Gary Vaynerchuk is the chairman and CEO of VaynerX, a modern-day media and communications holding corporation, as well as the active CEO of VaynerMedia, a full-service advertising agency with five locations that serves Fortune 100 customers.
Gary transformed his father’s local liquor store into one of the first wine e-commerce platforms in the late 1990s, after recognising “the internet” as a land-grab opportunity. As a result, the family business grew from $3 to $60 million in sales over five years.
He was born in Babruysk, Soviet Union (now Belarus) and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was three years old. As a youngster, he began to engage in a variety of small-scale commercial ventures, such as selling baseball cards and flowers, and he began to amass a sizable fortune.
He then went on to work for his family’s retail wine business before graduating from Massachusetts’ Mount Ida University. He took over his father’s retail firm and transformed it into a thriving e-commerce operation.
‘Wine Library,’ ‘VaynerMedia,’ and ‘The Gallery’ were all founded on his shoulders. As an angel investor, he made some profitable investments, and his business knowledge aided several coworkers.
In 2006, he also launched ‘Wine Library TV,’ a regular video blog on ‘YouTube’ that showed Gary giving wine evaluations, tasting various sorts of wines, and offering advice. The show’s 1000th episode was aired in 2011.
The Daily Grape, a daily podcast, was later introduced to replace it. Gary’s wine business is thought to have benefited significantly from this video podcast series.
Gary realised that online marketing was the way to go after seeing how successful this enterprise had been. In conjunction with his younger brother, AJ, he founded ‘VaynerMedia’ in 2009. The business started as a low-capital initiative, but it quickly grew into a multi-million-dollar enterprise.