Britain’s richest gypsy, who was born in a caravan, is about to turn into a billionaire as his dwelling parks empire continues to develop.
Alfie Greatest, who was born on the aspect of a highway close to Leicester, now lives in a £6m mansion in Surrey.
The 52-year-old began his enterprise profession in his teenagers promoting vehicles and vans, earlier than organising a gaggle of cell phone shops when he was 20.
Now, greater than 30 years later, he runs Wyldecrest Parks, which operates 91 cellular dwelling parks throughout the UK and is price £700 million.
The entrepreneur has even reached the purpose the place he may even afford to purchase his personal £4.5 million helicopter designed by Aston Martin.
And his star appears set to maintain rising as he appears set to turn into the world’s first gypsy billionaire as his enterprise grows.
Alfie Greatest, pictured right here together with his his new £4.5 million Aston Martin-designed helicopter, is about to turn into the world’s first gypsy billionaire
The 52-year-old, pictured right here for TV present Undercover Large Boss final yr, owns Wyldecrest Parks, which operates 91 cellular dwelling parks throughout the nation
It is a dramatic change from his childhood rising up within the traveller group, however Mr Greatest says even together with his excessive wealth, he is aware of what’s most essential.
He informed The Solar ‘This genuinely is not about incomes any extra money. I am of the opinion that after getting made 5 or ten million, then you do not want any extra money than that.
‘That is all the cash on the planet so far as I’m involved as a result of that means that you can do the whole lot.
‘After that, it is about really constructing one thing that makes a distinction. I get numerous criticism however I’ve acquired broad shoulders. You may have simply acquired to take it and settle for it and realise I’m fortunate.’
The entrepreneur, pictured right here at a gala screening of The Courier in August final yr, says so far as he is involved he already has all the cash he wants
Modest begin: Mr Greatest was born into poverty however stated he had a contented childhood. He’s pictured as a baby together with his mom and father
The multi-millionaire, who ominously says now we have entered a world recession, provides: ‘In my view, you’re price what you’re price when the s*** hits the fan.
Regardless of ongoing points akin to the price of dwelling disaster, Mr Greatest is on the right track to crack the £1 billion mark subsequent yr as the worth of his investments and enterprise goes up.
He stated: ‘Relying on how the market goes, by the top of subsequent yr we might be £1bn in property. However I am a realist – something can go fallacious, you may go up and are available down simply as fast.’
That is not stopped him splashing the money whereas he can, together with his newest buy, a £4.5 million helicopter, coming after he turned down a £950 million supply from a hedge fund for his parks enterprise.
‘Having a load of dough and an excessive amount of time are two of probably the most harmful issues as a result of idle fingers make work for the satan,’ he stated.
‘We are able to all occasion an excessive amount of, we are able to all take pleasure in ourselves an excessive amount of and, I by no means thought I would say this, however we are able to all work too laborious.’
In 2015, when he price a paltry £200 million, Mr Greatest informed MailOnline he did not ‘really feel profitable’.
‘What’s profitable? I am nonetheless working stuff out as a lot as the following particular person.,’ he stated.
‘I’m in a fortunate sufficient place to know that I made some good selections however, the reality is, I am a little bit of a dunce.
‘I rise up each morning and I pinch myself and thank my fortunate stars that I’ve had the luck to be the place I’m.’
But Alfie – who has lunched with former Tory Prime Minister John Main and boxer Mike Tyson – nonetheless describes himself as frugal, amid fears he might nonetheless lose the whole lot he has labored for in a flash.
In a nod to his humility, he even turned down a request to be included within the Sunday Occasions Wealthy Checklist in 2011.
‘I by no means spend past my means. Every thing that I purchase is to promote – from the vehicles that I drive, to the homes I personal. And I do know the worth of the whole lot I’ve,’ he stated.
‘Do not get me fallacious, in fact I’ve sufficient to be comfy. However I’ve lived by a recession and reside in worry of being in that place once more.
‘When you might have been by harrowing recessions, it modifications you. Regardless that it was 25 years in the past, I bear in mind it prefer it was yesterday.’
Success: Alfie Greatest, 45, was born on the roadside right into a poor gypsy household however is now price tens of millions
That recession got here within the early Nineteen Nineties, simply 4 years after Mr Greatest had launched his first enterprise – a van rent centre and dealership in Forest Gate – on the age of 16.
He had discovered the salesperson ropes as a ten-year-old, when he performed door-to-door gross sales as a part of his father’s Tarmac enterprise.
‘Have you ever ever heard of the expression ‘you speak as quick as a Gypsy’?’ he stated.
‘After I was with my dad making an attempt to promote as a teenager, I had 30 seconds to say my bit earlier than the door can be closed in my face. That taught me so much concerning the fundamentals of being salesman.’
However, 4 years after launching his first enterprise, Mr Greatest was plunged into monetary disaster. With a hefty mortgage on his dwelling and enterprise, and a nationwide recession, he nearly misplaced the whole lot.
He stated: ‘I had by no means been by a recession at that time and I couldn’t perceive how dangerous issues have been going to get.
‘Daily that got here was a brand new studying day that I had not been by earlier than and I had no selection however to attract from my experiences. After all, it was soul-destroying.’
Mr Greatest stated he managed to hold on ‘by the pores and skin of my tooth’, renting out his dwelling, growing his financial institution mortgage and sleeping in his automotive for 3 months as he desperately tried to show round his fortunes.
When issues lastly hit all-time low, Mr Greatest knew he wanted to get one other job. He observed that the 2 companies which seemed to be flourishing in the course of the downturn have been takeaways and telephone outlets.
Port Haverigg Marina Village, Cumbria, is one among Wyldecrest Park’s everlasting trailer components across the nation
One other of the websites, Badgers Retreat Park, in Richmond, North Yorkshire, is about in 26 acres of land
So he waltzed into a close-by telephone store in East Ham, begged for a job because the tea boy, and spent three months choosing up suggestions.
Three months later, he launched his personal cell phone enterprise with the assistance of a mortgage. Inside 18 months, he had 13 outlets throughout London.
‘I made the best determination on the time,’ he stated. ‘I bear in mind once I went to see my financial institution supervisor, his actual phrases have been: ‘You might be a particularly unorthodox businessman’.
After promoting that enterprise, Mr Greatest moved into industrial property and now has as much as 80 acres of commercial items unfold across the nation.
Some years later, his spouse Emily instructed he revert to one thing of which he had extra expertise and information. He determined to embark on a enterprise within the motor dwelling business, shopping for his first one in 2001 for £1.7 million.
That enterprise has progressively expanded and now Wyldecrest Parks runs 91 cellular dwelling parks throughout the nation.