Boohoo Owner – From Market Stall To Billionaire

Boohoo Owner - From Market Stall To Billionaire

Introduction

Entrepreneurship in today’s world, like always, has lots of challenges. Common among these challenges are; unfavorable exchange rates, demanding financial obligations, changing government policies, and the mental stress of running a business. Only a few survive being entrepreneurs after a few years or months in the worst scenarios. 

However, a few entrepreneurs have successfully jumped the hurdle of running a business to gain prominence and relevance in their chosen field. Among them are Boohoo owner Mahmud Kamani and designer Carol Kane. Mahmud is a Manchester-born British millionaire and co-founder of Boohoo. Carol Kane is a joint CEO of Boohoo and also the new creative director and business model. 

Mahmud Kamani’s Life As A Businessman

Mahmud was born in August 1964 to Abdullah Kamani with three other siblings. In the 1960s, His father moved from Kenya to northwest England, selling handbags on a market stall. It is safe to say Mahmud’s father was the motivation for his passion and drive for business. Within a short time after relocating to England, Mahmud’s father started a family textile business that supplied top brands like New Look and Primark. Mahmud is married to Aisha Kamani, and they have 2 children; Umar and Adam Kamani. There is not so much available about his educational background.

In 1993, Carol Kane was hired by Pinstripe, a fashion design graduate. In her mid-20s, she set up the design team, and in no time, she was a key player, co-founding Boohoo alongside Mahmud Kamani in 2006. Kamani is regarded famously as a tough deal-maker. This is likely a result of his sharp brain and imposing nature. He is also by natural order, resilient, and with a dogged spirit. Kamani is also known for being straightforward in speech. He is a behind-the-scenes builder and leaves most operational and online influencing to his business partners. 

Emergence Of Boohoo

Research has it that in 2006, Mahmud had an idea to leverage the powers of the internet (which was just recently discovered as at then) to make direct sales to shoppers, thereby cutting out the retail middleman. This resulted from his desire to bond more and have first-class interactions with his consumers. 

Boohoo is a fast-fashion brand specialising in selling clothing for young men and women at very affordable rates with super-fast deliveries and a strong online presence. In a world where online shopping seems normal but dreaded, especially for delayed delivery and delivery of inferior products, Boohoo has chosen to be different. Coming from a cheap and net-worthless brand on the street, the Boohoo brand is worth 1.5 billion dollars.  

The Boohoo group was founded by the British billionaire Businessman Mahmud Kamani and co-founded by designer Carol Kane, the joint CEO of Boohoo. Mahmud Kamani’s family dived into the retail business by selling cheap clothes to market stalls and high-streets United Kingdom brands. It is worthy of note that from the earliest to the current presence of Kamani’s brand, affordability has always been a critical mention. It speaks much of the fashion of class and affordability. Abdullah Kamani, Mahmud’s father, supported him by selling handbags after escaping war-torn Kenya, building a new life of luxury, wealth, and comfort from what all began as a market stall in Manchester.

The Boohoo Family Brand

It is worthy of note that the Boohoo brand is a family brand. Umar Kamani and Adam Kamani co-founded PrettyLittleThing.com, which Boohoo bought. Mahmud’s brother Jala Kamani is Boohoo’s trading director. Every family member seems to have their involvement in the business in one capacity or the other. When the family engaged in petty trading, it was also a collective effort in the early days. Perhaps the Boohoo brand should comfortably take on the family brand name. Boohoo also runs BahooMAN.com. 

Founded in 2006, the brand targets young people between the ages of 14-16 years old. As announced by Boohoo in 2017, the once market stall business already had its profits almost doubled from 1 million euros on sales, up by 51% to nearly 300 million euros. When the company was floated on the stock exchange market in 2014, its value was at 560million euros. Surprisingly, the company’s worth was already up to about 2 billion euros as of April 2017. 

Boohoo sells dresses for as low as 5 euros and a pair of jeans for less than 10 euros. Even with millionaire founders, Boohoo is unbeatable with its cheap price rates. It is incredible that in less than 15 years, Boohoo has grown from a three-person staff strength company to about five thousand active workers. 

Three Things To Know About Boohoo

Social media is key to Boohoo’s success.

It is no news that social media has played a predominant role in the growth of many businesses worldwide. Thanks (unfortunately) to the pandemic that hit the world, many people had to rely more on the internet to get essential supplies. The prominence of social media marketing has been the goody the Boohoo brand has enjoyed. While other high street brands are experiencing a downturn in business, Boohoo has excitedly been blooming.

How is this done in Boohoo?

  • Part of its success is in targeting the under the 30s (the strong social media users) who prefer getting fashion tips from the internet and social media influencers and buying clothes online. According to research, Boohoo spends approximately 116.8 million dollars on marketing campaigns in a year. 
  • Boohoo also collaborates with influencers like contestant Maura Higgins, love island and pays for celebrity endorsements from the likes of Ashanti (famous R&B singer). According to research, the strategy seems to be paying off as 11% of people aged 18 to 24 had purchased something from Boohoo in May.  

Boohoo has Bought Struggling Brands.

How was the Boohoo owner able to do that, and why?

  • Expert’s opinion on Boohoo’s successes is inclined to their online-only business model. David Madden characterised the 16-24 age bracket by lower spending power and more tech-savvy than older generations. This accounts for why the idea of online shopping appeals to them. Also, while other high street fashion retailers appeal to the younger generation, they have more expensive retail outlets, which is naturally visible in their price tags.
  • Understanding the advantages of online presence, in 2017, Boohoo bought Basty Gal’s brand assets, website, and logos. They purchased the brand for about 20 million US dollars. Gal’s brand was founded initially by a United States businesswoman, Sophia Amoruso, who takes credit for making the term ‘girl boss’ a commonly known phrase. 
  • Boohoo has also bought other brands like Chains Karen Millen, Coast, Warehouse, and Oasis. Although purchasing these brands has puzzled several people, Boohoo understands that someone else will if she doesn’t buy them. This answers the why questions to Boohoo’s acquisition of struggling brands. 

Boohoo brand transforms clothing.

Another interesting thing to know is that the Boohoo brand transforms clothing.

  • What is there not to love in a brand that turns clothes around, from rags to amazingly fabulous outfits? Boohoo also adds a lot of new shoes, dresses, and other accessories to its website daily. 
  • Boohoo uses the test and repeat model to turn clothes around. In other words, Boohoo engages in a model where they produce a small batch of clothes and depending on the market response, they determine if they will continue its production. The company has a supply chain that ramps up the production of its best-selling pieces. Most of its production takes place in the United Kingdom.
  • In an interview, Boohoo disclosed that the longest time a piece of clothing takes to go from a design to sales is two weeks. Also, the firm’s duration in clothing production is usually three to four days. However, Boohoo’s fast production model is under criticism.

What is in Boohoo’s story for an up-and-coming entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship, as earlier mentioned, is never a bed of roses, wine in a bathtub, or vacation in fancy places. It’s more about sleepless nights, dirty hands, migraine, and emotionally draining days. However, with dedication, the right contact and people growth is achievable. Here are some quick lessons to learn from Boohoo’s growth. 

  1. A business will not always be pleasant at the start. 
  2. You will need more people to grow than you can imagine. At the same time, you will need to know who stays at the table and who stands out. 
  3. You may have to involve family.
  4. Your belief, faith, prayer, and people may not work the magic for you. You must put your foot down and get your hands dirty while sweating it out. 

Conclusion

Being an entrepreneur comes with a lot of challenges. The entrepreneurial story of Boohoo owner Mahmud Kamani is such an interesting one. There are so many lessons to pick from the story of this intelligent businessman. One of which is perseverance and not giving up. 

Mahmud Kamani’s business-mindedness and persevering spirit contributed to his going from a market stall to a billionaire.

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