Jay Pau is honest about the reason he set up Fone Range. He was just 17 when he and his brother Vimal, 19, asked their father to buy a mobile phone so they could pose with it. When their father refused, the brothers worked out a plan. They bought 10 handsets to take advantage of a retailer’s discount and began selling them to friends. A healthy business took off when the pair decided to move away from handsets to accessories. The London company has since moved into manufacturing, using its own design team to produce fashion fascias for mobile phones. These are supplied to retailers including Miss Selfridge as well as more traditional outlets such as WH Smith and Safeway. The mixture of a flair for spotting fashion trends and in-house manufacture has driven up sales 104% a year, from £1.3m in 1996 to £11.1m in 1999.
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