6 VI­JAY & BHIKHU PA­TEL

Essex Life - - RICHEST 50 -

Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals 2018: £800m 2017: £675m (6th)

The new £42m Vi­jay Pa­tel Build­ing at Le­ices­ter’s De Mont­fort Uni­ver­sity is win­ning ar­chi­tec­tural prizes. It is also the re­sult of the sin­gle big­gest do­na­tion in the uni­ver­sity’s his­tory by Vi­jay Pa­tel, a grad­u­ate of the uni­ver­sity’s School of Phar­macy. That he could af­ford such a do­na­tion is due to the en­tre­pre­neur­ial tal­ent of Vi­jay Pa­tel and his brother Bikhu. They ar­rived in Bri­tain in the 1960s with just £5, a hand­ful of O Lev­els and a hunger to suc­ceed. In the early days Vi­jay saved up money to go to phar­macy col­lege by work­ing in a chip shop in Wem­b­ley and in 1975 he pur­chased his first phar­macy in Es­sex. Bhikhu trained as an ar­chi­tect and came into the business in 1984, a few years after Vi­jay es­tab­lished Basil­don-based Way­made to dis­trib­ute and mar­ket phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts and pre­scrip­tion medicines. In 2002 they spun out Amdipharm, which picked up treat­ments that were out of patent and held no spe­cial value for their multi­na­tional drug firm own­ers. 10 years later they sold the business for £367m, re­tain­ing a £90m share­hold­ing. Another Pa­tel com­pany, At­nahs Pharma set up in 2013, saw its profit rise strongly to £24.1m on £107m sales in 2017-18. This op­er­a­tion’s as­sets grew to nearly £34m in a year. The broth­ers also made a sub­stan­tial sum from the 2015 sale of AMCO, a niche pharma com­pany, for £2.3bn. We raise the Pa­tels to £800m this year.

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