Is There a Place for New People in the American Telecom Business?

From ordinary entrepreneurship in Belarus to a $25 million revenue telecom construction business in the US — a story of Russell Razhko, CEO of Rullex
I'm happy to continue telling you about the Young Business Club members by sharing stories about their journeys to success. In most cases, our participants have built their businesses from nothing. They created everything on their own by hard work and with their close friends' help.

Knowing that anything and everything is possible and having real-life examples of people with self-confidence, that achieve amazing results, motivate many people to act here and now.

Today I want to share the story of Russell Razhko (also known as Ruslan Razhko), who came to America in spite of all obstacles and hardships, and creating a thriving telecom business, keeping the network on our phones working 24/7 and helping us stay little closer to each other during the quarantine.

Let's find out about him a bit more together.
Belarus, early entrepreneurship and U.S. visa

Russell was born in Belarus and studied in an ordinary school. His parents always worked hard — his father drove cargo all over Eastern Europe, and a mother that helped him with the business side of things. He was bright in school and was involved in different activities — competitions, events, etc. that contributed to shaping his personality and leadership.

Russell was always dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur and having a trucking business like his father and planned to go to a special college for learning truck driving. His parents talked him out of it and suggested he find another occupation in the direction of self-development.

Nevertheless, when he got to be 18, Russell obtained his driving license and started his own small business — he was delivering all kinds of goods to Poland, buying electronic goods there, and after returning to Belarus, was selling them to the local populace.

Apart from driving a truck, Russell had another dream — to move to the USA and work there. One day he and his friend decided to go to Warsaw, Poland to apply for an American visa in the U.S. Embassy.

Their path was full of challenges, and twenty minutes before reaching their destination, their car broke down. Russell's friend started panicking and thought this problem was a sign not to go further.

But Russell decided, by all means, to get to the American Embassy. He was trying to stop every car on the road, but no one stopped. With much difficulty, they pushed their car to the nearest gas station. And Russell started asking everyone there to help them in getting to the U.S. Embassy.

They negotiated with a stranger, and he agreed to take them. This fellow was working near the U.S. Embassy — and he was on his way to work.

Russell got his U.S. Visa, but his friend — unfortunately, didn't.

Making his first money in America

After arriving in the United States, Russell was disappointed. His dreams and vision of the country were completely different from reality.

America was in crisis, there were almost no jobs and fewer possibilities to survive. Nevertheless, Russell succeeded in finding a job in a construction company — he replaced an employee that had been injured.

After a year of working for this company, Russell believed that he understood how business in America worked. Being an entrepreneur by nature, he had the idea of starting his own construction business. He understood that he needed partners, and destiny helped him make new friends.

It appeared that other guys from Grodno (Belarus) had also come to the US in search of a better life and started working together with him in the same company. They didn't work in the same department, but got acquainted after work. They talked a lot and decided to start a new business together.

Russell believes that business is the best check for real friendship. Doing business together with friends shows their character from different situations that arise. Together they founded their own construction company and worked quite successfully together.
Starting a telecom construction business in America

After some years, they lost some of their inspiration and motivation, and his partners decided to switch to something else. They did a lot of research and understood that construction for telecommunication companies is in high demand and a potential for building the business of their dreams. So they started a company for telecommunication technologies and it seems like they've hit a home run.
The new American tech start-up, Rullex, opened its first office and hired the initial 25 employees after its founders signed contracts with Nokia and Ericsson. That was the first step to developing the current company, which has recently signed another contract with the legendary telecom operator Verizon.

Of course, starting a new company was far from easy. Russell admits that at the very beginning, he almost did not understand how telecommunication technologies worked, he made a lot of mistakes, and was performing many tasks requiring many hours . He was very close to burning out but the results of the business were still motivating him to continue. He hired new employees and started delegating these tasks.

Now Rullex is a multi-faceted telecommunications company offering a full range of services in cellular network development. It has excellent development packages, about two hundred employees and a yearly revenue of $25 million.

Russell's team maintains telecom towers and keeps our cell phones working all over the county. They serve all major carriers — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. They also have worked with Black & Veatch, BlueStream, Empire Telecom, and Velocitel.

Their professional tower technicians have been certified by Ericsson AT&T Alltell, Alcatel Microwave Radio, Sweep/PIM & OTDR/fiber testing, ComTrain, OSHA, JLG, and crane signal training, RF safety awareness, First AID, etc. And they are proud to be a constant NATE member and ISO 9001:2015 registered company.
Hobbies, a new business in Eastern Europe and YBC

Russell doesn't have too much free time. Especially now, when Rullex has had to struggle with the effects of COVID-19. Most of the equipment they use in construction is produced in China. It's quite problematic nowadays to ship it to the United States, even for huge corporations.

Furthermore, Russell has started another business in Eastern Europe that solves very difficult and important ecological problems — he's assembled a factory that recycles used car tires instead of just burying them in the ground as people usually do there.

He was shocked when he discovered that the buried tires decompose for hundreds of years and cause significant harm to the environment. It was a primary reason for founding this new business there.
Despite all the challenges in business, he always devotes time to his family, his wife and daughter, whom he moved from Belarus to America also.
Russell loves to travel, go to the mountains, and engage in motocross — this not only raises his mood but also prevents emotional burnout at work.

Russell says that he's gladly joined the Young Business Club in New York. It wasn't new for him as he'd already been a member of other business clubs before the YBC.

That's why he was looking forward to joining the Young Business Club of New York City right after its launch, even though he lived in Philadelphia.

Russell also says that membership gives him a lot of new acquaintances in New York and across America. He prefers personal meetings and enjoys most of his peer-to-peer group meetings that always deliver great insights and pleasant, friendly communication.

In the end, I need to add a little about his impressive goals. Now Russell Razhko wants to create 500 new jobs at Rullex, raise its revenue to $100 million, become the most sought after general contractor for mobile operators in the United States and get listed on the Stock Market.

Should you like to reach Russell Razhko in regard to any business inquiry, please message me, and I will connect you.

I do my best to remember and publish everything I hear from the incredible people of the Young Business Club. If you'd like me to continue publishing such stories on Medium, you are very welcome to let me know about it. I'm not a professional writer and, sometimes, I lose the inspiration for publishing the stories.

Are you a business founder willing to hear such stories directly? Did you get any ideas to find investors, trusted contractors, and close friends, who might help you improve yourself and your business? You are welcome to apply to join our outstanding community.

We'll do our best to find a seat for you among the entrepreneurs and business owners from New York, London and Kyiv, in a safe place for trust, growth, and interaction. Just google the Young Business Club.

Denny Copy, co-founder of YBC NYC