Tej Lalvani is a British business tycoon and television personality. He is the CEO of UK’s biggest vitamin manufacturers, ‘Vitabiotics’, a company founded by his father after the partition of India and Pakistan. But he is most famous as one of the ‘dragons’ on ‘BBC Two’s’ show ‘Dragons’ Den’. He was born in India and shuttled between India and the UK throughout his childhood before attaining a business degree from the UK and settling down in the country. He joined his father’s company as a forklift operator and worked his way up to CEO. He has been credited with ‘Vitabiotics’ success for the last 20 years, which now has a presence in at least 100 countries. He has great business acumen, especially in marketing and branding. He and his business have won several prestigious awards. After his appearances on the celebrated television show, he has achieved tremendous popularity and fame.
As a young man, Tej Lalvani harboured dreams of becoming a film director. But he chose to join his father’s company instead. Soon after graduating from college, he joined his father’s company as a forklift operator and worked in each and every department before becoming the CEO. After taking over the top spot in the company, he took ‘Vitabiotics’ to new heights. Within the last 20 years, the company has expanded to cover a wide range of popular and award-winning products like ‘Perfectil’, ‘Pregnacare’ and ‘Wellwoman’, some of which are available in more than a hundred countries.
While his father is still the Chairman, Tej Lalvani is mainly responsible for marketing, advertising, branding and product design. Besides using traditional mediums like celebrity endorsements and print, television and outdoor media, he took the company forward into the social-media age by creating campaigns to reach out to younger customers. The company is well-known for roping in famous personalities like Nicole Scherzinger, Tess Daly, etc. into its outdoor campaigns.
He is known to be an involved leader who takes a keen interest in every aspect of the business, including reading customer feedback emails. Along with ‘Vitabiotics’, he too has won several awards. In 2012, ‘Asian Business Awards’ honoured him with the ‘Young Entrepreneur’ award. In 2013, he was presented with the same award by ‘TiE’, a global entrepreneurs’ organisation. In 2017, he was ranked as the 48th most influential person of Asian origin in the UK on the ‘GG2 Power List’.
He also supports various healthcare initiatives and charitable organisations, especially those dedicated to women and children’s wellness. Notable charities supported by him are ‘Wellbeing of Women’ dedicated to impacting the healthcare of women and babies in the UK and ‘Bliss’ that supports the care of sick and premature babies.
He is famous across the UK for his role as ‘dragon’ on the ‘BBC Two’ channel’s show ‘Dragons’ Den’. He joined the show after the departure of another businessman, Nick Jenkins. He has brought his sharp business acumen and marketing and innovation expertise to the show, and reportedly breathes fire down the necks of entrepreneurs who feature on the show. Even though he is the newest member of the cast, he is said to have invested the most in new entrepreneurial ventures featured on the show.
Though he has achieved wide fame through ‘Dragons’ Den’, he remains passionate about growing ‘Vitabiotics’, hoping to expand into China and the U.S. He aims to make it the global leader in supplements and vitamins. He also has a property investment venture in London that he runs with his wife. He is considered to be one of the wealthiest businessmen in the UK, with a personal fortune amounting to several million British pounds.
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Family & Personal Life
Tej Lalvani was born on July 13, 1974, in India. His father’s name is Professor Kartar Lalvani and his mother was a former ‘Miss India’ and ‘Miss World’ contestant. His father is said to have fled Karachi for Bombay during the partition of India, and later, attained an excellent education in pharmacy and chemistry in both London and Germany, leading to the establishment of ‘Vitabiotics’. Tej spent his childhood travelling between Bangalore and London, but did not get to spend much time with his parents until permanently moving to the UK for higher studies at 16 years of age.
In 1996, he graduated from ‘University of Westminster’s’ ‘Westminster Business School’. In 2011, in London, he married Tara Ruby. They have at least two children together, but no information is available about them. He is said to start his day very early, squeezing in his business interests and his filming commitments for ‘Dragon’s Den’ alongside setting aside time for his family. He is known to place great importance on work-life balance. His hobbies include composing music and playing various musical instruments like guitar, keyboard and drums. He currently lives in London, UK, with his family.