De Montfort University Vijay Patel
Waymade Healthcare, CEO
From poverty in Kenya to starting a pharmaceutical company and becoming one of the richest men in Britain, former Pharmacy student Vijay Patel really does have a rags to riches story to tell.
He started up the global pharmaceutical company, Waymade Healthcare, along with Amdipham, a division specialising in the development and marketing of drugs. Vijay has enjoyed a very successful career after seeing his businesses grow from nothing to £300 million in just a few years. But it’s a far cry from the poor Kenyan town of Eldoret in which he grew up.
Coming to the UK in the 1970s to study Pharmacy Vijay chose Leicester School of Pharmacy because of its ‘good name’. With his mother due to join him from Kenya, Vijay searched nearly every street in Leicester before finding somewhere to live.
A year later his landlord decided to sell the house and, after begging and borrowing from relations, Vijay got enough money together to buy the house – a property he still owns today. The house gave him stability during his ‘intensive’ course which saw him attend daily lectures – even on Saturdays, with practicals in the afternoons.
We were trained to be good, rigorous and balanced pharmacists in hospitals or Boots or anywhere like that, he said.
“They wanted you to succeed and they wanted you to do well, they were encouraging. They really cared.”