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Childhood portrait of Ilona Orbók, future tax expert, investor
Ilona Orbók presents the BDO Hungary Blue Ribbon Special Award


Ilona Orbók in the TV show Shark Tank, as an investor shark.


Ilona Orbók in a photo taken by Forbes magazine, in an interview for the Hungarian TV show, Shark Tank.

My family background played a significant role in forming my vocational career path. Prior to the democratic transition in Hungary, my grandmother was the first successful, pioneering entrepreneur of her generation, owning one of the most popular restaurants and horse stables at Lake Balaton. Spending the first few months of my life with her in her house, I was immediately exposed to a business-oriented lifestyle. I have my mother to thank, a Unitarian minister, for my early grasp of strong ethical teachings, and my father, a businessman, for showing me the life skills needed to navigate the free market.

My formal education began at the Városmajori School where I developed essential foundations required to continue my studies at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, where I enrolled onto their Social Science course in 2005, and graduated with a degree in Economics in 2009. During my studies, I gained significant international experience and completed an apprenticeship position in the European Parliament in Brussels from 2008 to 2009, as well as winning a scholarship to study in the Ecole Polytechnique Institution in Paris.

After several years of professional experience both at home and abroad, I joined a large accounting and consulting company with a renowned international network, the BDO group, of which I am now one the owners and Executive Director.


If I reflect over the last 10 years of my career path, I can say that joining BDO was the best decision I have made in my life so far.


Now as owner and Director, I can focus on what I have always wanted to: efficacy and developing revenue-generating projects, investment consultancy, tax planning and advising businesses.

After much consideration, I accepted an offer from the Hungarian business reality TV show, Shark Tank as an investor. The question was whether I could balance these responsibilities with my other professional commitments, without compromising my duties as a mother to my two children.


One thing is certain: my time is not unlimited.  This statement certainly doesn’t conform to a certain image and the stereotype of tax consultants.

When I accepted the position, I knew I would have to step out of my comfort zone and into new territory, and that I will be entering the public sphere.

This wasn’t driven by exhibitionism or showing off for self-interest; but a fascination for new ideas, unusual solutions, creative and innovative approaches, and an out-of-the-box mentality.


I was convinced that the future of the Hungarian economy largely hinges on whether talented individuals have the opportunities to drive through new ideas.


I hope that amongst the entrepreneurs that I have helped and supported throughout this program, there will be an exceptional jewel, of whom -with time- the whole country can be proud of.

I was always a strong believer in high quality services, and I acquired entrepreneurial experience early on. It was for this reason that through an economic lens, I was drawn to an industry representing the upmost quality – the luxury industry; and because I embrace life long learning and further studies, I received training at two of the most outstanding and prestigious institutions between 2019 – 2021.


In 2021, I successfully completed an Executive Masters Degree in Luxury Management at the SDA Bocconi in Milan, and ESSEC Business School in Paris.


It may even be apparent from my past that I especially enjoy and actively seek out new challenges. I believe that creativity and innovation, a desire for new paths and solutions, as well as an out-of-the-box mentality, are absolutely essential characteristics in order to achieve success. At the same time, my upbringing means I also value hard work, perseverance, discipline, and a humble approach towards ones profession. I’m not afraid of change or new ideas and I am inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit and risk taking. I prefer teamwork and a collaborative spirit to an individualistic approach to defining the boundaries of responsibilities.

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