IBR Success Sunday – Jack Cowin

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Welcome to Success Sunday!

The place where investors, entrepreneurs and business professionals come to get inspiration. We’re bringing you unbelievable stories from millionaires and billionaires to inspire you and motivate you to start your week the right way.

In this installment of Success Sunday, we will be going through the rise of Jack Cowin. Our team here at IBR is fascinated by what this man has done throughout his business career, as it is unconventional, to say the least.

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So where does his story start? Jack Cowin was Born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Jack resided in Canada for his entire childhood and young adult life.

A turning point came when his father was temporarily relocated to Australia for work, and encouraged Jack to venture out there. Not much thought was put into this suggestion by his father at the time. After graduating from The University of Western Ontario in 1964, he became an insurance salesman with London Life in Toronto. 

“After I graduated, I got a job as an insurance salesman and I started earning good money” 

Jack soon came to realize money wasn’t everything, and his tenure as an insurance salesman was short-lived. At the age of 27 he packed his bags yielding the advice from his father years before and took the journey out to Australia to explore lucrative business ventures.

While exploring multiple business ventures, he found himself waiting for long take-out lines of a Chinese restaurant in Sydney. 

“On our first night in Sydney, we had a few beers and decided to eat at a Chinese restaurant. There were about 50 people waiting impatiently for their food, so you didn’t have to be Einstein to figure out there was a market for fast food”

His displeasure from this experience ignited a spark in him to enter into the fast-food market, and boy was this a brilliant move on his part.

With the help of 30 Canadian Investors lending him $100,000 for a 35% stake in the company, he was able to open his first KFC chain in Western Australia in December 1969. From there on Jack was able to expand and turn that $100,000 initial investment by the investors into an investment valued at $8.9 million. 

After opening 8 KFC outlets, Jack felt it was the right time to buy the rights to Burger King. As this was a smart move at the time, Jack did not realize that someone else already owned the rights to Burger King trademark in Australia.

This prompted him to call the chain Hungry Jack’s and create Competitive Foods Australia to be the franchiser of this chain. 

Jack did, later on, have a falling out with Burger King due to the name conflict and many other issues, but Jack was able to resolve the conflict in his favor. He talks about this experience, and many more, int the book he contributed to “The Billion Dollar Secret”. 

As of today, Jack Cowin is the current Chairman of Domino’s Pizza Enterprises. He is also managing director and chairman of the CFAL group which has a sales revenue of $1.4 billion and a shareholder’s fund of $600 million. It is worth noting his Competitive Foods Australia has opened 420 Hungry Jacks across Australia since its founding in 1969. 

His current net worth is $2.4 billion and climbing. Jack is a believer in philanthropy and donated to The University of Western Ontario to pay for the new stands of a football field, named after his father Stanley J. Cowin, who he was successful off of due to his advice. He is also an active member of the World Presidents Organization.

 

Jack Cowin comes from humble beginnings and grew one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world. 

If you enjoyed this story, we invite you to share this story and inspire someone to pursue their dreams, no matter where they may be at in life.

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THE BUSINESS CARD:

  1. Made his first million with: KFC (fast-food chain)
  2. Business is… “a MARATHON
  3. Life motto to college graduate: “My definition of the right job is when you can’t tell the difference between work and play.”
  4. Cowen’s educational experience: “I wasn’t an academic genius…”
  5. Advice to business owners: “Focus on the big stuff and delegate the mundane.”
  6. The secret to fast food success: “We try to build our business on taste, and that is sort of the driving force”
  7. Biggest things to avoid: “It’s crucial that you don’t bet the farm on every roll of the dice.”
  8. Biggest Rule to follow “Rule No. 1: Stay in business”
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Matthew Filsinger

Business Development

Matthew Filsinger is an undergraduate Economics student at Ashland University in Ohio. During his time as a college student, Matthew has found a passion for understanding how certain consumer and producer behavior affect the valuation of equities. He prides himself on contrarian thinking, not afraid to go against the status quo. This behavioral approach to a numbers-driven financial climate has helped him grow his personal portfolio by 33%. When Matthew is not busy researching, he finds himself competitively swimming as captain of the nationally-ranked Ashland University Swim and Dive Team.

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