AN entrepreneur aged just 16 has launched his own online sweet business after agreeing a deal to import American and Dutch sweets.

Ino Jhan Ratnasingam, from Benfleet, started Inthu Flavourz on April 1, and has already had a taste of success.

After working in his dad’s shop, Appans Superstore, in Kiln Road, Benfleet, for years and studying an A-level in business, Ino felt he had what it takes to pursue his passion.

The teenager said: “We already had a few American sweets at the shop which were flying off the shelves, so I saw potential in the idea.

“Dad suggested that I take this on on my own, so I went for it, even though when I first told people what I was doing they thought it was an April Fool’s joke.

“I knew my experience would help me; advertising and marketing has always been something I’m good at and I’ve learned a lot from working at dad’s shop. I’m incredibly proud of myself, we’re one of the three main partners in the area who do this. We also have lots of suppliers already.

“My disabled brother Inthu, who I incorporated into the company name, has been so amazing. He’s supported me the whole way. We’re so close so I had to get him involved. My dad is also giving me business tips and advice and he helps with the deliveries sometimes too.”

Inthu Flavourz sell products including a range of Fanta flavours, Twinkies, Chocomel, and Oreo cereal, which can be purchased via Facebook’s marketplace, on Instagram or on Snapchat. A website is set to follow.

But he doesn’t plan on stopping there and already has plans to open his own American sweet shop in Southend.

He continued: “It’s what I love to do, it feels like a hobby, and it’s exciting to see what will happen in the future.”