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Skulli Mogensen, founder of the low-cost airline WOW air, is considered one of the richest men in Iceland. In an interview, he reports on the dot-comCrisis and the banking crash in Iceland - and how it carried on after that.

Skulli Mogensen studied philosophy and founded the telecommunications company OZ Communications in 1990, of which he was CEO until 2007. Besides, he was at the Foundation numerous others Company such as Arctic Ventures, telco Islandissimi or Og Vodafone. In 2009 he temporarily took over the bankrupt MP-Bank, which is now privately owned Hand is. In 2012 he founded the airline WOW air.

Mr. Mogensen, you are from the telecommunication industry. Why do you operate an airline today?

Ah, that's a long story. I started in 1990 with OZ Communications. My partner was that Technology-Freak - and I was for Shop responsible.

I've always had a talent for business. I have never had a real job but have always been self-employed. I wanted to do what I do with passion.

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How does it fit into your philosophy studies?

I mainly like that Fun made. I have always been interested in philosophy and architecture.

You come from a manager family?

No, my Family is more academic. Think Mother was an accountant and businesswoman.

What exactly did OZ Communications do?

We have developed a messaging software that eMails and messaging software like gmail or hotmail on mobile phones combined. It sounds like an old hat today, but back then it was something new. 2008 I sold the company to Nokia - just in the week of the bank crash.

Did you see the Bank Crash in Iceland?

The crash was gradual for a while and then very suddenly. It was clearthat the Icelandic stock market was overheating. But no one expected it to collapse completely. But the dot-com crash was far worse for me at the time, that was “my crash”, so to speak.

Why?

Because we had to radically downsize the company from 250 employees to 9. That was one of the worst experiences I have ever had.

When the bank crashed in 2008, on the other hand, I didn't have any Investments in Iceland. I was living in Montreal at the time and was watching from afar.

What happened to the dot-com crash?

There were too many opportunities, too many companies to go into fast zu viel Money was pumped and which then could not meet the expectations.

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What do you think of the hype surrounding social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram today?

I had many Meetings with faxebook when they were little. Facebook has undergone incredible development, it is now practically the most populous country in the world Welt.

But businesses and phone companies are allowed the freedom and creativity of users do not restrict and the Privacy treat carefully. Otherwise the users will eventually be gone.

Why did you go to Montreal then?

I had to make some decisions after the dot-com crash. Montreal had a strong support program back then, and an excellent one at that University. The North American market also appealed to me.

So I went 2002 to Montreal and stayed until 2009. There I rebuilt OZ Communications and then sold.

Why did you return to Iceland?

We were fine in Montreal, the family was happy - but then the collapse came in Iceland and I felt: "I have to do something for this country!"

You have returned home?

Well, look, I have my roots here. The country was almost bankrupt, the reputation ruined, the international community thought we had nothing to eat here.

But of course I also saw that there were great opportunities here - especially in the fishing industry and in tourism. After all, Iceland is with its geothermal Energy, the clean nature and the clean water the eco country par excellence.

What did you do after returning 2009 to Iceland?

First, I revived a bank. After that I tried in pension to go because I didn't really have to work anymore. But I was really bad at that: I needed a new challenge...

And then you founded an airline?

Correct. I was looking for a new one Industry. consumers Business had always interested me. And tourism grew rapidly. But especially in Icelandic air traffic there was no competition: Iceland air was a virtual monopoly.

And there was definitely a market for a low cost airline. So I jumped on the train, pardon the plane. People thought I was crazy - first the bank, then the airline.

Were the people right?

Well, today, 87 percent of our flights are booked. We fly 14 destinations in Europe. We have taken 2012 the cheap airline Iceland Express. And we are the most punctual airline in Iceland.

I can not sign this up: Yesterday the plane started in Berlin simply 90 minutes later. Apparently, the flight plan was simply changed without the passengers being told modestly.

I'm sorry, but I have no idea, so I have to make a note right away. Good that you tell me that.

Wow-air

What is your success story?

Smile. A smile costs nothing, but creates one positive and friendly atmosphere. We copied a lot from the competition from Raynair or Easy-Jet:

For example, we don't have first class or free food, so we save Costs. We only make no compromises when it comes to safety. We haven't reinvented the wheel, we're just trying to make things a little friendlier.

Speaking of savings: Did you also save on this building?

That's right, I bought the building very cheaply at the time. It looks a little raw, also there is no elevator. But this is another way to keep the prices low, because that way we don't have to have expensive ones Office -Pay rent.


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