Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zorba the Buddhist

( "A great thing has happened to us today. People won't understand how great it is, but it's the most important thing that ever happened to our company." Thus spake Ilan Ben-Dov to his brother Moshe, telling him that Samsung had agreed to license their company Suny to hawk its cellphones in Israel....

Suny was born in 1991 as an importer of Sega TV games. It began with annual revenues of NIS 8 million and net profit of NIS 300,000. Ben-Dov took it public in 2003, raising NIS 20 million. But the company really took off in 1998, when Samsung came into his life.

Ben-Dov has many friends and business acquaintances, but his idol is Nochi Dankner, today the leader of the IDB group, which among many other things owns Cellcom. Another thing they have in common is that both adhere to principles of Buddhism and maintain close ties with rabbis as well. Dankner called his private company Ganden, after a Tibetan monastery. Ben-Dov's holding company is called Tao or "the Way." More>>

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