Ben Francis is the 26-year-old founder of Gymshark, a UK-based fitness company worth over £100m and ranked as the country’s fastest growing company in 2016.
Gymshark has grown from a screen-printing clothing operation in a garage into a major fitness brand and manufacturer with retail operations in more than 130 countries. The company now boasts more than three million followers on Instagram, 1.25m customers worldwide and 215 employees.
Francis has been central to this growth. He started Gymshark in 2012 whilst studying at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, fitting emails, orders and the hand-production of clothing between studies and part-time work delivering pizzas. The young entrepreneur later dropped out of university to focus on the business full-time, eventually moving into his current role as Chief Brand Officer as the company expanded.
Gymshark’s growth has been supported with the backing of numerous social media ‘influencers’, including bodybuilder Lex Griffin and fitness poster Robin Gallant, who collectively broadcast posts to over 1 million followers.
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