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Leila Gharani

Leila Gharani is a popular YouTuber.

She has more than 2.4M subscribers on her eponymous YouTube channel.

Leila is the founder of XelPlus; and was a former Microsoft MVP.


Leila Gharani was born on 4 June 1978 in Iran.

As a kid, she wanted to grow up to become an astronaut and work for NASA.

A brilliant student-

Leila did her primary schooling in Tehran, Iran and at 11, she moved to Austria.

Here, she studied for her middle school and high school from Vienna International School in Vienna, Austria.

Leila was a bright student and used to mostly get A grades.

Moving to Canada-

After completing her schooling, Leila moved to Canada for her further studies.

At school, she was good at economics and as her teachers advised her to study economics, she decided to graduate in it.

In 1996, Leila joined Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada to study for a Bachelor of Social Science and Economics.

Here, she received a senate medal for outstanding academic achievement.

Leila graduated in 1999 and in the same year, she joined University of Toronto in Toronto to study for a Masters in Economics.

Here, she specialised in Econometrics and Statistical Analysis.


From September 1999 to May 2000, Leila worked as a Teaching Assistant at University of Toronto.

Here, she taught Intermediate Macroeconomics.

Then, Leila worked as an Economist at the Centre for the Study of Living Standards, a non-profit organization.

Here, she got introduced to Microsoft Excel and she researched for various publications and for the Bank of Canada.

Here, Leila’s job involved a lot of research and writing and as she didn’t like writing, she quit this job.

She was more interested in econometrics (statistics) than research.

Moving to Austria & becoming a consultant-

After quitting her research job, Leila moved back to Austria and from May 2001 to April 2002, she worked as an in-house consultant for Frantschach in Vienna, Austria.

While working here, she learnt a lot about Excel, and she also learnt about Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) by reading blog posts and books and she implemented her learnings into her work.

Leila also learnt a great deal about Excel through Excel forums.

Working as an Independent Productivity Consultant-

After quitting her job, from May 2002, Leila started working as an Independent Productivity Consultant and started providing consulting services of VBA and SAP.

As she was young at that time, she feared that she might not get clients and so, she decided to once again become an employee.

Joining Mondi Group-

So, Leila joined Mondi Group in October 2003 and started working as an Accounting Systems Expert.

Later, she worked in many roles such as SAP Consultant and Project Manager.

While working here, Leila became an Oracle Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) expert and switched from finance to IT division.

Independent Business Consultant & Instructor-

After quitting her job at Mondi Group, Leila started working as an Independent Business Consultant providing Excel consultancy and she also started working as an instructor.

Once, while working as a consultant, she got sick and couldn’t work for a month and as a result, she couldn’t earn during that month and so, she decided to focus on a passive income stream.

So, Leila started offering courses through her website.

Later, she also started offering her courses on other platforms and in 2020, she stopped consulting.

Leila quit consulting because she felt that instead of being in search of new clients it would be much better for her to focus on her courses which have been becoming popular online.

XelPlus & her YouTube channel-

In January 2015, Leila started her XelPlus website and started offering Excel courses through it.

On 11 August 2015, she started her eponymous YouTube channel and started marketing her courses through it.

Initially, Leila started recording the videos with her iPhone but later, she invested in a camera.

She uses Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and Canon EOS 70D cameras and Bose QuietComfort headphones.

She has a small team consisting of a cameraman, an editor, etc. for helping her out with her YouTube channel.

After she started publishing videos onto her channel, she found that many people were finding them helpful and so, she started producing exclusive videos for YouTube.

Becoming successful-

As of November 2023, Leila has 2.43M subscribers on her YouTube channel and has 114K followers on Instagram and 15.2K followers on Twitter.

She earns from a variety of sources like advertisements and ‘Super Thanks’ on her YouTube videos, affiliate marketing, receiving sponsorships, selling merchandise and courses.

Microsoft MVP Award-

In 2017, Leila received the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in the Excel Category.

Later, she delivered a speech at the Bulgaria Excel Days 2019 and the 2022 Global Excel Summit.

Leila also served as an Event Ambassador of the Global Excel Summit.

She has been featured on CNBC, BBC, Microsoft, etc.

Personal life-

In 2007, Leila married Christian.

This couple has an elder son and a younger daughter.

Currently, Leila lives in Austria.

Some interesting facts about her-

  • Leila is a cat person and loves gardening.
  • Breaking Bad and Stranger Things are her favourite Netflix TV shows.

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Leila Gharani?

Share with me in the comment section below.

About Author

Hello folks, I'm Naveen Reddy.
I love writing the inspiring success stories of people so as to inspire you.
Enjoy the well-researched, thorough articles!
Every article takes many days of effort; so, why not pay it forward by sharing them and spreading positivity.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Rehan Khan

Tuesday 13th of February 2024

Leila Gharani stands out in MS Excel and PowerPoint tutorials because of her unique ability to explain complex topics with clarity and enthusiasm. As a learner seeking technical skills, her proven expertise in Microsoft tools makes her an invaluable collaborator, ensuring success and sustainability for any venture. Leverage her proficiency for effective knowledge transfer and a confident pursuit of technical excellence.


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

She is a expert in this field; I wish her more success!


Monday 15th of May 2023

As for me I can only say she's a saint...

Naveen Reddy

Monday 15th of May 2023

Thanks, Noble, for your positive comment!

rafid ali

Friday 17th of February 2023

Hope for Leila and her team more success, she is young and adventurous, Good Luck.

Naveen Reddy

Friday 17th of February 2023

Thank you, Rafid, for your kind words!


Friday 19th of August 2022

This is an article well researched and written. Leila is hardworking as it is evident from her contributions. First I thought ,she is an Indian, but anyway it is not an hindrance to my excel learning Excel from her YouTube channel. I also love Iranian music

Naveen Reddy

Friday 19th of August 2022

Thank you Shanker for your kind and positive words.