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Beth Kennedy: My memories of Kirit

"Kirit was a larger-than-life character who was passionate about pharmacy."

The news that Day Lewis CEO Kirit Patel had unexpectedly passed away earlier this month rocked the sector.

Having had the privilege of interviewing Kirit several times in recent years, I was shocked and saddened in equal measure, and I still can’t quite believe that he is gone.

My enduring memory of Kirit comes from a visit to Day Lewis’s headquarters in Croydon last year.

During our interview, he spoke passionately about expanding the company, as you would expect any savvy business owner to do. But noticeably, he was equally passionate about offering his staff additional training, and ensuring that the company’s pre-registration students stood the best possible chance of passing the registration exam.

From that conversation, it was clear to me his company really does try to treat their staff like family – something that so many businesses claim, but fail, to live up to. I feel certain that this ideal will be upheld by the “next generation” of the company, as Kirit called them – his children Sam, Rupa and Jay.

As the news of his death was made public, social media and the C+D website was flooded with tributes to Kirit from friends and colleagues alike. It’s to his credit that so many of the messages remembered him not just for his professional achievements – of which there were many – but for the warmth of his character.

Kirit was a larger-than-life character who was passionate about pharmacy and never afraid to speak his mind. 

Quite simply, he was an enormously funny, generous and fun-loving man who always tried to do right by his employees. He will be much missed.

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