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Arkady Volozh

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Arkady Volozh is a Russian entrepreneur and the principal founder of Russia’s Google, Yandex. Born in the Soviet Union in 1964, Volozh studied applied mathematics at Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas. Upon his graduation in 1986, Volozh landed a job at a state pipeline research institute. Soon thereafter he started a started a small business focused on importing computers from Austria. He also co-founded numerous IT enterprises, including CompTek International, which is one of the largest distributors of telecom equipment in Russia.

As Volozh became more familiar with computers, he began dabbling in algorithms designed to conduct electronic searches on the Russian Bible and various works of literature. During this time he founded the Arkadia Company with the intention to develop more widespread search software. In 1993 Volozh connected with old classmate, Ilya Segalovich, and the duo began working together to further develop what he had started with the Arkadia Company. In 1997, yandex.ru was born. By 2000, the portal became a company, Yandex, and Volozh left his posts with the other IT companies he had co-founded to focus solely on growing the new search engine. Volozh stepped into the position of CEO and director of Yandex in 2000.

Yandex has been met with a great deal of success and has benefited from Russia’s large internet-using audience as well as the country’s strong computer programming culture. In 2013 Yandex bought Kinopoisk.ru, Russia’s equivalent of IMDB.com for $80 million. In August of 2014, Volozh resigned as CEO of Yandex, reportedly due to disagreements with Russian President Vladimir Putin over internet control. Volozh is worth a reported US$1.15 billion as of 2013.

Companies and Investments

Yandex (Co-Founder & CEO), CompTek (Co-Founder), Arkadia Company (Co-Founder), InfiNet Wireless (Co-Founder)

Lessons Learned

I believe that your work should also be your hobby and should always be something you are passionate about.

While the old Soviet culture was a free atmosphere of scientists, it taught us that maybe those times were too free because no one cared about making money.

The best way to ensure your business will be successful is to make sure the people you bring on board make the company the work for a central part of their lives.

There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from your competition and adapting your own service or enterprise based upon what others are doing.

With passion and determination, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Inspiring Quotes

Arkady Volozh's Quotes

When you travel around Moscow, you can see almost every car is using a smartphone where they can see what’s ahead of them.

Arkady Volozh

Russia has to have a technology company of global meaning sooner or later. We should take the depth of technical culture we have here and make it available worldwide.

Arkady Volozh

We never set up Yandex to imitate what others were doing. We’ve been in the business longer than other search engines and have created many original products.

Arkady Volozh

Influential Books