Dr Sanjay Kumar Pitalia, was announced NRI International Entrepreneur of the Year by Times Now on 11 July 2017.
Online PR News – 01-September-2017 – 11/7/2017 – Dr Pitalia was born in Dewas, MP in 1960. He attended many local government schools in Ujjain, Ghatia, Shampure, Sehore and Dewas.
At the age of 12 he completed his Metric exams in Dewas. He spent 2 years living with his Nanaji and Naniji (Mangilal Jain - Fireworks wholesalers) before going to England to join his father, mother and younger brother who had left for the UK some 2 years earlier.
On initial arrival in UK, he was not even able to speak English. This proved to be an immense challenge. However, determined to succeed even from that young age, he devoted many extra hours daily learning to speak English, whilst still attending school for other subjects such as Chemistry and Physics. Despite his lack of English, he always topped the school in Maths!
An early school report predicted that Sanjay might possibly pass some basic exams. Not one to be beaten, he proved the teachers wrong and in less than 4 years went on to be awarded the Headmaster’s Prize for the most successful student. 10 years later, Sanjay become a Governor for the Board of one of the schools he had attended.
1978 saw Sanjay fulfil all criteria to gain entry into Manchester University to study Medicine. His leadership roles started early when, as a skilled bowler and batsman, he was chosen to captain the Medical School Cricket Team in 1980.
Successfully completing MBChB in 1983, he went on to complete post-graduation with DRCOG, DCH and MRCGP.
1984 Sanjay married Shikha who was still a medical student at the time. Shikha also graduated from Manchester University in 1987. Sanjay and Shikha’ s ‘partnership’ exceeds far beyond their marriage. Together they have pioneered health innovation in the UK’s NHS system for over 15 years. Along the way they have gained national accolades and recognition for improving services and patient access. Their visionary style and entrepreneurial flare has now also expanded into the UK’s private healthcare market. They co-founded Pall Mall Medical in 2010 and the business has gone from strength to strength, particularly over the last 3 years since their son Raja has taken the helm in progressing the business to higher echelons.
Perhaps it is destiny that Sanjay and Shikha met in the UK. Both Sanjay's father, Pyare Lal Pitalia and Shikha's father, Vinod Kumar Saksena spent 5 years together at Bhopal Medical School in the late 50s and early 60s. They both made the brave decision to go to the UK in 70s and reunited there as batch mates. The rest, as they say, is history.
Sanjay joined his father as a partner in General Practice in 1987.
His professional and business achievements have been many and varied.
He has been elected to various government health organisation boards to run the local National Health Service (NHS) by his peers, both local and overseas doctors.
Much of the successes of Sanjay can be fairly attributed to the personal and professional support and partnership with his wife Shikha.
Shikha in her own right has also been elected to numerous government health bodies and has served in senior roles, including an advisory role at the Department of Health. Shikha has been the recipient of many national awards including GP of the Year by Royal College of General Practitioners faculty.
Sanjay and Shikha’s first business venture was to design, build and run a 60 bedded nursing home in the 1990s. Experiences gained during this venture have served them well. Together they are the founders and directors of SSP Health, one of the largest NHS GP services provider in England and Pall Mall Medical, a burgeoning provider of excellence in private healthcare and aesthetics.
Sanjay has been working in partnership with his younger brother Anil. Although by training Anil is an Ophthalmologist, but like Sanjay he has a business flair himself. Anil is married to Asha from the well respected Bangani family from Indore.
Together the 2 brothers have ran many diverse businesses such as importing cars from Europe, Property Investment and Property Construction Companies. The latter two are still trading strongly under their leadership.
Details of Current Healthcare Businesses
Over 15 years ago Sanjay and Shikha pioneered a business where they started running multiple GP clinics. This was a new and innovative concept for the NHS. Soon they became one the largest providers of GP services to the NHS under the name of SSP Health. In 2012 they were awarded 20 contracts for GP surgeries for the NHS. This was and remains the largest contract award in the NHS history for a GP contract award.
Sanjay and Shikha continue to expand their SSP Health model delivering NHS GP services.
In 2010 they went into the private health sector in England by setting up Pall Mall Medical (PMM). They started off with a modest private clinic and have grown this into 3 facilities across Manchester and Liverpool areas. Their largest facility is a full hospital providing outpatient clinics, diagnostics such as MRI, CT, Endoscopy and 2 full theatres with overnight bedrooms. They designed and built all their own facilities.
Their children Raja and Aanya studied in prestigious UK universities. Raja graduated top of his year from Manchester with a BEng Hons in Aerospace Engineering. He then went on to Cambridge University where he completed his MPhil at the internationally renowned Judge Business School. Aanya chose to study Law with Spanish at University College London (UCL). She spent a year in Spain and now speaks fluent Spanish. She then decided that she wanted to do CA and joined KPMG last year to commence this. Aanya is keeping her options open for the future after she finishes her CA in 2 years.
After his MPhil from such a world-class institute, Raja decided to join the family businesses. He is now the Business Manager for SSP Health and PMM. Raja, has excelled in his role and taken on the day to day operations and business development roles at PMM. His achievements have already been recognised independently and raja was awarded the honour to be named Young Businessman of the Year in 2016 by the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.
Having been fortunate in succession planning with Raja joining the family business Sanjay and Shikha are free to pursue the next phase of their life.
Giving back to their Roots
Sanjay and Shikha are currently planning to set up a charitable trust in India. The trust will be set up to provide full educational, health and social welfare facilities to orphaned children. The first such centre will be set up around Indore. They are currently looking for land of 40-50 bighas to start this centre. The centre will provide education for children until they achieve an ability to be self-sufficient with appropriate skills, a profession or graduate level qualifications. It will house residence for the children and staff, educational facilities alongside recreational opportunities. It is planned that when fully operational this should provide full time and comprehensive care and education for 1,000 children.
This ambitious project will require significant time input from Sanjay and Shikha, hence they are in the process of building a home in Indore. They have already acquired the land and are working with local Indore professionals in designing and constructing their home for their return, after 40 years away, to be back in India.
Sanjay has been clear from the day he left India for the UK that he will return back to India one day. He has now taken the steps to set up a home in Indore to facilitate his Charitable work.
Sanjay feels he is now at a stage of his life where he can now give something back to the Indian community - where better to do this then in MP where he spent his childhood.
He said "I have been fortunate in my life. I now want to give back to those who are not as fortunate and may benefit from what I have learned in life. Mera Desh mujhe bula raha hai.”
He went on to say, "Winning Entrepreneur NRI of the Year from UK is a most amazing accolade. I am humbled by the immense honour the award bestows. Had I known at the outset that there would be 25,000 registrations I may never have had the courage to proceed!"