Tej Lalvani – Entrepreneur and Dragons Den Multi-Millionaire

Dragons Den Tej Lalvani
Dragons Den Tej Lalvani

This article is about the new Dragons Den ‘Dragon’ Tej Lalvani. This is another of the Dragons Den entrepreneurs I have written about recently. So as Tej Lalvani is going to be new to the BBC show, I thought I’d look him up and write about his rise to success as an entrepreneur.

In this article about Tej Lalvani, I’m going to cover the following:


Tej Lalvani is the CEO of the UK’s largest by sales vitamin company Vitabiotics, and will be working along-side Dragons Den Touker Suleyman too.

Tej Lalvani CEO of Vitabiotics in the UK…

With a yearly turnover of more than £300 million, Vitabiotics stands strong as the largest company in the manufacturing of vitamins in UK.

Most important entrepreneur characteristics

Founded in 1971 by Professor Kartar Lalvani, this company has managed to reach unimaginable heights under the leadership of his son, Dragon’s Den Tej Lalvani.

Under the leadership of Tej Lalvani, the company has grown into one of the most innovative companies in the field of nutrition. The company now has reach of over 100 countries around the world.

Tej Lalvani’s leadership has taken the company Vitabiotics to over 100 countries around the globe.

In the words of Tej himself, “We look at the demographics of a country, the economic fundamentals, and generally start in a new territory by working with a distributor, and going from there.”

This speaks clearly of the kind of research and the effort put down by the younger Lalvani in achieving his dreams.

Tej Lalvani and Vitabiotics

Dragons Den Tej Lalvani - Vitabiotics logo
Dragons Den Tej Lalvani – Vitabiotics logo

Dragon’s Den Tej Lalvani has been an active participant of the family of Vitabiotics for the past two decades. He has proved from time to time, his commitment and shrewd business acumen in various business ventures.

The company which grosses over £300 million every year, has topped the list in nutritional supplement companies in UK, with more innovative products added every year. The company has a global reach of more than 100 countries to its credit. Vitabiotics is well known for some of its vitamin supplements, including Pregnacare, Wellman, Wellwoman and Perfectil.

Under the capable hands of Tej Lalvani, the company has even made its mark with innovation. Vitabiotics added the Queen’s award for recognition to its crown. The company is also the proud receiver of the supplier of the year award from Boots.

Dragon’s Den Tej Lalvani did not take over as CEO directly on one fine day, but instead worked his way up through the company ranks

Humble beginnings shaped Tej Lalvani

Tej Lalvani worked from scratch, working his way through various departments in the company, whilst gaining experience. He has even driven forklifts as part of his learning experience. His knowledge over the years has helped him to build on his achievements.

Taj Lalvani has even driven forklifts on his way up to the top of Vitabiotics

He states, “I started out driving forklift trucks in a warehouse. But I wanted to do it that way — it is important to understand how all the different parts of the business operate and to see how important each part is.”

His vision and his goal are to build Vitabiotics into the single largest vitamin supplements producing company in the entire world. And he works strenuously towards the same. One can say that his humble beginnings, working in different aspects of the business, helped him to learn more and to become the entrepreneur of today.

Entry into Dragon’s Den for Tej Lalvani…

Dragons Den Tej Lalvani Entrepreneur and Businessman
Dragons Den Tej Lalvani Entrepreneur and Businessman

Tej Lalvani’s entry into Dragon’s Den happened suddenly. It happened when Steve Parish, who was to appear for this year’s episode, pulled out. Parish cited his reasons for not joining the show as of lack of time and commitment.

Parish was originally invited to replace Nick Jenkins. But it’s no surprise to see that Tej Lalvani was invited to take over instead the now vacant seat in the Den, as the Tej Lalvani net worth is over £275 million.

When questioned about the news, the now Dragon’s Den Tej Lalvani was all excited to be part of the venture. Saying that he is looking forward to working with people who are hard working and passionate about their businesses.

Tej Lalvani’s has a geek side…

With Tej Lalvani net worth crossing over the £275 million mark, you would probably be expecting someone who is committed to work, and who doesn’t have time for other interests. Whilst Tej is extremely committed to his work, he is also equally as geeky on the side, with an undying love for the latest gizmos.

This shows in his interest in the ‘watch-controlled Aston Martin’, for which he confirmed a pining for. He has also confirmed in one of his interviews, that he tries to get his hands on the latest model of the BlackBerry, even before it ventures on to the market.

Dragon’s Den Tej Lalvani recalls writing code for a simple stock market game in his early years. This being one of the geekiest things he has ever done. He is quite proud of his gadgets, and shows them off whenever possible to friends and family. Of all the equipment that he has, he loves his private music studio, with faders and a mixing desk which he is able to control remotely.

Owning the process…

Tej Lalvani - Owning the process
Tej Lalvani – Owning the process

Vitabiotics has more than 15 brands and multiple products under its wing. The products it has are in different segments, including skin, nails, hair-care and pregnancy. With a yearly turnover breaking the £300 million level, the company retains a huge chunk of the market in the nutritional sector.

The success of the company, according to its CEO Tej Lalvani, is the fact that they own every new product from beginning to end. From the time of researching products, to the marketing of them and then finally to the launching of the products into the market.

He states, “More care goes into elements like the packaging, if we own the process ourselves” when he’s seen speaking about owning the process holistically.

Being simple is the key to success

Whilst many people brag about simplicity, the Lalvani family have definitely embraced this into their processing. In the opinion of Tej Lalvani, the very fact that they have kept the entire process simple, is the key for their success.

They have never ventured out to buy other businesses to expand. But rather expanded their own in-house research…and therefore grown their business organically. And this ‘simple processing’ has definitely made the Tej Lalvani net worth, more than just simple. It also won Tej the “Youngest Entrepreneur” award for 2013.

Tej Lalvani’s interests

Dragons Den Tej Lalvani
Dragons Den Tej Lalvani

Tej Lalvani net worth, which crosses over £275 million, speaks volumes on the amount of hard work he had put in to grow his Vitabiotics business.

He wanted to be a film director at a young age. Yet he found himself on the way to making his family company achieve greater heights, in the nutritional supplement industry.

He is quite busy in managing new product launches. Despite this he still finds time to mix music in his own studio. And like most men, he is very fond of cars. He is especially fond of the latest Aston Martin, the DBS convertible. This is the latest car which can be controlled with a wrist watch.

Tej wedding and Tara his wife

Dragon’s den Tej Lalvani, married Tara Ruby, in the year 2011. The wedding was a lavish ceremony, and a perfect combination of traditional and modern practices.

The celebrations lasted for days, combining both the modern British elements and the traditional Indian ones too. Thus keeping every one happy. There was a Mehendi Ceremony and a Sangeet to meet the Indian tradition. Whilst there was clubbing and a romantic boat ride, to live up to the British expectations of a wedding.

The marriage was a simple affair in the Gurudwara and a marriage at the Marylebone registry. The wedding was a perfect blend of Indian and western elements. But it was definitely talk of the town for the glamour and the glitterati.

Serving others through charity…

Tej Lalvani - Serving others
Tej Lalvani – Serving others

Coming from a family which left Karachi, where people struggle to gain a foothold, to start their life anew in the UK, Dragon’s den Tej Lalvani is well aware of the struggles that one has to face when climbing to the top.

He therefore works towards improving the wellness of others outside his family bond. He is part of multiple charity funds. In fact, even as part of their wedding, Tej and Tara raised donations to help charity. Which was for the Baale Mane project in Bengaluru, India, .

The Vitabiotics foundation has also been spending on many open charities. These charities involve education, disability, poverty relief, famine relief, overseas aiding, amateur sports and has been providing grants to many individuals and organizations. It has also supported and sponsored young entrepreneurs in chasing their dreams.

Be it sponsoring new entrepreneurs or pursuing his favorite music or a charity focused wedding ceremony, Dragon’s den Tej Lalvani does seem to do things in his own style.

He probably has a long way to go, in achieving his dream of building a world-renowned conglomerate, and yet there is no doubt that this Dragon’s Den star will accomplish his objectives in his own pace.

 

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Tej Lalvani – Entrepreneur and Dragons Den Multi-Millionaire

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