India Abroad

Indian-Origin 19-Year-Old Akshay Ruparelia Is UK's Youngest Millionaire

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
1935
| October 17 , 2017 , 12:06 IST

Indian-origin teenager Akshay Ruparelia has become one of Britain's youngest millionaires at the age of 19 years after his online estate agency business "doorsteps.co.uk" was valued at a whopping 12 million pounds (approximately Rs 1.2 crores) in just over one year.

The company "doorsteps.co.uk" is now the 18th biggest estate agency in the UK, 16 months after the website went live.

According to Ruparelia, he has already sold 100 million pounds worth of properties since he set up the business. Employing stay-at-home moms to showcase real estate property, he has managed to remove the real estate broker middlemen.

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"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," Ruparelia said

"I had to pay my sister's boyfriend 40 pounds to drive me to Sussex to take photographs of the house, as I hadn't passed my driving test and didn't have a car," he recalls.

"Quite rightly people trust mums. Every mum who works for me will be honest and tell the truth. It is important. For the majority of people selling their home is the biggest financial transaction of their lives," he said.

Ruparelia sold the property and land within 3 weeks and since then there has been no turning back.

The company was launched by Ruparelia with an initial investment of 7,000 pounds which was borrowed by businesses. To balance his business with school, he hired a call centre to answer calls during his school hours.

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Ruparelia revealed that his inspiration was Michael O Leary, the founder of Ryanair airlines.

"Mr O Leary began by selling flights for just 4.99 pounds. 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," he said.

Ruparelia's parents are both deaf, with his 57-year-old father Kaushik working as a care worker and his mother 51-year-old Renuka working as a teaching assistant for deaf children.

Although Ruparelia has an offer to study economics and mathematics at Oxford University, he has decided to grow his business first.