A teenage business tycoon who reckons he is Britain’s youngest business millionaire built his empire by selling houses during his lunch breaks at college.
Akshay Ruparelia, 19, began his estate agent success while he was completing his five A-levels, and has gone on to become the 18th biggest estate agents in the UK.
It took mere months for the company to get off the ground, and in little more than a year www.doorsteps.co.uk has been valued at around £12 million.
When speaking to UNILAD, Akshay used one word multiple times: disruption. This is the key to his success, and the secret behind his rapid growth.
He told UNILAD:
In the face of disruption – using technology – of several industries whether it be Tinder for dating, Uber, Amazon, it’s happening all around us.
Growing up in that time of all these companies coming through as I was going through A-levels with a keen business interest as well, looking at that and looking at how unfair estate agent commission is, it kind of came together for me.
Disruption, in the way Akshay means it, is an upturn of an industry thanks to the new ways the industry can operate due to technological advancements. Think Uber for taxis and Airbnb for hotels.
Akshay’s company is an online estate agents which will sell anybody’s house for a mere £99 commission, as opposed to the thousands of pounds which are charged by regular estate agents on the high street.
The idea has become so popular that he’s overtaken many stalwarts of the industry in just 16 months of operation. The company is also on the shortlist for an award for most-trusted online estate agents.
Doorsteps began after Akshay took a loan from his family, the company boomed and now investors are clamouring to get their hands on shares.
He told UNILAD:
It’s just an industry ripe for disruption, working in an old fashioned way with high street offices and high commission, so I had a mission. I wanted to be the cheapest estate agents in the UK but also number one.
People would not expect the best customer service charging £99 to sell a property, and it’s worked, and it’s rocketed really.
I don’t think my age counted against me, with disruptive business it’s about having that mindset and it’s the younger generation where you’ll find that mindset. It’s not as entrenched that ‘this is the way things should be’ but you can embrace technology to your advantage and the customer advantage.
That’s the main thing, it’s how to improve the customer experience – and the price they have to pay – by being online. It just makes sense.
Akshay reckons that, in business, the ‘idea’ isn’t the most important thing. Rather, the way the idea is carried out is more important. You need a work ethic, and you need to love what you’re doing. If you do that, then you will succeed in time.
You also need to be at the forefront of the disruption of the industry – timing is key.
I think the online estate agent revolution is on its way and its happening now so I think six months or a year of sitting on it, we wouldn’t be the 18th largest now.
With a company which is sure to become an industry leader in the years to come, you’d be wise to listen to the man behind its success.