How he made his pile: John Caudwell, Mobile phone magnate

Who is he? A self-made billionaire who struck gold in the mobile phone industry.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

After several failed business ventures, he founded the Caudwell Group and built a mobile phone retail and distribution empire, which included the high street chain Phones4U. He is now worth an estimated £1.4bn.

How did he make his millions?
It took Caudwell eight months to sell his first consignment of 26 handsets. As the business grew, he branched out into distribution, phone repair and accessories, and it overtook all its rivals, including Charles Dunstone's Carphone Warehouse. He sold the company in 2006 for £1.24bn.

The secret of his success?
Caudwell was known as a bruiser in the industry - an image reinforced by his appearance in the BBC's Trouble at the Top, which showed him touring his stores, leaving shop assistants quaking in their boots as he checked up on sales figures. But he did launch the incentive scheme to end all incentive schemes: to make the best performer in his company a millionaire.

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