After graduating from the College of Pharmacy in Leicester, Vijay opened his first pharmacy in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, in 1975. By 1984, he had grown this to 18 pharmacies, which he sold to Boots in 2001.
In 1984, Bhikhu joined Vijay to create Waymade PLC, seeing the opportunity to wholesale and distribute to not just their own but third party pharmacies and hospitals. They grew the business organically to revenues of £270m by 2002, culminating in winning Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.
It was also during this period that the Patels started investing in their real estate portfolio. They began by buying the freeholds to their pharmacies, and then expanded into residential and commercial properties with a focus on health, shelter and education.
Since the 1990s, the Patels have donated significant sums to charitable causes, including the building of hospitals and schools in India. This led them to set up the philanthropic Shanta Foundation, which funds UK and international projects with a focus on emergency shelter, education and healthcare.
In 2003, the Patels set up Amdipharm to buy off-patent pharmaceutical assets from large pharmaceuticals. Over the next decade, they invested over £250m in buying the rights to over 50 medicines and creating a distribution network in over 100 countries. By 2012, Amdipharm had generated revenue of over £100m and was sold to a private equity firm later that year.
In 2013, the Patels set up their family office, Waymade Capital, to manage their diversified interests and investments. They also created Atnahs in late 2013, investing £90m to acquire a set of pharmaceutical assets in both the UK and internationally.
Bhiku Patel, Co-Chairman
“Over 40 years Vijay and I have sought to build businesses in healthcare that serve the local community and employ people locally. We are delighted that our children and their families are taking on this mantle. We look to them to continue our tradition of entrepreneurship, to invest in the local and national economy, to support charitable causes across the world.”
Waymade Capital is the Family Office of Vijay and Bhikhu Patel. It comprises the four pillars of: Pharma, Property, Private Equity and Philanthropy. It is the culmination of a career that started with a single pharmacy in Leigh-on-Sea.