Schoolboy entrepreneur makes £500,000 after launching ten businesses around the world
A severely dyslexic A-Level student has launched 10 companies around the globe which he claims have generated more than £500,000 over the past four years.
Whizz kid Dan Anahory, 18, who studies at the private St John’s School in Epsom Road in Leatherhead, set up his first company when he was just 14.
Having become the youngest person to set up a company in Gibraltar aged 16, he spends just one hour a week on his latest conference calling venture which he set up last year and which he said employs 10 people, has 300 clients worldwide and a monthly turnover of £10,000.
Dan, who regards Steve Jobs and Margaret Thatcher as his role models, has set up a stable of online companies ranging from a juice business in Thailand, to water purification in Russia and a mattress comparison website in Slovenia.
But he is determined not to work the long hours he believes were responsible for his father falling ill when he was 14.
A City high-flyer for a number of years, Dan’s father Sam was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had to stop working - motivating his ambitious son to start making his own money.
He said: "The reason my dad got prostate cancer was because he was too stressed about his work.
"Things have been financially tough since then and I have tried to create an income for myself so that I won’t have to work 14 hour days and still enjoy life.
"My dad used to travel a lot and I never used to see him. He was really stressed out and I just didn’t think it was worth it.
"Your health is the most important thing and I think he sacrificed it to put me and my sister through private school.
"I want to show people there is an alternative by being creative.
"I know a lot of people will hate me for saying this but entrepreneurs run the show.
"A doctor, a lawyer, an accountant - these are all very important roles but they need entrepreneurs to provide the business."
He said: "I started my businesses through establishing websites and recognising through them what people were looking for.
"I find a market which has a lot of demand and try to fulfil that demand."
A big phone bill two years ago opened Dan’s eyes to the profitability of the telecommunications market and his research on it revealed a gap in the market for conference calls.
He said: "I saw that conference calls were not very reliable as they use Skype which cuts out every 10 minutes and is not very confidential.
"I devised a service which doesn’t use Skype. Many conference call services use a generic type of software which you can add your own bells and whistles to.
"I built a service that doesn’t cut out and which is encrypted so hackers cannot easily gain access."
Dan, from Oxshott, said he has struggled with "people not believing in him" due to the severe dyslexia and learning problems he has battled throughout his life.
But having achieved 3 A* grades and 6 As at GCSE, he credits his successes to the hurdles he has had to overcome.
He said: "I had to work hard because of my dyslexia and that work ethic was ingrained in me. I think a lot of people make excuses.
"Both my parents came from very poor backgrounds and worked their way up."
Winner of a regional marketing award for the young enterprise company he set up with peers at St John’s last year, Dan plans to take a gap year after his exams before embarking on a law degree at university.
He said: "I want to do the degree for myself because I think you get to a certain point in terms of success where it becomes a bit boring.
"I don’t think I could run my businesses day-to-day.
"You have to strike a balance. When I was 16, I was naive and just thought I would run the businesses like a young Alan Sugar. But, at the end of the day, life is to be enjoyed.
"I don’t want to be the richest man in the graveyard."