Refugee-turned-entrepreneur honoured by College of Leicester

Refugee-turned-entrepreneur honoured by College of Leicester 20 July 2023

An entrepreneur who discovered sanctuary within the East Midlands after fleeing a brutal abroad regime has been honoured by the College of Leicester.

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE DL got here to Leicester as a baby refugee along with his household in 1972 to flee Idi Amin’s reign of terror in Uganda, with nothing however the garments on their backs and some suitcases.

From these humble beginnings, Dr Kotecha constructed up a vastly profitable profession, founding Morningside Prescription drugs, after which changing into a significant philanthropist as founding father of the Randal Charitable Basis, making worldwide contribution to prescription drugs, life sciences and innovation.

As we speak (Thursday 20 July), the College of Leicester formally recognised Dr Kotecha’s contribution to society, by awarding him an Honorary Doctorate of Science throughout a commencement ceremony, held at De Montfort Corridor.

Talking after the ceremony, Dr Kotecha, who grew up in Leicester, earlier than basing his worldwide prescription drugs enterprise in Loughborough, mentioned: “I’m really honoured and humbled to obtain this honorary diploma from the College of Leicester.

“As a younger man and all through my tutorial and entrepreneurial journey, I’ve lengthy been an admirer of the College’s dedication to supporting and growing younger folks.

“I hope my story helps encourage the subsequent era of innovators and entrepreneurs to work exhausting and comply with their desires of creating a constructive distinction to the world.

“My recommendation to all graduating college students is: as you step out into the world armed together with your levels, please keep in mind that you possess an influence, to positively form our world.

“You have got the potential to ignite change, to problem standard knowledge, and to make an enduring constructive affect on the lives of others. The world wants your concepts, your innovation, and your ardour to deal with the urgent problems with our time.”

After arriving within the UK, Dr Kotecha labored exhausting throughout his college years in Leicester to realize a Leicestershire council grant, which enabled him to start out his additional training in Newcastle.

He later went on to check for a PhD beneath the supervision of Professor Steven Ley FRS at Imperial School London, and additional doctorate work on the College of Cambridge. His areas of analysis included drug discovery of molecules to deal with sort II diabetes and an infection, which led to work into massive pharma.

Impressed by his childhood experiences, Dr Kotecha later established generic medicines producer and provider, Morningside Prescription drugs, with a mission to offer prime quality reasonably priced and accessible medicines to the world. This mission led to the enterprise changing into one of many main UK suppliers of a variety of medical provides to Worldwide Support Organisations, having exported to greater than 120 international locations globally since inception.

Dr Kotecha would lead the corporate for greater than 30 years and to nice worldwide success, earlier than divesting of the enterprise in 2022. Throughout his stewardship of the Prime 100 Leicestershire firm, the enterprise invested closely in analysis and improvement, which led to the launch of many inventions to assist sufferers take their drugs.

Dr Kotecha has beforehand supported the institution of the college’s Leicester Medical College. He has additionally labored carefully with the college to assist nurture innovation by means of its Innovation Hub; and extra extensively within the Midlands by means of his work as Chair of the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership’s (LLEP) Innovation Board.

In February 2023 he acquired the Excellent Achievement Award on the LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards in recognition of this dedication.

In 2017 Dr Kotecha and his spouse Moni based the Randal Charitable Basis with the purpose to straight save one million lives and considerably enhance the standard of life for these in want within the UK and around the globe. In addition to offering grants, one in all many initiatives supported by the Basis is driving nationwide coverage change to scale back the reoffending price amongst ex- prisoners by serving to them discover employment.

An extra mission led to a step-change of over £1billion in funding from the UK Authorities in help for these affected by habit, while one other is spotlighting the problem of loneliness and isolation in our society.

President and Vice-Chancellor of the College of Leicester, Professor Nishan Canagarajah, mentioned: “Nik has reaped distinctive achievements academically, in enterprise and thru his contributions of charity and philanthropy.

“For over 30 years he has utilised his ardour for drug discovery, worldwide commerce and offering high quality, reasonably priced healthcare to forge a extremely profitable profession, the place he has drawn on this expertise be a powerful voice and ambassador for enterprise, charitable organisations and establishing a charity that saves and improves lives.

“Nik is a powerful position mannequin to our graduates and the broader College neighborhood.”