I’ve been very busy recently, headhunting incredibly talented people to join the ‘dream team’ of my Alitam Executive Board. All of them are tasked to deliver the ‘Pharmacy of the Future’ concept, and begin to build a preventative healthcare model – one with the expertise of pharmacists at its core. It comes as we gear up for a significant influx of investment in Alitam, which will help facilitate my ambitious plans.
Each Executive Director is a pioneer in their field – top strategists, entrepreneurs, pharmacists, politicians and financiers. This extraordinary, revolutionary healthcare movement, requires extraordinary people to be at the helm. So I’ve handpicked some leading movers and shakers, exhaustively detailing to each the breadth and depth of my vision for Alitam, and pharmacy as a whole. Following a year of continual engagement and negotiations, I’m delighted to announce this line-up, which constitutes a formidable array of talent. Every single appointee, including latest board addition Bharti Patel, shares the drive to work collectively, as one body with one vision: to deliver easily accessible, affordable healthcare – encompassing a wide range of clinical services typically provided by GPs such as ear irrigation, vaccinations, weight management, diabetes checks, minor ailments clinics and much more. Thereby relieving the considerable burden on the NHS and HSE in Ireland.
We’re pulling together to implement innovations at incredible speed. The cross-fertilisation of ide-as is astonishing. Our acquisition strategy is am-bitious, we’re planning for 10% organic growth over the next five years. Our radical plans for preventative healthcare – as opposed to the current, reactive model – are also bold: I recently announced a multi-billion-pound plan to launch a chain of ‘Super Pharmacies’ across the UK and Ireland within the next five years. These Super Pharmacies will offer everything from highly regulated ophthalmic and audiology services to physiotherapy and even midwife-led care.
Leading the executive team, is Chairman Sir Ken Olisa, Lord Lieutenant of London (the Queen’s representative in the capital) and a leading light in the worlds of business and philanthropy – for which he earnt a knighthood in 2018. As Director of Reuters he was the first British-born black man to serve as a Director of a FTSE100 company. In 2016 he was named Number 1 in the Powerlist’s roster of the UK’s most influential black people. Until recently, he served as a non-executive board member of Huawei but resigned last week over a matter of principle regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Chief Operating Officer is Bharti Patel, the former Avicenna Group Executive Director who boasts a strong track record of creating value for major UK, European and global organisations within the healthcare sector. Bharti is charged with overseeing the integration of new pharmacies to the Alitam Group, achieving cost efficiencies and improving profit margins. She will also work closely with me in building a preventative healthcare network; identifying reputable suppliers of services, negotiating terms and helping the board, and all Alitam pharmacies, implement these services.
Zac Brech, former MD of Credit Suisse, takes the role of MD. Zac personally managed the complex and high profile merger of Alliance Unichem and Boots. He thus brings great insight and know-how regarding M&A deals in the world of pharmacy – of inestimable value to me at this vital juncture, as we seek significant private equity investment. Zac will be working on the financial modelling of the ambitious 100+ roll-up programme. He will also be tasked with the financial modelling of organic growth for individual pharmacies, as Alitam seeks to integrate innovative service lines.
Dhruv Patel OBE is a renowned businessman, politician and community organiser. One of my earliest signings to the Alitam board, Patel heads up the Next Gen technology roll-out across all stores. He was a Governor of East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) from 2014 to 2017 during a time in which they achieved an Outstanding rating from the CQC. He currently sits on the Property Committee (circa £300m in real estate assets) of the Clothworkers Livery Company. Dhruv is widely tipped to be a leading political figure in the near future.
Head of UK Pharmacies is Harry Johal, a highly experienced pharmacist and currently an Equity Director in the largest UK pharmacy group within Alitam. He possesses not just a
great deal of operational experience, but a thorough understanding of the professional services side too. He is working to support and guide all the UK pharmacies within Alitam to co-ordinate and integrate.
Head of Ireland pharmacies is Ray McSharry, who runs the largest pharmacy group in the West of Ireland and brings his formidable experience and deep insights to the board. Prakash Patel is the Alitam Operations Director. Prakash has a formidable reputation among pharmacists, works tirelessly on various industry boards; and is a vocal advocate for support forpharmacies in the face of regulatory change.
Prakash assists Alitam in reducing costs, increasing its economies of scale, and facilitating the group’s expansion across the UK. Antony Isaacs, one of the city’s foremost movers and shakers, also joined the board recently, as non-executive director (subject to contract). Antony’s knowledge of Equity Capital Markets (ECM) is second to none, having established ECM divisions for a number of high profile banks such as Credit Suisse and HSBC Global bank. Three decades of experience in the city has furnished Antony with the knowledge and expertise to guide Alitam in seeking high level investment; and in achieving the goal of acquiring over 100 further stores in the next two years. Antony will also be instrumental in planning the roll-out of ‘Super Pharmacies’ at key locations in the UK and Ireland.
And finally, I’m honoured to have the role of CEO. This will be largely focused around tasks such as steering the group strategy; implementing new product and service lines; driving cost efficiencies and new income streams; and heading up the M&A team. But the endgame is that, by creating the trusted, visionary high street pharmacy Alitam, more lives will be saved, rates of infection will be lowered, clinical issues will be spotted early on and treated efficiently, secondary care services will be protected – and suffering from physical and mental problems will become greatly reduced. This is the mission I hold in my heart at all times as CEO of this inspiring company.
Given the capabilities of our Board, investors clearly have huge confidence in us to deliver. Everyone sees right away the ‘industrial logic’ – as Sir Ken calls it – of Alitam, and I am in talks with several interested parties. I’ll be making further announcements soon in this regard. I’m also presiding over a gathering of over 25 business and pharmacy leaders this month, at the Global Reset 2022 forum, to work collectively to radically change our current, inefficient healthcare model. This initiative has received huge backing, and there’s no doubt that the face of pharmacy will be transformed.