From supermarkets to trading markets

By Rob Virtue on February 27, 2009 12:32 PM |


As rags to riches stories go the rise of De Vere Private Equity takes some beating.

Bux Shayeb and Naaz Miah were school friends growing up in the East End, before both getting jobs at Sainsbury’s in Greenwich.

A decade later they run a successful company dealing in derivatives trading, property investment and venture capitalism.

Bux said: “We weren’t born with silver spoons in our mouths. We’re both from Shadwell where at the time it was rough and we were living in council flats. So we want to tell our story to inspire others.?

And that story is an intriguing one. They both picked up a love of stocks and shares from one of their teachers at Swanlea School in Whitechapel.

Naaz, 27, was a friend of 25-year-old Bux’s older brother, but the two were united by their passion for the markets while they were working at Sainsbury’s.

Bux said: “Naaz was in the bakery section and I was in the beers section. They were opposite each other and we talked about investing even back then.?

Their career never really got going until a manager at one of Naaz’s former jobs asked him to invest some money for him.

Naaz said: “The guy was impressed by my knowledge of the market and said he wanted me to invest £50,000.

“I said I couldn’t do it because there were laws and regulations, and also because I couldn’t guarantee a profit.

“But he said he had an idea for a business venture so we arranged a meeting. I thought I needed help on this so brought Bux along. But it didn’t appeal to us because he would have got all the profit.

“It was as we were walking back home we realised we didn’t need him. We could get the capital ourselves.?

For those whose parents always said don’t use a credit card, they may have been a bit hasty, because Naaz and Bux used their flexible friends to start a business.

Bux said: “We were 21 and we had a few credit cards. That gave us £12,000 capital. So we opened an account with Barclays and just started trading.?

The duo rented a one-bed flat in Ilford as their office space and, surrounded by company reports, spent two years trying to make a profit.

In the meantime, they kept their jobs to support themselves. Bux was working at CIS as a financial adviser and Naaz was at Accenture as a software engineer.

Bux said: “At the beginning we didn’t make much. We’d make a lot one month, or make a little or we’d lose it.

Once we started making constant money we quit our jobs and set up the business in E1. It was at that time that we took money and started investing in property, building a property portfolio of £4million.?

Amazingly for people still in their early 20s it was just a side business.

Naaz said: “It was just bringing us more income. It came in handy because we wanted to expand quickly.

“But we thought, ‘how do we build an empire? We need people’.?

Then in 2007, came the idea of offshoring the company to Bangladesh. Although Naaz and Bux are east London born, their families both descend from the island.

They developed a 2,500 square foot office with a staff of 21 and soon the money was rolling in and they extended the business to London, where they now have an office by Prince Regent DLR.

Their knowledge of the markets was largely self-taught and now they say they want to help others make money.

They hold a Dragons’ Den-style event at their former school, giving advice to entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, DVPE Group Holdings owns a number of companies including a training firm ITrade UK, which gives seminars teaching people how to make money out of the markets.

Bux said: “We learnt the hard way, training ourselves, and at the beginning we lost a lot of money. So we’re teaching people what to do.?

Naaz said: “We’re not just doing it out of the goodness of our hearts. One of our key aims is to hire traders out of those we teach.?


christian said:

the story was very appealing and intresting on how to young men turned thier mistfourtune into gain and despite the bad living conditions and coming from a past of poverty,they entered a future of gold this is the reason why i even go on the internet you know, to see and hear different ideas and insperation.Keep it up cause it only helps young entrepreneurs like me to maitain focus and keep working hard.THANKS

yunus said:

They say they remember their past when doing business but wouldn’t it be nice if they remembered that they were workers once at Sainsbury, because at the moment they treat their workers badly and swear nonstop so I wonder how they made there millions, deceiving workers by promising them one thing then making them work on tale sales.

Chen said:

i learned a lot from these guys about business. they showed me how to be disciplined and be firm in business.

i have now set up my own company with backing from dvpe. it has been a fantastic eye opening experience looking at the real world.

thanks for all your help!

Mr Miah said:

How wonderful to see two boys from my school show such entrepeneurial spirit. I wonder how they are doing now. Hopefully they have built on their success and have a much bigger company by now. Do they still remember the community values we taught. "Use your knowledge to help the community".

Beena said:

Yes, they were always VERY rude to staff and tried SO hard to come across as intelligent, experienced professionals, but failed. Half the time it seemed that they didn't know what they were talking about. I often cringed at some of the things they said in meetings.

Customers would tell us things we had been telling Naaz and Bux all along, I.E: Terrible websites, not enough info etc. We gained nothing from working with them as we were given different jobs to what we were told we would have.

I'd also heard that a few people that started working there had all left before the week was over because of they way they were treated! It never felt genuine and always felt like we were deceiving people. I couldn't do it anymore, so I left.

I think these 2 need to remember when they came from and get off of their high horse!