CEO, Waymade Healthcare Plc & Chairman, The Waymade Group
Vijay Patel was born into poverty in Kenya but his hard work, combined with innovation, drive and determination has led him to become an inspirational leader and entrepreneur.
After completing his early education in Africa, Vijay moved to England, graduated from the School of Pharmacy in Leicester and opened his first pharmacy in Essex in 1975. The business grew rapidly into a chain of 20 outlets; expanded in the 1980s into buying and supplying medicines for its own chain, and then diversified into supplying hospitals and distributors.
His brother Bhikhu joined the business in 1984, they founded Waymade Healthcare Plc. They sold all but three of the pharmacies to Boots, to concentrate on the supply of prescription medicines to retail pharmacies, hospitals and distributors. In 2001, they were jointly voted Ernst & Young ‘UK Entrepreneur of the Year’ having already won numerous accolades including ‘Europe’s Top 500 Fastest Growing Companies’.
In 2003, a separate international pharmaceutical company, Amdipharm, was established. The company acquired a broad range of pharmaceutical brands which it commercialised throughout Europe, the Middle and Far East, Australia, New Zealand and Latin America. Their products are available in over 100 countries. In October 2012, Amdipharm was acquired for £370m by Cinven, a Private Equity Group. It has continued to expand its operation, trading as AMCO, and Vijay and Bhikhu maintain the largest individual shareholder interest.
Since the sale, a Family Office (Bay Unity Capital) has been established to oversee all family investments which spread across various asset classes including acquisitions in diverse industry sectors; the core activity remains in pharmaceutical and real estate. A new international pharmaceutical company, Atnahs, was established in 2013.
Vijay has Honorary Doctorates from the De Montfort and Anglia Ruskin Universities and sits on De Montfort’s Board of Directors.
East of England, Corporate Growth Awards, Business of the Year 1998
Deloitte Fast 50 1998/1999, 1999/2000 & 2000/2001
Natwest/Sunday Times Business Enterprise Award 1999
PWC Profit Track 100 2000
E&Y UK Entrepreneur of the Year 2001
Technology Fast 50 Eastern Region 2002, 2003 & 2004
Europe 500 2004
Asian Voice AAA 2010
Senior Adviser Welsh Affairs for Severn Trent Water and Former Director, BT Wales
General Secretary, NASUWT
Chair, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) Council
BBC News & Radio Presenter