Vijay and Bhikhu Patel, who together founded Waymade Healthcare, have seen it grow from a single chemist's shop in Essex into a pharmaceuticals company with a turnover in 2007 of £298m.
Vijay arrived in Britain from Kenya at the age of 16 with just £5, a handful of O-levels and a fierce determination to succeed in life. After graduating from the College of Pharmacy in Leicester, in 1975 Vijay opened his first pharmacy in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. By paying close attention to the needs of local residents the business took off and this in turn fuelled growth of a chain of chemist shops. By 1982 he owned six shops and sales had doubled. Later the company expanded into buying and supplying medicines for its own chain as well as hospitals and wholesalers.
Bhikhu, an architect by training, joined the company at this stage to give much needed help to the greatly increased workload generated by such rapid growth. In 1984 Vijay and Bhikhu founded Waymade Healthcare and sold all but three of the pharmacies. The brothers' vision is to see the Waymade Group ranked alongside the big multinationals. They say "We want to be the next GSK. It might take a long time but it's a nice ambition to have." Waymade employs 350 people, mostly at its main office in Basildon. The group has established a new division, Amdipharm, to acquire and promote branded products globabally with the aim of becoming a global player whilst remaining in the private sector.
Company registered in England. Registration No: 1856320
Registered Office: 72 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 8AU
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