John Mustafa Ilhan's Memorial

John Mustafa Ilhan
(1965 - 2007)


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General Details

Name: Mr John Mustafa Ilhan
Nick Name: Crazy John
Gender: Male
Age: 42 years old
Lived: Saturday, 23 January 1965 - Tuesday, 23 October 2007

My Story

John Ilhan will be remembered by all those who knew him.

His priority was always to look after the customer and he did that with all the enthusiasm and drive that amazed people.He touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who were either customers of Crazy John's or those who benefitted from his generous charitable donations. A better idea of what drove John can be understood from looking at his background.

John Ilhan grew up in the tight knit community around Broadmeadows in northern Melbourne, where strong family values instilled in him the importance of hard work and a desire to achieve. His parents worked shifts at the local Ford factory and he saw up-close the sacrifices they made as a family.

From an early age he developed a strong love of soccer and he always remained sports crazy. As a teenager he would walk more than one hour to attend soccer training a few times a week and was not deterred by others being taller or stronger. Instead he worked hard on other aspects of the game and eventually rose up to play in the National Soccer League as it was called then. It proved to John early in life what could be accomplished with determination and perseverance.

John began his career in his early 20s at Strathfield Car Radios and as a young man soon rose up to become one of that company’s top national salesmen. He had a simple yet effective business philosophy that earned him immediate and ongoing success — give the customer great service and they will be loyal in return. John admitted to being a salesman at heart, but someone who had a natural empathy for what customers wanted. But John soon realised that he could offer customers more if he created his own retail outlet. Consequently, Mobileworld was established in 1991 with its first store opening in the northern Melbourne suburb of Brunswick — John’s innovative approach to business brought about the name change to Crazy John’s shortly after.

John brought to the mobile phone market innovations never before seen. He understood that customers wanted great deals and good service. Crazy John’s was the first to introduce $1 phones, the idea of ‘buy one, get one free’ and ‘cash back’ incentives to customers. These initiatives revolutionised the mobile phone industry and competitors were forced to follow suit, significantly reducing the cost of mobile phones and therefore making communication more affordable to all Australians.

Throughout his life John was a strong believer in corporate and social responsibility. From the beginning of its existence, Crazy John’s has been a proud supporter of many charities across Australia and particularly one that was very close to home, the Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation. He was also a member of the NAB’s Community Advisory Council and contributed to other areas of the public debate as a member of the Premier’s Business Advisory Council in Victoria.

In May 2006 at the Future Summit, John was named as one of fifty Future Leaders of Australia. The Summit, an initiative of the Australian Davos Connection, recognises leaders who have the creativity and insight to pursue innovative and far-sighted projects and have demonstrated a commitment to creating a better future for Australia. The patron of the Future Summit is the Honourable John Howard, the Prime Minister of Australia.John can never be replaced, but his legacy will live on. The team at Crazy John’s will carry on John’s vision. That’s the way he would want it.

Expect to see more of the innovation and great deals that have set Crazy John’s apart from the competition. The values of focusing on customer service are deeply embedded in Crazy John’s thanks to John.


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A truly great success story.
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Country of Birth: Turkey
Country of Residence: Australia
City of Residence: Melbourne
Occupation: Sales
Marital Status: Married
Religion: Islam


Favourite Sport: Soccer
Favourite Charity: Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation


Place of Passing: Brighton on his morning walk
Date of Passing: 23 October 2007
Cause of Passing: Heart attack
Type of Funeral: Muslim
Funeral Location: Broadmeadows Mosque
Funeral Date: 26 October 2007
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