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2014 Forty Under 40: Ilya Rekhter

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
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rekhter_ilya_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Coming to America: Rekhter’s father, now a research scientist at Eli Lilly and Co., and his mother, a professor at Lincoln College in Illinois, first settled in Michigan in 1991 before moving to Carmel. Encouraged by them, he said, “I wanted to do something different [from what they did], but equally successful.”

Early entrepreneurship: Rekhter’s business zeal started early, with ventures including buying, rehabbing and reselling computers and e-publishing. “These little endeavors,” he said, “helped show me how to do business the right way.”

The big idea: At Indiana University, Rekhter and some friends were intrigued by transportation—specifically why fuel efficiency and safety have improved but there still wasn’t a way to know when your already-20-minutes-late bus would arrive. His solution: DoubleMap, a bus-tracking application giving riders and fleet operators real-time information on the whereabouts of vehicles.

Going full time: While in Africa working on a consulting job, Rekhter set up a list of benchmarks he would need before quitting his day job to go full time with DoubleMap. “I wanted to have paying clients and enough money in the bank for six months in case things didn’t go well.” With IU as a client, he took the leap—and burned through the six-month budget in three months. But soon more clients were attracted, co-founders joined him full time, and now about 20 people are on the payroll.

AGE 25
Hometown: Ivanovo, Russia

Family: single

Expansion: DoubleMap’s clients span the country, including Purdue, Georgetown and Michigan universities as well as Disney Studios and Stanford Medical Center. “Long ago,” Rekhter said, “we ran out of friends to hire. To build a product that works, you need a lot of people from a lot of different disciplines.”

Getting away: Rekhter’s love of travel has also sparked a way to give back. He recently returned from a volunteer trip to India where he worked at a vocational college helping students with basic business skills. “They aren’t aspiring to be doctors or lawyers,” he said. “They just want to find work.” Closer to home, he serves on the board of the Russian School of Indianapolis.•

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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