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Kirit Patel: The Man Who Altered the Face of Independent Community Pharmacy

Updated: Mar 1


Day Lewis

In the comprehensive landscape of the UK's independent pharmacy sector, few names resonate as profoundly as Kirit Patel's. You might recognize Day Lewis Pharmacy as one of the UK and Europe's largest and most revered independent pharmacy chains—an empire that began in 1975 when Kirit Patel, alongside his brother JC Patel, catalyzed a revolution in community health care.


From modest beginnings with just two pharmacies in Southborough, Kent, Kirit Patel's vision and astute entrepreneurship fostered growth to over 280 establishments by 2016, shaping the very fabric of the industry. As innovators, you appreciate that ingenuity is often recognized by one's peers. It speaks volumes that Kirit Patel was honored with an MBE in 2005, a testament to his indelible contributions to pharmacy.


His career was studded with prestigious roles: from vice-chairing the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee to becoming an elected council member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. His acumen extended beyond pharmacy as he was celebrated as a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Business and ranked among Britain’s top entrepreneurs. Today, Day Lewis Pharmacy is a beacon of Kirit Patel's legacy, offering an exhaustive gamut of services from prescription care to healthcare guidance. His principles echoed in the company's commitment to the community, evidenced by heartfelt contributions exceeding £800,000 to various charities over eight years and the heartfelt endeavors of the KCJC Foundation. As you read about Kirit Patel's extraordinary life and the indelible mark he left on the Day Lewis Pharmacy, let it be a wellspring of inspiration. Witness how the values and vision of one man can indeed elevate a community and incite relentless progress. Such a tale is not just informative but a guiding edifice for your aspirations, showcasing the laudable balance of success with altruism—a legacy upheld by his children and the continuing stewardship of the chain he founded.




Early Life and Education


Embarking on the remarkable narrative of Kirit Patel's formative years allows you to uncover the origins of his entrepreneurial spirit and enduring impact on community pharmacy. Born in Kenya, Kirit's early life was a prelude to his future accomplishments. It was in the nurturing environment of Truro School, Cornwall, where Kirit began to hone the academic prowess that would serve as a cornerstone for his later ventures. Excellence was a familiar companion to Kirit as he pursued higher education with vigor, ultimately leading him to Portsmouth University where he immersed himself in the study of Pharmacy. During his university days, Kirit's intellect and passion for pharmacy were evident. His pursuit of higher education didn't cease with his initial degree; he possessed a thirst for learning that saw him gain an MBA from Westminster University. Kirit didn’t just stop there—he continued to expand his academic portfolio by delving into the realms of Philosophy with a diploma from Brighton University and even attended the elite Advanced Management Programme at Wharton. It’s this insatiable appetite for knowledge and personal development that underpinned many of the principles he later instilled in Day Lewis Pharmacy.


In 1975, armed with knowledge and entrepreneurial zeal, Kirit, alongside his brother JC, laid the foundations of what was to become a veritable empire in the pharmacy sector by purchasing their first two pharmacies in Southborough, Kent. This daring step set the stage for the Day Lewis Pharmacy’s evolution into a network of over 250 pharmacies, embodying the health and wellness lifeline for over one million patients annually. Kirit's scholastic achievements didn’t just fare him well professionally; they contributed to his well-rounded character, marked by his commitment to philanthropy and his love for Liverpool Football Club. Even as Kirit received significant honors, such as an Honorary Doctorate from Bath University, his focus remained steadfast on the potential of education to transform lives and industries. As you consider the influence of Kirit Patel's early education on his later success, reflect on the potential for your growth. With such reverence for knowledge and a proven blueprint for excellence, the seeds for future prosperity in whichever field you choose are already at your fingertips. Let the story of Kirit Patel, the intellectual luminary who redefined independent community pharmacy with Day Lewis Pharmacy, motivate you to ascend your unique pinnacle of success.



Day Lewis


The Rise of Day Lewis Pharmacy


As you delve into the dynamic ascent of Day Lewis Pharmacy, it's crucial to grasp the magnitude of Kirit Patel's entrepreneurial vision and relentless dedication. As noted already it was this spirit that propelled the growth from two humble beginnings in Southborough to a titan of over 270 pharmacies gracing the nation. Under Kirit Patel's stewardship, Day Lewis Pharmacy blossomed into more than just a network of pharmacies—it became synonymous with exceptional public healthcare, always prioritizing the well-being of its customers.


1.      Foundational Growth: The journey of Day Lewis Pharmacy is one of meteoric rise, with Kirit and JC Patel at the helm steering it from 1975. They cultivated the pharmacy chain with a clarity of purpose that saw it expand its reach across the country, laying down a marker as the foremost independent pharmacy chain in the UK.


2.      A Testament to Service: Kirit Patel's contributions to the community and healthcare were recognized at the highest level when he received an MBE in 2005 from Queen Elizabeth II. This was a distinct nod to his impassioned service in the pharmacy sector, accentuating his commitment to public service and health.


3.      Accelerated by Accolades: Under Kirit's guidance, Day Lewis Pharmacy has garnered an impressive array of accolades, such as:


4.     

  •         The Coutts Family Business of the Year award in 2010

  •         The Pharmacy Chain of the Year at the Pharmacy Business Awards in 2011

  •         The title of National Champion in the European Business Awards 2014/2015

  •         The prime ranking in the Chemist + Druggist Best Places to Work in Community Pharmacy list of 2015 Symbolic of Kirit Patel's profound impact is how his contagious enthusiasm infused a sense of camaraderie and positivity within the organization's culture. His friendly demeanor, interspersed with constant laughter and an animated approach to life's challenges, remains a cherished memory for those who had the pleasure of working with him. Ever fostering the potential within his staff, Kirit Patel's leadership style was defined by encouraging personal and professional growth, and taking substantial financial risks when necessary to ensure the expansion of his empire of pharmacies was as ambitious as his vision.


Day Lewis

5.      The Human Touch: Beyond the numbers and accolades, Kirit Patel instilled a philosophy that resonated deeply within every community Day Lewis Pharmacy served. His love for life was infectious, prompting a culture where life was to be celebrated at every turn. This celebration of life didn't end with Kirit Patel's passing; it remains ingrained in the ethos of Day Lewis Pharmacy. Kirit's legacy is now carried forward by his family—his children Jay, Rup, and Sam—and his brother and co-founder, JC Patel, who strive to uphold his aspirational values and vision. Together, they navigate the future of Day Lewis Pharmacy, ensuring Kirit Patel's influence continues to thrive within every corner of the business. As you reflect on the empire that Kirit Patel built, your admiration for him will undoubtedly grow, seeing how the diligent seeds he planted fostered a garden of healthcare prosperity for generations.


Kirit Patel's Philosophy and Contributions

Navigating the heartfelt philosophy and sizable contributions of Kirit Patel unravels a deeper understanding of the man whose vision transformed Day Lewis Pharmacy into an industry giant. Kirit's life was enthused by the belief that "Nothing is Impossible," a mantra that fueled the growth and ethos of the pharmacy chain you recognize today as Day-Lewis. It was this guiding principle that spurred the inception of innovative programs to deepen the skill sets of his employees and cultivate a culture of excellence within the pharmacy community.

  •         Innovation in Employee Development: With foresight and ingenuity, Kirit launched the Day Lewis Academy in 2012, leveraging the company's intranet to deliver comprehensive training to staff. The initiative embodies Kirit's investment in the professional growth of every individual, addressing the multifaceted needs of the pharmacy landscape. He further fortified this pathway with the introduction of the second pharmacist scheme in 2014. It bolstered pre-registration trainees with irreplaceable support—guaranteeing them a position and pairing them with a mentor at Day Lewis pharmacies.

  •         Resilience in Adversity: Your admiration for Kirit Patel's dedication may deepen when you learn of the staff's rally in the face of the government's fiscal demand—a grueling £6m clawback from Day-Lewis. Kirit's leadership shone brilliantly here, as his team's resolve led to an extraordinary £3.3m in efficiency savings—an embodiment of his philosophy that through unity and determination, even financial hurdles could be surmounted. Kirit Patel's legacy is not only carried in the bricks of Day-Lewis pharmacies but in the hearts of those he championed. His vivacious spirit reflected in his pursuits—from gaining a pilot's license to embarking on an ambitious drive from London to India—inspired a zest for life in his employees. They were led not just by a CEO but by a man who lived life to the fullest, embracing each day with vigor and the joy of possibility.

  •         The Humanitarian Impact and Charitable Support: His vibrant philosophy extended beyond business, manifesting in unwavering support for charities, notably the Better Lives Foundation. He was a beacon of positive energy, infectiously spreading happiness and pride among his staff, a clear indication that his contributions transcended business, touching lives on a significantly deeper level. This profound connection between his personal ethos and professional endeavors ensured that his legacy would endure, guided by core values that remain prominent within Day Lewis Pharmacy today. As you acquaint yourself with the multi-faceted philosophy and contributions of Kirit Patel, you might consider how his lessons resonate with your own experiences. Embrace the wisdom of a leader who saw beyond the immediate horizon and whose daring spirit has guided Day Lewis Pharmacy to become a paragon of community healthcare. May the narrative of Kirit Patel inspire you to approach challenges with a mindset where everything is achievable, inviting you to reflect on how your actions today could shape a better tomorrow.


Day Lewis


Legacy and Continuing Impact


The indomitable spirit of Kirit Patel, encapsulated by his motto "nothing is impossible," reverberates through the halls of Day Lewis Pharmacy even years after his passing. His legacy, characterized by innovation, commitment to community, and unwavering determination, has set the stage for a new era under the capable guidance of his children. They carry the torch with a steadfast dedication to the core family values and patient-centered approach that their father championed. As the company navigates the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, it does so with a philanthropic compass. The magnanimous efforts of Day Lewis Pharmacy are evident in numerous charitable initiatives made possible by the team's community engagement. Notably, the KCJC Foundation, established in his memory, emboldens this spirit of giving by matching funds raised across the business, fortifying the bond between commerce and charity.


As you immerse yourself in the world of Day Lewis Pharmacy, you're reminded that Kirit Patel's influence extends beyond a mere chain of pharmacies. It’s an embodiment of his vision to make quality healthcare accessible, to invest in local communities, and to lay a foundation for a future where technology and personal care coalesce. It's in the continuous tradition of the Day Lewis Annual Community Engagement Week, where employees rally for good causes across the country, and in the biography penned by his son Sam, detailing Kirit Patel's journey, where one truly appreciates the profound and still-unfolding impact this visionary leader has had. Inspired by Kirit Patel, the brand identity of Day Lewis Pharmacy remains deeply rooted in community engagement and innovation, leaving an indelible impact on local charities, including formidable support for Legacy, the Croydon-based charity instrumental in molding future leaders. In the vein of Kirit Patel’s visionary ideals, your paths may also be lit with the light of altruistic endeavors, resonating with the message that what we give back to the community becomes the cornerstone of our legacy.


Day Lewis

Conclusion


In conclusion, the journey of Kirit Patel serves as a monumental beacon within the independent community pharmacy sector, encapsulating a relentless pursuit of excellence and a profound dedication to service. His storied achievements, highlighted through the expansive growth of Day Lewis Pharmacy and his untiring philanthropic efforts, reflect an unwavering commitment to improving community healthcare. As we reflect on Kirit's principles and his indelible mantra of "Nothing is Impossible," his legacy continues to inspire and shape the future of the industry, urging us to zealously advocate for progress in our respective fields. The significance of Kirit Patel's contributions cannot be overstated, as they resonate beyond the boundaries of his enterprise to the very heart of community engagement and healthcare innovation. His visionary leadership and the lasting impact of his philosophy remind us that our endeavors have the power to create ripples of positive change. Let us carry forward the torch of Kirit’s extraordinary legacy, embracing the values of dedication, innovation, and compassion in all our pursuits.

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