart from that, Sugar’s experience demonstrates that it is effective to invest into right people and win as a team. Overall, those strategies are not innovative but they show what made Alan Sugar a business legend. However, despite all differences in approach to business, there are certain things that unite them. To start with, they both like expensive cars. For instance, Kaspersky Lab is a partner of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. They started the cooperation in 2010 at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. “The first stage of their partnership included sponsorship of sponsorship of the AF Corse Ferrari team at the Le Mans Series and the award of 'Official Supplier to the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Team' status” (Racing, n.d.). Later, Kaspersky Lab became the official sponsor of Ferrari team in 2011 and 2012. Apart from that, the logo of Kaspersky’s company appeared on the Ferrari cars. Furthermore, partners signed a licensing agreement that presupposed “the release of Kaspersky Internet Security Special Ferrari Edition with Ferrari-styled user interface and Ferrari Virtual Academy video simulator game” (Racing, n.d.).

As for Alan Sugar, he is famous for his love to Rolls Rolls-Royce. In addition, he recently sold yacht and paid attention to flying (Anthony, 2008). Apart from that, both businessmen have close relationships with leaders of their countries. Thus, journalists write about meetings of Kaspersky with Russian president and about cooperation with Russian secrete service called FSB. However, it is not surprising due to his work for KGB in the past (Shachtman, 2012). As for Alan Sugar, he often meets British Queen and other politicians. On the other hand, these connections do not interest him very much. Once he said, “I've met the Queen, I've met her sons. She was OK. Blair, Thatcher, Major, Brown. I've done it. There is no fun in it. None. Whatsoever. It is boring” (Anthony, 2008). Besides, his lawyer Margaret Mountford describes him as “an extremely able person. He has strong family values. He's a thoroughly decent bloke and he will listen ... on occasions” (Anthony, 2008). The achievements of Eugene Kaspersky demonstrate that he is an extremely able person too. In addition, biographies of both men show that they have strong character and are goal-oriented.

Conclusions

To sum up, both entrepreneurs, Eugene Kaspersky and Alan Michael Sugar, achieved significant results in business primary due to their excellent intellectual abilities and strong characters. For example, Alan Sugar was born in poor family. However, he early understood that business may bring him profit, so he started his first serious business when he was 21. Some people may say that his computer company Amstrad was successful only for a short time, so it is not worth of noting. However, Sugar used effective strategy because he studied well the needs of his customers, offering computers for a reasonable price. In addition, that company gave him necessary capital for further projects. As a result, today he is a business legend with millions of pounds on the bank account. As for Eugene Kaspersky, he had better starting position due to cooperation with KGB and getting higher education. Probably that experience contributed to the forming the character that is necessary for a successful businessman. However, contrary to Sugar, his success is based on excellent quality of offered products. Thus, Kaspersky’s database has one of the best collections of viruses in the world. In addition, both men stress the importance of having a good team. Besides, Sugar and Kaspersky are involved in sport. For example, the founder of Kaspersky Lab is a sponsor of Ferrari team, whereas Alan Sugar used to be an owner of a football team. On the other hand, the last businessman called his experience unsuccessful and waste of time. In addition, they both are interested in expensive cars. For example, Sugar prefers Roll-Royces and Kasperysky likes Ferrari. Apart from that, they are involved in politics. Moreover, Kaspersky even deals with cyber-espionage and cooperates with FSB (successor organization to the Soviet KGB). On the other, specialists state it is impossible to work in this area of business in Russia without friendly relations with secret services. However, Sugar denies any interest in politics and says that he does not have any desire to become a politician. Besides, location also unites two businessmen. Despite Kaspersky’s Russian background his Kaspersky Lab holding is located in England. However, headquarters of his company are in Moscow, whereas Alan Sugar’s businesses are based in England. Apart from peculiarities of approaches to business, they both have certain personal values. For example, Sugar supports family values. He is married for more than forty years to his wife. Probably she is a key to his success in business due to her constant help to the husband. As for Eugene Kaspersky, his ex-wife also contributed very much to the company. Eugene was responsible for programming, whereas his ex-wife Natalia conducted business. In addition to that, they both have many awards for contributions in technology, business, etc. That means they could meet the needs of people. Finally, their key of success is also taking risks and innovations. For example, nobody thought about viruses and anti-viruses programs in 1980s when Kaspersky started working in this sphere. What is more important, he never stops developing and adjusting to the needs of customers. This feature is highly important in IT industry where everything changes very fast. As for Sugar, he shares those peculiarities of Kaspersky. For example, none of his competitors thought about adjusting of computers to the needs of ordinary customers. Besides, it is a challenge for a young person to leave school and start business at such an early age. In addition, he was not afraid of closing or selling business that reached a peak of its success and stopped bringing profits. For instance, he sold his computer company and football team. Apart from that, there is one more interesting difference between Kaspersky and Sugar. The first businessman knows well what he sells, whereas the second knew nothing about computers as well as about football. His main goal was to make people want to buy the products. However, both approaches appeared to be successful and brought high profits to their possessors.

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