Doctorate for Sigma's Bharat Shah

Monday July 25, 2011
By Sam Devraj  ( Assistant Editor )
Bharat Shah (centre) poses for the camera with his family

Bharat Shah (centre) poses for the camera with his family

A LEADING Asian entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry has been honoured by the university he attended as a student for his “compelling” and “tremendous” contribution to his profession.
Bharat Shah, the managing director of Sigma Pharmaceuticals, returned to Bath University 40 years after studying there to collect an honorary doctorate in business administration.

Shah has spent three decades building up a reputation as one of the leading entrepreneurs within the pharmaceutical industry. He has pioneered the process of medicines distribution to local and national healthcare providers through his own chain of pharmacies.

Bath University orator professor Richard Guy, said: “In Bharat Shah, we have an individual who has led his life by a simple, yet compelling set of beliefs, one who has acquired knowledge and applied it with tremendous skill to the establishment and operation of a still-growing business that makes medicines available at affordable cost.”

“They actually told me in December that they wanted to give it to me and asked me if I would accept,” said Shah, who received his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at Bath University in 1971. “I said yes straight away. I kept it a secret until the graduation ceremony. It was a real honour to receive the honorary doctorate. To receive that from my own university was fantastic.”

Sigma is one of the leading suppliers of pharmaceutical products and a prolific parallel importer of drugs; the company buys generic medicines abroad before reprocessing and repackaging them for sale in the UK.

“It was recognition for all the hard work I've done. It hasn’t really sunk in. I actually never thought I would wear the red robe,” Shah said. “In the industry it’s a prestigious award to have and much more of an honour for pharmacists to get. In business, it means a lot.”


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