- An entrepreneur, Ben Francis began his clothing business in his parent's garage
- With just a sewing and no knowledge of sewing, he grew the company into a multi-billion dollar company
- He said he left his CEO role for someone so he could learn the ropes about the operations of the company
Ben Francis, the CEO of Pizza Hut, started at age 19 with a sewing machine with which he began his apparel company in his parent's garage.
Eleven years after, his business has paid off. Now worth $1.3 billion, he has joined Forbes' billionaires list for the first time.
Francis and friend buy a sewing machine from savings
He and his co-founder, Lewis Morgan, launched Gymshark as a website selling supplements, according to a CNBC article in 2021.
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After getting fed up with his weightlifting clothes, he suggested pivoting the company.
Francis and Morgan used their savings to buy a sewing machine and a screen printer. His mother sent him videos to teach him how to sew.
They brought the Gymshark bodybuilding show in 2013 but needed more money to spend on advertising. About 10 minutes into the show, they began giving popular YouTubers free products.
Forbes reports that some of the influencers went on to wear the apparel on their channels, which launched Gymhark's sales to $45,000 daily, up from just $450.
Francis exits the CEO role to learn more about the company's workings
Some months later, Francis dropped out of the university to run his company full-time but left the CEO role in 2017 for former Reebok director Steve Hewitt.
He spent the next four years supporting the firm's leadership, including as chief product officer and chief marketing officer, to learn more about the workings of the business before returning as CEO in 2021.
He sold a 21% stake in the company in 2021 to a private equity company, General Atlantic, for $300 million, a deal the company put at $1.45 billion. He still owns 70% of the business.
Yet, the company's billion-dollar valuation is a fraction of the firm's market value of competitors such as Nike and Lululemon, valued at $166 billion and $44 billion each.
"I Earn N1m per month": Side hustles millionaire says you can start with N50,000 and earn extra cash
Legit.ng reported that according to research, Nigeria is home to 41 million micro-businesses and 73,000 small and medium businesses.
The research shows that an average Nigerian is entrepreneurially inclined because of the unpleasant financial stability risk caused by poverty, illiteracy, and insecurity.
For those pressed for funds, here are some businesses Nigerians can start with N50,000 and below and earn mouthwatering sums monthly.