Alfie Best was born in a caravan in Leicester 52 years ago. Today he lives in a mansion of 6 million, just bought one of the fifteen helicopters produced by Aston Martin (for 4.5 million) and is on the verge of becoming a billionaire. Thus, Best will be the first Roma billionaire.
"I bought it for work, I swear - he joked to The Sun - because I can fly to five parks in one day. In the car, due to the monotony of highway travel, I had already had two traffic accidents due to falling asleep. The parks he refers to are part of his empire, Wyldecrest Parks, 91 mobile car parks across the UK, which are valued at £700,000.
Best took his first steps in the business world when he was only ten years old, when he accompanied his father in door-to-door sales.
"Have you ever heard the saying, you talk fast like a Roma?" In fact, during these very brief meetings, Best had only thirty seconds to capture the attention of his potential client.
And thanks to this "school", he said, he learned the art of selling.
At the age of 16 he founded a company for the rental and sale of cars and caravans, and at the age of 20 he threw himself into the mobile phone market. After working for three months in one of these shops and realizing his potential, he got a loan from a bank to set up his own business and in less than a year and a half he had thirteen shops across London.
After this thriving business was sold, Best invested his money in commercial properties and now owns more than 80 acres of industrial land across England.
In the next few years, his wife Emily suggests that he invest in the area with which he has experience. And here the gypsy soul leads him to the car parking sector. In 2001 he bought his first lot for £1.7m and now has 91 car parks.
An empire worth £700m, but an investment fund wants to buy his property for £950m. However, Best declined the offer.
"It's not about making more and more money - he said - I'm convinced that once you reach 5 or 10 million you don't need more to live and do what you love. Beyond that limit, the point is to build something that makes a difference."