Chancellor, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you and the congregation Mr Kirit Patel MBE. Kirit is a role model for our younger generations, having not only established a thriving, award-winning family business to provide for both his immediate and extended family, but also to provide better healthcare for communities across the country.
Born in Kenya, Kirit is one of the UK’s most recognised pharmacy entrepreneurs. CEO of Day Lewis Pharmacy, he has over 40 years of retail pharmacy experience and has grown his company from two pharmacies in 1975 to over 270 pharmacies in the UK today. His commitment to public healthcare and wellbeing is irrefutable as, in 2005, he was awarded an MBE by her Majesty the Queen for his contribution to pharmacy and public service.
Prior to founding Day Lewis with his brother JC Patel, Kirit graduated from Portsmouth University with a BSc Honours degree in Pharmacy. As a qualified pharmacist he proceeded to complete an MBA at Westminster University and receive a Diploma in Philosophy from Brighton University, both in 1988. Later in 2006, he completed an ‘Advanced Management Program’ at Wharton Business School, which thus concludes his remarkable educational background.
Kirit holds an impressive history of board positions – another indicator of both his strengths as a businessman and dedication to public health. From 2000-2003, he held a position on the Small Business Council as appointed by the Secretary of State for Trade & Industry. Following this in 2004, he was appointed by the Cabinet Office to The Better Regulation Task Force, in which he remained until 2006. Finally, from 1992-2004 he was both a Chairman and Board Member of the National Pharmaceutical Association, a representative trade body of the professional and commercial interests of around 11,000 community pharmacy owners in the UK.
Today, as CEO of Day Lewis Pharmacy, Kirit leads what he calls a “family” with over 2500 colleagues all working towards the company’s mission, which is “to help people in the community to stay healthy and feel better”. Having achieved much personally, it is unsurprising that Kirit has carried forth his passion and drive to much success within his company.
With Gold Investors in People status, Day Lewis has achieved a multitude of accolades, including: winning Coutts Family Business of the Year in 2010 and Pharmacy Chain of the Year at the Pharmacy Business Awards in 2011, being selected as a National Champion for the European Business Awards 2014/2015, and ranking first in the Chemist + Druggist Best Places to Work in Community Pharmacy 2015 list. Day Lewis’ individual pharmacies are also award-winning. Most recent achievements are the company’s Ledbury pharmacy winning the Pharmacy Team Award and its Harrods department store pharmacy winning the Health & Beauty Pharmacy Award at the Pharmacy Business Awards in September 2015.
Besides heading a successful company Kirit, who has previously been awarded CEO of the Year at the PwC UK Private Business Awards, is also an avid supporter and participant of charitable giving. Within Day Lewis Kirit established an annual charity day, in which pharmacies and support office colleagues are encouraged to fundraise for local charities of their choice. Last year, the company raised a total of £50,000, which was – as is tradition – generously matched pound for pound by Kirit and his family, thus totalling the company’s final fundraising amount to £100,000. This is an undeniable testament to Kirit and Day Lewis’ strong commitment to the community.
The qualities exemplified by Kirit Patel are those to which we at the University of Bath are also committed.
Chancellor, I present to you Mr Kirit Patel MBE, who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa.
Professor Andrew Brown