TEENAGER Akshay Ruparelia has become one Britain’s youngest ever business millionaires after setting up an online estate agency during his school lunch breaks.
Akshay, 19, hired a call centre service to answer his company phone while he was in class and then rang clients back after school.
Who is Akshay Ruparelia?
Teenager Akshay Ruparelia has become one of Britain’s youngest millionaires after setting up an estate agency called Doorsteps.co.uk.
In just over a year his firm has been valued at £12million and he has sold £100million worth of homes.
He started the firm with £7,000 borrowed from relatives but now employs 12 people. His business is set to expand further after investors pumped in £500,000.
The teen, who still lives with his parents in Harrow Weald, London, said his “lightbulb” moment came while reading biography of Ryanair founder Michael O’Leary.
How did Doorsteps come about?
Akshay said: “Mr O’Leary began by selling flights for just £4.99. His point was that if you can offer customers something at a price they can’t believe and you deliver what you say you will, you hook people in and your business will work.
“So I took that same logic and applied it to estate agency. Research showed some online estate agencies were still charging homeowners between £800 and £1,000. I knew I could do it for a fraction of that.
“I got the website up and running and after a couple of weeks a man in Sussex asked me to sell his home and a separate chunk of land he owned beside it.
“I had to pay my sister’s boyfriend £40 to drive me to Sussex to take photographs of the house. I hadn’t passed my driving test and didn’t have a car.
“It was a five bed place with a swimming pool. I put the house on at £485,000 and the land for £185,000 on top, I’d sold it within three weeks.
“I was standing in the school playground and got an e-mail on my mobile from the vendor to say he’d accepted the combined £670,000 offer and that I was a ‘legend’.
“That was a sensational moment, I was thrilled.
“But I couldn’t go out and celebrate, I had to go home and revise for my exams.” He launched his firm, www.doorsteps.co.uk, while gaining five A levels at Queen Elizabeth High School in Barnet, London.
He added: “I was going to go to Oxford University to study economics and management, but I’ve put that on hold now to grow my business.
“At first I paid myself £500 a month, things are going quite well now so I’ve upped that to £1,000 a month. I’ve passed my driving test, but still don’t own a car, the insurance is so expensive.”