Indian-origin teenager has become one of Britain’s youngest millionaires after his online estate agency business got valued at £12 million in just over a year.
Akshay Ruparelia, at just 19 years, juggled his school work with negotiating property deals for his no-frills business that offers to sell properties for a fraction of the cost charged by established high street estate agents.
This week doorsteps.co.uk became the 18th biggest estate agency in the UK just 16 months after the website went live. Mr Ruparelia claims to have already sold £100-million worth of properties since he set up his business.
“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,” the teen said.
“I had to pay my sister’s boyfriend £40 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.
The north London-based schoolboy was able to sell the property and land within three weeks, which set the ball rolling.
He started his company with £7,000, borrowed from relatives and now employs 12 people.
In the initial stages of his business, he hired a call centre to answer calls coming in to his work while he was at school and would return the calls after the classes.
His model is based on hiring an ever-expanding network of self-employed mothers across the UK, who show clients around the properties he has been asked to sell. The teenage tycoon believes his model is set to turn the property selling market away from agents in flashy suits.
The schoolboy is now well on his way to support his two deaf parents, who he says are very proud of him.
Mr Ruparelia has got an offer to study economics and mathematics at Oxford University but has decided to put that on hold to grow his business.