In 2006, a commercial sale stole the headlines when energy comparison site uSwitch changed hands for a record sum of £210 million. Snapped up by American media firm EW Scripps, the transaction symbolised the growing dominance of online enterprises as the world became ever more digitised.
Owned primarily by George Mountbatten, cousin to the queen and 4th Marquess of Milford Haven, uSwitch had grown and expanded beyond all recognition since its founding only a few years before, thanks in large part to the expert management team that had been responsible for running it.
A key member of this team was Vip Amin, an inimitable entrepreneur who had recognised the brilliance of the idea early on and had been heavily involved in the company’s successes thereafter.
Vip Amin and his involvement in uSwitch
Part of uSwitch since its beginnings in 2000, Vip Amin was a noteworthy shareholder and businessman in his own right and a corner stone of the venture. He was there throughout its glory days, helping to build it up to its greatest heights when it boasted an incredible 42 percent market share.
Indeed, Vip Amin could fairly claim that he was largely responsible for its creation, for it was he and two of his business associates who were amongst the first to note the impact that deregulation was having on the energy market and the space that was opening up for an innovative online platform that could offer a transparent comparison tool unlike any seen before.
Responding to the need of consumers, Vip Amin and his collaborators, founder George Milford Haven and CEO Andrew Salmon, put their heads together, combining their exceptional talents to birth the business that would propel them to instant profitability.
Entering the market
The idea was a simple one. Capitalising on the increasingly speedy broadband in UK homes, and the ever-increasing number of internet users, they created a platform that made it possible to compare energy prices from numerous suppliers side by side, thus revolutionising the energy market and the way that buyers shopped.
They made their move at the most opportune of moments. Energy prices were rapidly on the rise, and a growing number of consumers were ready to jump ship as a result. All they needed was a tool that would enable them to buoy up their bank balances by making the right choice, and uSwitch provided it.
No longer was phoning around and collecting individual quotes necessary. Instead, consumers could bypass this rigmarole entirely, thanks to a website that could do all of the hard work for them.
Vip Amin and his collaborators enjoyed almost instant success, and in handing consumers a greater degree of power than they had ever enjoyed before, they not only built a profitable business for themselves but revolutionised the very face of the energy market.
As a result, uSwitch became perhaps the greatest achievement of Vip Amin’s career. Joining a portfolio of profitable enterprises and canny commercial decisions, it nonetheless outshone them all, with the combined brilliance of Amin, Milford Haven, and Salmon creating something greater than any of the three could have built by themselves.
Acting in the capacity of not only a major shareholder, but also a key advisor, Vip Amin remained at the forefront of uSwitch throughout its glory days, and when it sold in 2006, he was amongst the nine shareholders who benefitted most greatly from this transaction.
And deservedly so. Contributing his insight, intuition, and utter faith in the venture that he and his collaborators had created, he helped to build a company that was one of the greatest of its generation. Not only lucrative but also based upon benevolent principles that profited the ordinary man, it had impacted the very foundations upon which commerce was built.
His bank balance benefitted from this with massive gains made when uSwitch was finally sold to American TV broadcaster EW Scripps, for the record sum of £210 million. It was a profit that had been well earned, and which would help the unstoppable businessman as he moved forward with the many successful ventures that would come after his exceptional contribution to the story of uSwitch.