By Lucy Cooper

10th February 2020

Mahmud Kamani: How Much Is Boohoo’s Big Boss Worth?

Mahmud Kamani is the 55- year-old billionaire at the top of the Boohoo group, who collectively own boohoo, boohooMAN, Pretty Little Thing, NastyGal and MissPap.

Owning most of the biggest UK online fashion companies puts his net worth worth at quite the staggering figure. Valued at around £1.7 billion on the UK’s rich list, Mahmud Kamani’s story wasn’t always represented by wealth, rather quite the opposite.

Boohoo’s bossman is the prime example of a rags to riches story, having worked his way up from the bottom…

 

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Finally got my dad on Instagram go follow him @mahmudkamani 💫

A post shared by Umar Kamani (@umarkamani) on

Image Source/ Instagram 

Mahmud Kamani: Family Man

Mahmud and his wife Aisha, share three boys– Umar (owner of PrettyLitttleThing), Samir (owner of BoohooMan) and Adam (CEO of Kamani Property)- each millionaires in their own rights (which we’ll delve in to later).

Despite his sons’ successes being plastered across social media, the patriarch himself likes to take more of a backseat when it comes to the limelight. He’s actually never given an interview, and has only very recently jumped on the Instagram bandwagon- mainly sharing motivational quotes to his nearly 5k followers.

 

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You don’t have to know Kamani, to know Kamani though. Everyone that speaks of Kamani, speaks of his tunnel-visioned approach to success is what keeps him at the top of the game, despite growing competition:

“The word losing isn’t in my Dad’s vocabulary. He really had to work his backside off but that is what has made him the businessman he is today – he’s been through those hard times.”

Says son Samir, CEO of Boohoo’s subsidiary company, BoohooMAN.

 

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Happy New Year ❤️🌎

A post shared by Umar Kamani (@umarkamani) on

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Mahmud Kamani: Changing The Game

Kamani joint forces with Boohoo’s cofounder Carole Kane in the early Nineties, when Kamani was running a Manchester-based business selling handbags to high street retailers.

“Boy, have I never looked back. He’s a force. By the age of 28 she was a company director.”

Together they became renowned for her their ability to provide the goods in a fraction of the time other suppliers could.

Already successful, they soon decided to try a new direction- one that would go on to take them from a millionaire to a billionaire business.

Kamani’s forward-thinking, ahead of the game idea to move to online retailing is what can be argued, triggered the online fashion landscape as it is today.

Back in 2006, when retail was strictly (for the most part, anyway) high-street, Kamani and his partner, Carole Kane, decided to take a new route and target a new market.

 

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Welcome to Instagram @mahmudkamani 😅🥳❤️

A post shared by Samir Kamani (@samirkamani) on

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Becoming Boohoo.com

Cofounder Kane spoke of their revolutionary approach to retailing:

“I think it was revolutionary the way we did things. There wasn’t a model to follow.”

Boohoo became characterised by its rapid growth, in 2011 turning over £24m, then soaring to £395m in 2018. Boasting 6.7 million active customers and shipping to 190 countries it has become an established brand, offering low prices for their target audience of girls aged 16-30.

Their leap to online ultimately catalysed the demise of high-street retailing:

“We had clothes, we knew the customer, all I had to do was to built a website. So we got a tech guy who happened to be in the building and we built our first website for £1500.”

mahmud kamani carole kane boohoo

Image Source/ openskiesmagazine

Their only issue with startup was their inability to drive traffic organically to their site- how would people stumble across their site from a Google search?

So, Kamani decided to go big, from the start. He delved in to traditional advertising- think billboards, London bus posters, magazine ads- he made sure the Boohoo brand was everywhere you looked, to gain customer trust.

Retailers at first questioned their revolutionary approach, doubting the inability to try on the clothes. Kane insisted this new approach was better for the customer- they were able to browse at their leisure, and try on their clothes in the comfort of their own home (without the harsh, unflattering lights of the fitting rooms).

The Demise Of High Street Retailers

A report recently released in the UK shows that 14 stores a day are closing down with fashion outlets particularly suffering.

This shows that online retailers like Boohoo are changing the game one checkout at a time. The pair soon realised that online was where it was at- that’s where their customers were at, given that social media and smartphone use accounts for 75% of Boohoo’s traffic.

Image Source/ TheIndustry.fashion

So, of course marketing has moved over to social media, including Boohoo’s own socials and those of influencers.

Boohoo Named And Shamed In Parliament

It’s not all been good feedback for Boohoo- their heavy contribution to fast fashion has sparked great debate. So much so, it was recently named as one of the main UK contributor’s to fast fashion in Parliament.

When Kane, cofounder of Boohoo, was questioned about this black mark against Boohoo’s name, she revealed:

“I feel cross because I think that’s their opinion and not fact.”

Image Source/ Mirror

She did, although, admit that retailers as a whole could be doing more:

“As far as I’m concerned there are always improvements to be made. We understand the culture of the consumer today is shifting towards that [environmental sustainability]. So of course as businesses we will follow through, otherwise we won’t be here in 10 years time.”

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