Owner, Millhouse LLC, Chelsea Football Club
Roman Arkadyevich Abramovichis a Russian-Israeli business tycoon, investor and the owner of the English Premier League football club Chelsea. Born to working class parents in the former Soviet Union, Abramovich was orphaned at a very young age and was raised by his grandparents in the Komi Republic in northern Russia. Life was hard in the communist country for the young boy, who performed average at school and dropped out of college. Abramovich served in the Soviet Army for a few years before working as a mechanic. The Soviet Union was a hardline communist country and so offered little to no chance for private enterprises.
The late 1980s saw political turmoil in the country as it underwent a slow and painful transformation from being a communist country to opening the way for private businesses. It was during this tumultuous period that the enterprising young Roman started selling plastic ducks from a small apartment in Moscow.This was just one of the early attempts at business by the young and ambitious man who would go on to become one the richest men in the world. He later tried his hand at a number of successful ventures that included selling luxury perfumes, manufacturing automotive parts, plastic toys, pig farming, running a bodyguard recruitment agency, and selling tyres, etc. When the communist regime eventually fell, it opened a lot of new doors for ambitious entrepreneurs like Abramovich.
Roman Abramovich later had the good fortune to meet another businessman named Boris Berezovsky, who had contacts very high up in the government. Berezovsky himself was running a successful chain of luxury cars dealerships across the new Russia. Abramovich became Berezovsky’s confidant and slowly began his steady climb up the ladder of success. He began developing contacts among the highest echelons of power in Russia and even became close with the president. It was these contacts that allowed Abramovich to gain control of Russia’s oil company Sibneft, which was formerly nationalized under the communist regime. This laid the foundation of his vast wealth.
Roman Abramovich later sold his stakes in Sibneft for £1.8 billion and later made a move into politics. He later successfully contested for the governorship of the Russian province of Chukotka and used a large portion of his fortune to build schools, hospitals and improve public infrastructure in the region. He later went on to diversify his businesses and multiplied his wealth many times over. After the end of his term as governor, he moved to England and bought the struggling soccer club Chelsea for $300 million. He used his vast resources and transformed the club into one of the most successful ones in the English Premier League. Roman Abramovich would later splurge on an enviable property portfolio that would include a mansion in the Kensington Gardens Avenue anda penthouse in London, a townhouse in New York, a Caribbean mansion, etc. He also owns two personal planes and multiple yachts, one of which costs a whopping $1 billion and is the largest of its kind.
Roman Abramovich is a brilliant opportunist, market savvy businessman, ambitious politician, and a philanthropist, who was orphaned at a young age, grew up in a cold and distant region, worked his up to the highest echelons of power in Russia and made it big in the word of business. His story is one of courage, determination and true entrepreneurial spirit.