Tufnell Park recruitment whiz is millionaire at 27
Young entrepreneur Charlie Walker talks about his success building a company worth �15million in only three years
FOR many people the past few years have been a struggle.
But despite the difficult times, one young entrepreneur from Tufnell Park has prospered – and at the age of 27 is already a millionaire.
Charlie Walker, who lives in Tufnell Park Road, founded his recruitment firm Vivid Resourcing in March 2008 – and now heads a team of 20 at a company he estimates is worth around �15million.
The Yorkshire-born business dynamo, who studied modern history and politics at Oxford University, says his team are the secret to the company’s success.
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He says: “The financial climate in 2008 didn’t do us any favours, but I never doubted it was going to be a success.
“I’m lucky I’ve managed to recruit some fantastic graduates and develop them, and they’re really delivering for us.”
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It is not the trappings of wealth that drive him, but rather the satisfaction that comes from running a booming company.
“I am relatively money motivated,” he admits. “But I think I’m unusual among people in recruitment, in that my goal is not to have a garage full of Ferraris. I’m quite competitive and I get a real kick out of growing the company. I get a real buzz out of training and developing staff as well.”
Charlie is also a talented musician, who for four years played trumpet in a band with rapper and actor Riz Ahmed, aka Riz MC, star of Four Lions and The Road to Guantanamo.
He said: “I met Riz at university and we had quite a successful group called Confidential Collective, and supported the likes of Roni Size. But I get a much greater buzz out of my work.”
He gave up a �150,000-a-year job in Bristol to set up Vivid and move to London. In the beginning, he was working 13-hour days alone for four months, before setting up a small office in Farringdon.
He says: “I was in an office space with no windows. It was me and about two other people in a four-floor building with enough room for 300, which was about to be knocked down. I was on my own all day – my only human contact was with an elderly cleaner who came in once a day.”
From these relatively ramshackle beginnings the company has gone from strength to strength, and is now housed in a plush new office in St John Street, Finsbury – and is planning to expand by taking on several new hotshot graduates.
He adds: “Our sector has got a really bad reputation, but we’re not interested in your stereotypical cheesy sales types.”