HeForShe: Vish Patel | Head of Business Development UK & Europe, Specialist Pharmacy 

Vish Patel

Vish Patel is the Head of Business Development UK & Europe at Specialist Pharmacy.

Vish’s main role at Specialist Pharmacy is to drive education around compounded medicine to give patients and prescribers access to the highest quality personalised medications. His 17 years commercial experience, excellent management skills and ability to execute successful business strategies has really helped raise awareness around the benefits of compounded medicine across Europe.

His drive and motivation to help more patients get access customised medication, comes from his personal experience of the limitations of licenced medications. Whilst at Specialist Pharmacy, Vish has worked with some 500+ private doctors and prescribers with one very specific focus in mind – to get compounding pharmacists and prescribers to work together, share their knowledge and explore the best treatment options possible. For this reason, his work has been one of the major driving forces in filling the gap where licenced medication may have fallen short or failed to provide an adequate solution for patients. ​

Previously Vish has worked as Head of Sales and Business Development Europe at MEDISCA and Head of Sales and Strategy at Payco Services UK.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am currently working as Head of Commercial for both London Specialist Pharmacy and the Marion Gluck Training Academy. I’m now coming close to 6 years working within the personalised medicine industry with experience across treatment areas such as Bioidentical Hormone Restoration Therapy, Pain Management, Trichology, Dermatology and recently Veterinary medicines. I currently work alongside around  800 prescribers for our organisation with one high-level objective in mind, to improve access to more personalised medication so patients can get better treatment outcomes. I love the team and the industry I work in. Overall, I have spent some 20+ years in various commercial roles.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not so much at first, my mentality towards work and a career was more exploratory in nature. However, this was more so I could allow myself the time to experience different industries and roles.  I innately knew if I had an open mind towards trying different roles and applied my best efforts it would lead to unearthing what would eventually be my true ‘Calling.’

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Yes, of course, too many for me to go through here. However, what I can say is the biggest challenges I faced were more related to my own lack of experience, skillset, confidence or fear of failure than the actual challenge in front of me at any given time. What I have learnt is the more I stepped out of my comfort zone and into my fear zone, the more I learnt. Being willing to lean into the fear time and time again is what has helped me truly overcome any challenges and grow as an individual.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Being able to control my mindset. As soon as I learnt how to do this, a lot became clear to me in terms of what I wanted from life and what I didn’t – it paved the way for me to have a much more laser-light focus to go after what was important to me. Accolades and promotions are great but for me having a real sense of purpose is far more beneficial in the long run. My view on competition is it’s futile unless you’re competing with yourself.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Having a student mentality anytime I have felt out of my depth – being willing to be dedicated to my craft and expand my skillset has been key to my success.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

It is crucial for the well-rounded development of one’s strengths, skills and much more, you don’t know what you don’t know. Learning from other experts is the fastest way to become great at something and avoids making unnecessary mistakes. I have mentored over 50 people in my professional career, and have loved working with every single one of them with no plans of stopping!  It should be seen as a privilege to mentor someone and it has been very rewarding to see them grow as individuals in their own right. Yes, I have been fortunate enough in my professional career to have had 5 mentors to date; each has helped shape the person I am today, and without a shadow of a doubt I would not have enjoyed any of my professional successes without them. You know who you are and have my gratitude forever!

What can businesses/government/allies do to help diversity and inclusion?

Focus less on titles, and labels (including the words: diversity, inclusion, gender and race etc) and focus more on meriting and gauging people on great behaviours. For example, a ‘person’ (keyword) having a great work ethic, attitude, and passion, is a great example, is considerate of others, willing to work in a team, someone who shares credit… the list could go on – someone’s behaviour is what matters, nothing else. Imagine a world where all organisations adopted this method of determining whether a person is deserving or not.

Why do you think it’s important for men to support gender equality in the workplace?

I believe it’s important for men to not only support gender equality but rather support both men and women in the workplace for their accomplishments and who they are as a person and what they’re achieving within their professional roles. It is these behaviours as mentioned above that we should all be championing in the workplace.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Go hard early. A fact of life is the energy you have when you are younger is always going to be less when you get older.  Going hard early means later in life when you want really go after what you’re passionate about or slow down, you can.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

Short answer, is to be the best example I can be to my people and within the industry of personalised medicine. On a personal level, to be the best husband and father to my family.

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