At just 19 years of age, Indian-origin Akshay Ruparelia has become one of UK’s youngest millionaires after his agency doorsteps.co.uk was valued at £12 million.
In an interview, Ruparelia said that through his website, a man from Sussex hired him to sell his home and a piece of land. “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,” said the young millionaire. He was able to sell the property within three weeks and started from there. He began his estate agent success while he was also completing his five A-levels, and has gone to become the 18th biggest estate agents all over the UK.
When being interviewed multiple times, Ruparelia always uses the word “disruption”. This is the key to his success, and the secret behind his rapid growth. “In the face of disruption – using technology – of several industries whether it be Tinder for dating, Uber, Amazon, it’s happening all around us” he once said in an interview.
“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 Ashkay means it, is an upturn of an industry, thanks to the new ways the industry can operate due to technological advancements. Think of Uber for taxis and Airbnb for hotels.
Akshays 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 popular that he was able to overtake many stalwarts of the industry in just 16 months of operation. His company is also on the shortlist for an award for most trusted online estate agents. His company, Doorsteps.co.uk began after he took a loan from his family, the company then boomed and now investors are clamoring to get their hands on shares.
“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 worked, and it’s rocketed really” he once said.
He also mentioned in one of his interviews that his age does not counted against him, with disruptive business it’s about having the right mindset and it’s the younger generation where will find that mindset. It’s not as entrenched that “this is the way things should be” but you can definitely embrace technology to our advantage and the customer’s advantage as well.
That’s the main thing for him, 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.
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 the success.
For more of Akshay Ruparelia's success stories you can follow his twitter account: @akshayruparelia or visit www.doorsteps.co.uk