Dr. János Kóka, Former Minister of Economy & Transport, Entrepreneur, Investor

  • 6 Mar 2024 6:56 AM
Dr. János Kóka, Former Minister of Economy & Transport, Entrepreneur, Investor
With over 25 years of experience in the IT and fintech sectors, János is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Cellum Group and Doktor24, two leading companies in mobile payment and health-care services.

As a medical doctor and an entrepreneur, he combines his clinical knowledge and his business acumen to create innovative and impactful solutions that benefit customers, partners, and society.

His core competencies include new business development, strategy, strategic thinking, and leadership.

János has successfully launched and scaled several ventures in the CEE region and beyond, such as Cellum Global, Festipay, and Elender.  He has also consulted on various digital transformation projects for governments and enterprises, and advised on fintech investments and partnerships.

János is passionate about fostering a culture of innovation, collaboration, and excellence in his teams and organizations, and he strive to make a positive difference in the fields of fintech, healthcare, and medtech.

1. Where did you grow up?

Until the age of 14, I grew up in Buda, and then the comfortable family environment of the Buda Hills was replaced by the gloomy walls of the Franciscan boarding school in Esztergom. Yet, I am eternally grateful to my parents for allowing me to be a boarder there.

2. If you could be an expat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

Budapest, actually. Then, as an expat, I could enjoy all the wonders that this city has to offer, and I wouldn't be bothered by the political context.

3. What would you miss most if you moved away from Hungary?

I would miss my family and friends. The fact that I know many people here. I think a person can only truly feel at home at home.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?

The Parliament, the Castle District, Gellért Baths, the Jewish Quarter, and Normafa are my top 5.

5. What is your favorite food?

The healthy ones.

6. What is your favorite sport / form of exercise?

Squash, biking, skiing.

7. What is your favorite place in Hungary?

Lake Balaton, especially its northern part.

8. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?

I am extremely lucky, as an entrepreneur, I can pursue multiple careers in parallel.

9. What’s a job you would definitely never want?

All the boring ones.

10. Where did you spend your last vacation?

Skiing in the Austrian Alps.

11. Where do you hope to spend your next one?

Southern France.

12. What was your favorite band, film, or hobby as a teen?

I was a Queen fan.

13. Apart from temptation, what can't you resist?

Travels. But not on business. On leisure.

14. Red wine or white?

Prefer not to drink alcohol lately. Amongst others, it destroys the intestinal barrier. The human body does not need alcohol. And I don’t need it either to feel happy and unwind. Occasionally, I prefer champagne and the driest whites.

15. Book or movie?


16. Morning person or night person?

Night owl.

17. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?

The suffering of children affects me the most. They can't help anything, they are vulnerable. I find it most outrageous when someone exploits this vulnerability. In a broader sense, when the weak are harmed.

18. Buda or Pest side?


19. Which achievement in your life are you most pleased about?

Whatever I have developed from the beginning. Be it a kid or a company.

20. What would you say is your personal motto? 

“Everything is good if it ends well. If it's not good, then it's not the end.”

  • How does this interview make you feel?