Co-founder and CEO of eftsure Mike Kontorovich reveals his hidden comedy talents, a desire to end global time differences and why he idolises Dory from Finding Nemo.
- Business name: eftsure
- Industry: Software technology
- Number of employees: 20
- Operating since: August 2016
What was your first paid job?
My first paid role was as a sales assistant in a disposal store in Liverpool. I was living in Sydney’s Bondi at the time, so the daily commute to work was like travelling to a different country.
What made you get into your current business?
We had been doing various technology start-ups since 1999; eftsure is number four. One of the founders discovered a very hard problem of payment fraud and we liked the problem so much, we solved it. There wasn’t a solution like this on the market, it had to be invented.
How did you get your very first customer/client?
Our first customer was someone who had a working relationship with one of the founders and gave us a go. eftsure just grew from there.
What has been your biggest triumph in business?
My biggest triumph is staying in an entrepreneurial business for such a long time — a marathon is much harder than a sprint!
What is the best thing about owning your own business?
The best thing about owning your own business is the creative freedom you have. You are able to take an idea and see it fully realised in the world out there. God was the first business person, I guess.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My hero of all time is Dory from the movie Finding Nemo. I find her advice is the wisest — “just keep swimming”. Everything else is just commentary.
If you could change one thing to make life easier as a business owner, what would it be and why?
It would really help a modern business owner if a 48-hour day was introduced and time difference was abolished worldwide.
Who do you look up to in business and why?
I like people who think creatively and do their own thing. Elon Musk is a good example.
What do you do to get away from work?
I am a member of a musical comedy improv team. My friends and I had been doing this for a number of years competitively, but now we just do it for fun and will sometimes write sketches for our friends.
Name a little-known fact about yourself.
I write poetry with a philosophical bent. Only my close friends know that and have to suffer through reading it.
What is the funniest thing you have come across in business?
We had a customer who insisted that we had enough time to complete a project and proved it by inserting an extra November into the plan. It worked.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.