Rajesh Agrawal

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Rajesh Agrawal
Born (1977-06-09) 9 June 1977 (age 41)
Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
Residence London, England
Alma mater Prestige Institute of Management and Research, Indore
Occupation Deputy Mayor of London for Business
Website Official website

Rajesh Agrawal (born 9 June 1977) is a British Indian entrepreneur and philanthropist who, since June 2016 has served as Deputy Mayor of London for Business. He is best known as the founder, chairman & former CEO of London-based commercial foreign exchange company RationalFX.

Agrawal was born and educated in India and earned £65 a month until a job opportunity brought him to London in 2001.[1]

He was featured in the Sunday Times Rich List 2012 with a £90m fortune.[2]

Early life[edit]

Agrawal was born in Indore, India. He attended St. Paul Higher Secondary School, Indore before completing a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration at the Prestige Institute of Management and Research, Indore, affiliated to Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya. Agrawal left Indore to work in Chandigarh at the age of 22 to work for 5,000 Indian rupees per month.[3]



Agrawal founded RationalFX along with Paresh Davdra in 2005, initially operating from a small office in Brighton and providing foreign exchange and wire transfer services. In its first year RationalFX launched the UK's first online currency exchange system for private individuals at realtime prices. The company grew very fast and Agrawal had relocated the firm to offices in the City of London by the end of its first year.[4]

In 2015 Rational FX reported a turnover of £1.3 billion and moved its headquarters to Canary Wharf.[5]

RationalFX were the principal shirt sponsors of Birmingham City F.C. for season 2011-2012 and featured on Marussia F1 cars at the 2012 Indian Grand Prix held at the Buddh International Circuit [6][7]


In September 2011 RationalFX launched a new online money transfer platform, Xendpay, with a stated aim to cut down the cost of money transfer and bring more transparency in the market.[8] In May 2012, Xendpay was founded as an independent company and opened to wider market in August 2012.[9]

Agrawal revealed in October 2015 that, one year on, the model was working, with 70% choosing to pay the optional fee and six percent paying more than the recommended amount.[5]

The Xendpay relaunch was made as a Clinton Global Initiative pledge, with a commitment to save users £60 million over five years.[10] The company has been recognised by the United Nations and in the UK parliament for its work to reduce remittance costs.[11][12]

Charitable work[edit]

Agrawal is a supporter of a number of charities, particularly those focused on young people, enterprise and women empowerment.

He is a patron and an enterprise fellow of The Prince's Trust, a charity founded by Charles, Prince of Wales to help young people start a business.[13]

He is a Trustee of Cherie Blair's charity for women empowerment, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. Agrawal is also a supporter of The Loomba Foundation, founded by Raj Loomba, Baron Loomba which supports widows around the world.

He is chair of the Enterprise Development Programme, run by Oxfam, which provides loans for local businesses in the poorest parts of the world.


On 29 June 2016 Agrawal was appointed as Deputy Mayor of London for Business by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. This appointment followed his role as an economic adviser to Khan during the London Mayoral Election, 2016.[14] As Deputy Mayor Agrawal is tasked with supporting London's business community during the UK's Brexit negotiations.[15] He also serves as chair of London and Partners, promoting London overseas.

Prior to this appointment Agrawal had been a prominent supporter of the UK Labour Party.[16] He was among the first businessmen to defend Labour against accusations that the party was “anti-business” during the 2015 UK General Election,[17] though he was later critical of Ed Miliband for allowing the Conservative Party to define Labour’s economic record unchallenged, for pursuing policies with too narrow an appeal, and for losing touch with Labour’s traditional ethnic minority supporters.[18]

Agrawal supported Andy Burnham, serving as a business adviser during the 2015 Labour Leadership election.[19]

Agrawal is pro-European and has frequently spoken about the importance of the UK remaining in the EU.[20]

Honours and awards[edit]

In July 2008, Agrawal was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce. In the same year Agrawal was a finalist at the Lloyds TSB KPMG Jewel Awards 2008 for Excellence in Business & Commerce category.[21]

In 2011 Agrawal was honoured by Asian Who's Who for Asian Leadership As Young Entrepreneur.[22] The event was covered live by BBC News 24. In the same year, Agrawal was presented Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the UK Parliament by Baroness Boothroyd at the Public & Political Life Awards 2011.[23]

Agrawal was named in the list of 42 under 42 Members Midlands.[24] He was also chosen as Director of the Month by the Institute of Directors' official Magazine The Director.[25]

In September 2013 he received an "Outstanding Alumnus Award" by his alma mater, Prestige Institute of Management and Research.[26]


  1. ^ ""How I went from zero to £358m in six years" | Features | LondonlovesBusiness.com". www.londonlovesbusiness.com. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  2. ^ "The Sunday Times Rich List 2012 | The Sunday Times". www.thesundaytimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  3. ^ Philip Salter. "Turning obstacles into business opportunities". City AM. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  4. ^ Graham, Natalie. "My First Million — Rajesh Agrawal". Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  5. ^ a b "RationalFX and Xendpay founder on the future of banks". www.cityam.com. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  6. ^ Shruti Tripathi. "How I went from zero to £358m in six years". London Loves Business. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  7. ^ "RationalFX supports Marussia F1™ Team car". Growing Business. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  8. ^ Pravin Palande. "Rajesh Agrawal's Company Makes Money Transfer Inexpensive". Forbes India. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  9. ^ Peter Smith. "Xendpay - Moving money at lower cost". Spend Matters. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  10. ^ "Finextra PR: Xendpay platform scraps compulsory fees for money transfers; implements 'tip' model". Finextra Research. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  11. ^ "(3rd meeting, Part 2) International Conference on Migration and Development - Theme: Harnessing Migration, Remittances and Diaspora Contributions for Financing Sustainable Development". Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  12. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 17 Dec 2014 (pt 0002)". www.publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  13. ^ "The Enterprise Fellowship". The Prince's Trust. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Sadiq Khan unveils deputy with brief to protect City after Brexit vote". 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2016-06-29.
  15. ^ "From poverty in India to City Hall: Meet the Mayor's new business tsar". Evening Standard. 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  16. ^ "An outward looking Labour Party..." www.asian-voice.com. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  17. ^ Founder, Rajesh Agrawal. "If Ed Balls needs a businessman's support, I'm in". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  18. ^ Agrawal, Rajesh. "How Labour lost the business vote | Rajesh Agrawal". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  19. ^ "Unity, wider appeal and open for business: It has to be Burnham". Andy Burnham for Labour Leader. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  20. ^ rationalfx (27 December 2012). "Rajesh Agrawal on Channel4 News in a debate about UK's EU membership ahead of the new EU budget" – via YouTube.
  21. ^ "Borehamwood business man an "inspiration" to others". Borehamwood Times.
  22. ^ Suruchi Sharma (25 November 2011). "Harrow businessman wins young entrepreneur of the year at Asian Who's Who Awards". This is Local London. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  23. ^ "Rajesh Agrawal, Founder & CEO of RationalFX and Xendpay.com, wins Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award at Political & Public Life Awards - RFX".
  24. ^ "42 under forty two". Insider Media. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  25. ^ Richard Dunnett (July 2012). "Director of the Month". Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  26. ^ "Students must opt for inventive bsuiness ideas; Experts". The Times of India. 14 September 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.

External links[edit]