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Theo Paphitis

Theo Paphitis

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From working as a tea boy at an insurance broker to becoming one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Britain, Theo Paphitis is a retail magnate who owns some of the country’s biggest brands. Stationary firm Ryman, homeware specialists Robert Dyas and lingerie brand Boux Avenue are all owned by Theo, and he’s helped establish them as some of the biggest names on the high street. While famous for his business career, Theo is perhaps best known for the seven years he spent on the BBC entrepreneurship series Dragons’ Den where he offered investments to a whole host of up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Now, he’s one of the most recognisable business speakers in the country and can share his stories of success with audiences everywhere.

Born in Cyprus and moving to the UK as a child, Theo struggled at school due to suffering from dyslexia. Despite this, he always had a flair for business and started a tuck shop aged just 15. At all of his keynote speaking events, he can discuss how he overcame these obstacles to become the success he is today.

After school, he worked several jobs including as a tea boy at an insurance firm and as a shop assistant at a watch store. When he was 21 he joined Legal and General selling mortgages, and it was here that he learned to read balance sheets. Keen to own a business, a few years later he formed a finance company. Spotting the rise in mobile phones at the start of the 21st century, he also purchased NAG Telecom. Around this time, stationery firm Ryman went bankrupt and Theo swooped in to save the company. This is one of the earliest examples of his skill at turning failing businesses around, and now Ryman is well known as one of the leading stationery companies in the country. Soon he had a retail empire including Boux Avenue and Robert Dyas. One of the most celebrated business speakers around, at your corporate or personal event he can discuss his business journey and how he managed to transform so many companies.

In 1997, he embarked into the world of football taking the role of chairman at Millwall. The club was in a bad way financially, and he helped lift them out of administration so by 2004 they were in the FA Cup final. Theo’s legacy at the club also saw him help reduce football hooliganism and also improve the club’s famously negative image.

Theo’s mantra of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid), has stood him in good stead over the years and is a message he can instil at audiences at all of his events. So, if you’re looking to hire one of the best business speakers in the industry, Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis is a perfect choice. Contact Evolve today to find out more.

Topics and Themes

  • Motivational
  • the All Blacks
  • Rugby Union
  • Sporting Success

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