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Countdown to Global Annual Conference with...Ben Francis
Ben Francis is the Founder and ambitious entrepreneur behind leading UK fitness brand, Gymshark.
Ben founded Gymshark when he was 19 years old, while still a student at Aston University. In addition to his full-time commitment to his studies, Ben juggled working as a pizza delivery man to fund his Gymshark venture.
Ben made the decision to step down as CEO in 2017, to allow him to continue to focus on the things that have always set Gymshark apart - innovative design, creative content and consumer first thinking.
Gymshark has gone from being an entrepreneurial start-up to becoming a global brand with millions of customers in 170+ countries via its 13 websites. Driving sales by 140% PA to £176.2m in 2019, with operating profits of £18.6m.
In August 2020, Gymshark became the first DTC brand in the UK to achieve Unicorn status with no external capital funding. The recent investment partnership with General Atlantic will see Gymshark become a true global brand.
Ahead of the event, we asked Ben some questions about what influenced him to speak at this year's virtual event and what he is most looking forward to over the two day virtual conference.
What are you most looking forward to during the 2-day Virtual Conference?
- I'm looking forward to connecting with people who are leading commerce here in the UK.
What would you particularly like to bring awareness to/cover?
- I’d like to bring attention to the huge commercial opportunities that are in the UK.
What are two key takeaways you hope to give the audience?
- Huge UK opportunities
- Learnings from my time at Gymshark
What influenced you to agree to speak at the Global Annual Conference?
- I’ve previously met Anne-Marie Martin, BCC's Director of Global Business Networks, she’s great.
What do you hope to gain from attending the Global Annual Conference?
- Connecting with people who are doing cool things in their space!
Connect with Ben
- Instagram: @Benfrancis
- Twitter: @benfrancis1992