Day Lewis Pharmacy founder and CEO Kirit Patel never planned to enter the pharmaceutical game; however, fate had a different idea. Born in Kenya as the eldest of six siblings, he was sent off to England by his father to study medicine. Kirit showed the most potential at school and so he would become a doctor before returning to his hometown to open a practice. This wasn’t meant to be, however, as he failed to make the grades in medical school so transferred into pharmacy instead. Kirit graduated with a degree from Portsmouth School of Pharmacy in 1973 and two years later, after the death of his father and difficulties for his family in Kenya, he decided to look for a business to buy. He settled on a ‘pharmacy and a half’ in Southborough, Kent, and that was it.
“I became a pharmacist by default and my first venture was purely because of the circumstances I was in,” Kirit notes. “I had to make a bridge for my family to come over and my qualification gave me access to finance capital from the banks.”
Today, Day Lewis owns and manages 275 pharmacies in the UK, and employs more than 2,500 people. In addition to its strong retail base, it also has a central distribution division with warehouses equipped to supply more than 4,000 pharmaceutical products to its stores across the country. Kirit himself is a highly regarded entrepreneur and was recognised for his wonderful contribution to pharmacy and public service when, in 2005, he received an MBE from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.