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Aria Taheri was born in Iran in 1967. The only son of a Doctor, he left his birthplace in 1984 to move to Britain and study. Initially settling in south London, he taught himself English and studied for O-Levels and A-Levels while supporting himself with a part-time job in a grocery store, and then later as a dispatch rider. With these qualifications obtained, he gained admission to Bath university, where he studied Electronic Engineering.
After graduation, a few more brief stints in other jobs followed, including work as a waiter and as part of a network marketing company selling water filters. Dissatisfied with this, Aria returned to university to take a Masters, and while there developed his first interest in Computers, buying an old computer in order to learn to program it.
With his interest in technology growing, Aria took his first steps in the retail industry by buying second-hand fax machines and mobile phones at auctions, repairing them, and then selling them at a profit through free advertisements in newspapers. Quickly he progressed to buying and selling whole computer systems, and by the time he completed his masters he was doing sufficiently well to turn his hobby into a full-time job.
Aria Taheri’s breakthrough was in the computer memory market. Using his background in electronics, he forged a business out of buying old memory modules, repairing their broken solder joints, and selling them at computer shows. By 1994 this had proved such a successful enterprise that he had to employ people to help him; this was the birth of Aria Technology.
Aria technology moved from specialising in memory modules to assembling whole computers from components and selling them on the internet; having been trading online since the mid 90’s, the company is one of the longest-standing online retailers of PC components and systems.
For the last 15 years Aria has worked on developing his company into the successful business it is today; with an annual turnover of tens of millions of pounds, a large, modern warehouse and retail outlet in Manchester, the company continues to grow steadily under Aria’s guidance, striving at all times to be the best-value online PC components retailer in the UK.
Today Aria Taheri freely admits that he finds it hard to believe how successful he has been, and he is investing more time than ever in Aria Technology, focusing on constantly improving quality of service whilst maintaining rock-bottom prices.
“My business is a passion. It’s like a very important hobby to me. I really enjoy coming to work and every day I want to improve something.”
Still completely immersed in the company on a day-to-day basis, and with a very hands-on management style, Aria Taheri is always open to feedback on ways to improve his company. He is contactable via email, and he maintains a Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/ariataheri.
This biography is loosely based on a biography of Aria published in the Times Literary Supplement in 2005, which can be found here.
June 2011 - The Secret Millionaire
Aria recently featured on the popular Channel 4 reality show The Secret Millionaire, during which he went undercover in Sparbrook in Birmingham, spent time volunteering with several charitable organisations, and eventually revealed his identity, surprising several of the charities concerned with donations. You can see the episode on 4oD, or watch a trailer on YouTube.