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Ben Francis, 31, the UK’s youngest billionaire, says he only has the money ‘on paper’, ‘none of it is real’ and he doesn’t see wealth as a ‘measure of success’

The UK’s youngest billionaire has reavealed he ‘doesn’t value wealth’ and he only has the money ‘on paper’.

Ben Francis, 31, from Birmingham, who is worth over £1.2 billion just 12 years after founding GymShark from his parents’ garage, candidly spoke on The SuperPower Podcast with Gian Power about his wealth. 

Taking to his TikTok account last week, the business owner shared a clip from the frank interview, captioning the post: ‘My thoughts on wealth.’

In the clip, he says that ‘none of it is real’ and he doesn’t see wealth as a ‘measure of success’. 

In the video, which racked up 1.6 million views, he said: ‘On paper, none of it is real’, when host Gian declared he was the UK’s youngest billionaire.

When asked how he feels being one of four self made billionaires under 60-years-old around the world, he said: ‘I never think about it, I don’t see it as a measure of success, it’s all on paper.

UK’s youngest billionaire Ben Francis, 31, from Birmingham, said he only has the money ‘on paper’, ‘none of it is real’ and he doesn’t see wealth as a ‘measure of success’

‘People assume there is some bank balance with my name on it that has billions in which is just completely untrue, but I don’t want to put a downer on it, I am super proud of what we’ve achieved.

He added: ‘No individual should ever pin their self worth on wealth net worth. I see that as a wildly unproductive way to live. I just want to focus on my job, because I don’t do it for that, I do it because I work with great people and I am working on a cause that I genuinely care about and I’m passionate about.’

Last year Ben, who dropped out of Aston University in 2012 to focus on his business full time while still keeping his job as a Pizza Hut delivery driver to pay the bills, was awarded an MBE by the Prince of Wales.

He was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire at Windsor Castle for his services to the business sector. 

Supported by his wife and family, Mr Francis beamed as he received the honour from Prince William in the investiture ceremony, after he was recognised in the King’s New Year’s Honours list.

Following the announcement, he wrote on LinkedIn: ‘I can’t believe it but I’ve been awarded the honour of an MBE.’ 

‘This is probably the most surreal feeling I’ve had when being given an award. I’m so grateful to all those around me who support me in all that I do at Gymshark.’

Ben is worth over £1.2 billion just 12 years after founding GymShark from his parents' garage

Ben is worth over £1.2 billion just 12 years after founding GymShark from his parents’ garage

The business owner candidly spoke on The SuperPower Podcast with Gian Power (pictured) about his wealth

The business owner candidly spoke on The SuperPower Podcast with Gian Power (pictured) about his wealth

In a Forbes billionaires list released in April 2023, the father-of-two was estimated to have a net worth of $1.2billion (£992million), making him the UK’s youngest billionaire.

Gymshark, headquartered in Solihull, the West Midlands, is worn by some of the world’s biggest celebrities and influencers from Rita Ora to Nicole Scherzinger.

The brand – which now sells in 230 countries – has had a couple of hiccups along the way, including when it was accused of ‘virtue-signalling’ in 2020 after it used pictures of a model with her love handles on show.

‘Fat-phobic’ followers claimed influencer Nelly London, from Brighton, ‘had no business’ promoting the brand’s fitness wear and claimed they would boycott the ‘woke warriors’ over the range.

However, the entrepreneur has gone from strength to strength in his life, living a life of luxury as a self-made billionaire.

Francis, who was awarded the EY UK Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2020, married Robin Gallant, from Canada, in September 2021.

The pair welcomed twin sons on December 24 last year after announcing publicly that Robin was pregnant three months prior.

Ben, founder and chief executive of Gymshark, is supported by his family as he receives his MBE from Prince William

Ben, founder and chief executive of Gymshark, is supported by his family as he receives his MBE from Prince William

The 31-year-old was awarded the honour at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle

The 31-year-old was awarded the honour at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle

Francis pictured in Gymshark gym gear with his model wife Robin Callant. The pair welcomed twin sons into their lives on December 24 in 2022

Francis pictured in Gymshark gym gear with his model wife Robin Callant. The pair welcomed twin sons into their lives on December 24 in 2022

The pair initially met after Francis asked her to promote his brand on her social media

Francis and Robin attend a premiere for the hit series TV show Peaky Blinders

Francis and Robin attend a premiere for the hit series TV show Peaky Blinders

Robin pictured on the beach in Dubai, UAE, in front of the Burj Al Arab

Robin pictured on the beach in Dubai, UAE, in front of the Burj Al Arab

They initially met after Francis asked her to promote his brand on her social media. Since then, she moved from her home in Canada to live in the UK with him.

Francis originally started his company alongside friend Lewis Morgan.

Morgan, himself worth £125m, stepped back in 2014 after selling his shares because ‘money isn’t everything’, adding that ‘helping his family is the most important thing’.

Francis recently opened up about his daily habits and morning routines, telling the Insider how every morning he wakes up at 6am and makes eggs or bacon for breakfast before heading into the office – which he is in five days a week.

Often the first one in, Francis then answers his emails, goes through the week’s objectives and has lunch around 12.30pm.

He also makes sure to fit a workout at the gym later on in the evening at 6.30pm.

Francis posted this picture of himself to Instagram with the caption: 'From the sewing machine to 10 Downing Street'

Francis posted this picture of himself to Instagram with the caption: ‘From the sewing machine to 10 Downing Street’

The Gymshark founder posed with shipping containers full of the brands gym attire

The Gymshark founder posed with shipping containers full of the brands gym attire 

The Gymshark founder receiving his honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Aston University in May 2023

The Gymshark founder receiving his honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Aston University in May 2023

Victoria's Secret model Jasmine Tookes wears Gymshark leggings on her way to a gym in Los Angeles, California, on April 20, 2021

Model Kaia Gerber wears Gymshark's best-selling workout tights to a Pilates class on March 9, 2021

Victoria’s Secret model Jasmine Tookes (left) wears Gymshark leggings on her way to a gym in Los Angeles, California, on April 20, 2021, while right, model Kaia Gerber rocks Gymshark workout tights to a Pilates class

The brand is loved by celebs including the likes of Nicole Scherzinger who can be seen jumping for joy in the gym gear

The brand is loved by celebs including the likes of Nicole Scherzinger who can be seen jumping for joy in the gym gear 

He said having consistent checkpoints throughout the day grounds him and keeps him productive.

From the entrepreneur’s social media accounts alone it is clear to see that the self-made billionaire lives a life of luxury by splashing the cash on expensive motorbikes as well as enjoying glamorous holidays abroad with his fitness model and influencer wife.

Francis said much of the secret to his success has come from using social media influencers with large followings to wear the brand and spread the word online.

He has also since been awarded an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Aston University, which he dropped out of in 2012. 

Ben Francis on Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list

Ben Francis is the only British entrepreneur to make Forbes’ youngest billionaires rich list after amassing a whopping $1.3billion fortune.

He is one of 25 young billionaires to make the list who are worth a staggering $110 billion when combined together. 

The 25 youngest people on the Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list are all 33 or younger. Most have had a lot of assistance on the way – but a few are self-made, including Francis. 

Other self-made billionaires on the list include 33-year-old Snap founder Evan Spiegel ($3.1billion) and 31-year-old Oculus VR tycoon Palmer Luckey ($2.3billion).

While working as a delivery driver for Pizza Hut, Francis dropped out of university to focus on his brand full time and in 2020 it was valued at over £1billion.

Before that, his grandmother taught him how to sew and he set up a workshop in his parents’ garage in Birmingham, complete with a sewing machine and screen printer.

He managed to make around 10 pieces a day, but had to work around his degree and part-time job.

During the pandemic it was revealed that Francis donated £180,000 to Birmingham’s women’s and children’s hospital where his mother works.

The firm did not place any of its staff on the government’s furlough scheme.

Francis said: ‘We are going to weather the storm… we don’t want to put any unnecessary pressure on the government.’

He handed over the business to sportswear expert Steve Hewitt, who has had senior jobs at Reebok and Adidas and is now Gymshark’s CEO, but is still a majority stakeholder.

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