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 supported himself with a part-time job in a grocery store, and then later as a dispatch rider while teaching himself English and studying for O-Levels and A-Levels. Having achieved these qualifications, he gained admission to Bath University, where he studied Electronic Engineering.
After graduation, Aria worked in a variety of roles including stints as a waiter and a member of a network marketing company selling water filters. Dissatisfied with this, Aria returned to university to take a Masters degree, and while there, his first interest in computers developed when he bought an old computer in order to learn how to program it.
With a growing interest in technology, 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 adverts in newspapers. He quickly progressed to buying and selling whole computer systems, and by the time he completed his Masters, he was doing well enough to turn what had started as his hobby into a full-time job.
Aria Taheri’s breakthrough was in the computer memory market. With 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. This was so successful that by 1994, he took on his first employees 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. The company has traded online since the mid-1990s, and is now one of the longest-standing online retailers of PC components and systems.
For the last 15 years, Aria has worked on continually 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. Our aim is to be at all times the best-value online PC components retailer in the UK.
Today, Aria Taheri freely admits 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.