Who’s Who: Entrepreneur who earned his first million at 18 launches mobile app in Shoreditch
PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 March 2014
»Millionaire entrepreneur Rohan Sinclair Luvaglio was 15 when he started his first business buying and selling furniture.
The teenager was trying to make ends meet after moving in with his aunt in London.
“While I was living there, I was buying and selling things for necessity,” he said.
“I bought beds and sofas from the offered columns in newspapers and stored them in my friend’s garage.
“I did them up and then I would call people in the wanted column and tell them I had a bed for them. That was my first business.”
From there, Rohan, who is now the chief executive officer of mobile app business Bizzby in Curtain Road, Shoreditch, went on to set up an internet business from his bedroom and has never looked back.
He recounted: “I moved from selling furniture to computers. It was 1997 to 1998 at the time.
“This was when computers were beginning to sell. I bought and sold so many computers and started building them in my bedroom.
“That’s what got me into the internet. I didn’t go to university.”
The company he co-founded – Just Results PLC – was sold for $57million (£36million) in 1999, making him rich overnight.
“It was very exciting”, he said. “It was fantastic being that age and being involved in that.”
His entrepreneuralism also bought him the independence he wanted.
“As soon as I made enough at the age of 17, I was living by myself”, he said. “I think having an unstable upbringing gives you an inherent drive.”
As well as having a pied-a-terre in Shoreditch, he has homes in Westminster and Chelsea.
The 33-year-old was born in England to an Italian father and an English mother.
His parents split up when he was quite young and he lived in England until the age of six when he moved and lived in different parts of Europe, including Malta and Spain, before moving to Oxford at 14.
When he made his first million, he said he was excited because he thought “that was it”. But he realised after “buying a few supercars here and there”, he would still have to work.
Although he has continued to be successful, it has not been a linear path and he admits there have been many failures along the way.
Speaking about one business, he said: “We were developing a high-fashion brand like Apple. It was when technology was becoming more and more cool.
“We were about to launch in 2008 but it was the wrong time to launch a luxury technology brand.
“It was something I had worked on for six years. However, I don’t see it as failure.
“That’s a big problem we have in the UK. The British mentality we have is that it’s not okay to fail.
“People don’t realise that 20 failures lead you to success.”
He also helped found an online job site which he says “was way before its time”.
His single-minded determination has been a key factor in his success – he does not have a partner or family and does not have time for hobbies outside of eating healthily and keeping fit.
He said: “I have spoken to Olympic athletes and they don’t have time for anything else. I really believe you have to dedicate your life if you want to do something that is game-changing.”
His current focus is his Bizzby, a mobile application that allows customers to book a professional local service such as a man with a van or a hairdressing appointment in a matter of seconds.
Beyond this, he plans to continue being innovative and “developing something that changes the world in some way”.