HE had a “colourful youth” which saw him expelled from a succession of schools.

But at 31, Tom Gozney is CEO of a group of companies, and tomorrow will launch an invention that he believes could revolutionise outdoor cooking.

Roccbox is billed as the world’s first portable and lightweight stone bake oven. It can cook more or less anything, with a pizza ready in under 90 seconds.

It grew out of his track record with Gozney Professional Ovens, which has been supplying the hospitality industry since 2010.

But Mr Gozney admits that when he launched the business, he did not look like someone destined for success.

“I was in what I found a dead end job and had I had quite a colourful youth, where I got expelled from all my schools,” he said.

“I started in property development with my dad. Two months after we bought our first property, the recession hit.”

With an unsold home on his hands, he decided to harness his passion for food and interest in stone bake ovens.

“I had decided to make some changes in my personal life and stop drinking. It transformed the way I socialised with my friends,” he said.

The Stone Bake Oven Company, supplying commercial ovens to industry, was launched with a £5,000 loan.

“I remember being pulled into my first commercial meeting. I had printed off a picture of a competitor’s commercial oven. I went into the meeting and pretended it was mine,” he said.

He bluffed his way through to land an order with a prestigious hotel group. “I told them it was a 50 per cent deposit,” he added.

The business was off and running, and eventually attracted such prestige customers as River Cottage, Marriott and Jean-Christophe Novelli, going on to make ovens for domestic use.

Now he heads the Gozney Group, based at Christchurch Business Park, which has six subsidiaries. And although generally “I never spend a penny on myself”, he has bought a riverside home in Lymington and a Lamborghini Huracan.

“My goal was to buy my dream car when I was 30 and I bought it when I was 29,” he added.

“I’m able to grow my business significantly due to having good people. I’ve got 23 full time staff and we’re set to probably double in 18 months,” he said.

Roccbox took four years to develop, boosted by Virgin’s Pitch to Rich initiative and crowdfunding website Indiegogo.

“I set up an operation to make a product that worked in the same way as our big ovens, for people that didn’t have a big garden or the same budget,” said Mr Gozney.

Among the 2,000 advance orders is one from Richard Branson.

Fuelled by wood or gas, Roccbox reaches 500 degrees Celsius in 15 minute and can bake bread, caramelise vegetables, roast meat or cook fish.

The idea is to make outdoor cooking fun for a family.

“It draws children away from their tablets and their smartphones and it makes them engage with their family,” he said.

“It makes people social, the way people were social 20 years ago before Facebook and Twitter and the platforms that make people completely inept in social situations.”

The business is an achievement for someone who was thrown out of Walhampton and Ballard schools, Bournemouth and Poole College and the Arts Institute. “I was quite badly behaved in school and I would get distracted and become naughty,” Mr Gozney says, but he is now “incredibly ambitious and driven”.

“I knew I had a lot more potential than to waste my life doing what I was doing.”