Indian-origin entrepreneur Vijay Patel, who came to Britain from Kenya 40 years ago with only five pounds in his pocket but went on to find riches in the pharmaceuticals industry, has been honoured by his old university.
Patel, 60, is today one of the richest men in Britain and ranks 141st in the Sunday Times Rich List. He was awarded an honorary degree by the De Montfort University, Leicester.
Now a pharmaceuticals tycoon, Patel studied pharmacy at University and graduated in 1973. He heads the globally successful company, Waymade Healthcare.
He and his older brother Bhiku head the company. They started with a single chemist’s shop in Essex, and now own a global company, marketing and distributing drugs to 110 countries.
Patel, who was awarded an honorary degree in business administration, said, “I had a dream to start my business when I was just 10 years old but I never dared to tell anyone. I never imagined this would happen, though, and I am so deeply humbled to be honoured by the university in this way.”
Patel grew up in difficult circumstances in Kenya. His father died when he was five, leaving his mother to bring up her children in an impoverished country.
He said, “My mother taught me a very important lesson – get the best education you possibly can. But I had no way of funding myself through it, so I picked myself up and headed to the UK with little more to my name than a bag full of ambition.”
Senior lecturer in business at De Montfort, Dr Robert Webber, said, “This is in honour of Dr Patel’s many achievements in business, nationally and internationally. It is a great pleasure to be honouring him in this way.” Source: Chai Samosa.
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