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Our journey

  • Govindjibhai Hathi Senior (Dad) and Nirmalabhen Hathi (Mum) moved to the United Kingdom leaving their home in Uganda. Their only child, Samit Hathi joined them in 1972 at the tender age of 5, unable to speak English the journey in the UK started. The Hathi seniors worked tirelessly and saved enough money to purchase their first business, a convenience store in Coulsdon.
  • Long hours, fierce competition and the stress of working two jobs lead to the family decision to sell the convenience store 2 years later. Both Mum and Dad focussed their careers in banking. Investing long hours to move up the corporate ladder and showing Samit first-hand the results of a hard work ethic.
  • By now Samit's extended family had migrated to the UK. His uncles, being a very entrepreneurial bunch opened up their first business, an off-licence in North London. Within months a empty derelict shop was turned into a thriving business. With family members working during the day and then helping out at the shop at night the model for future expansion was set. Samit spent weekends and holidays working at the off-licence. The thrill of making a sale, the thrill of going on trips to the local Cash and Carry inspired Samit that he too one day wanted to be in business. Being only 12 years old was a slight barrier though!
  • Samit completed his A levels at Greenshaw, which was the local comprehensive school and was one a very few who went onto university. He was awarded a place at Kings College, London University to study Pharmacy.  During his 3 years of study Samit spent most of his time working at late night pharmacies. He worked evenings from six till eleven three days a week and weekends from nine in the morning till eleven at night. On one hand he became a cash rich student on the other he had very little time to enjoy University life.
  • Samit qualified as a Pharmacist. He then went on to complete his Pre-reg at Kingswood Chemist which was a chain of 100 plus shops owned by the Booker Cash and Carry group. In the evenings after finishing work at 6.00pm he found a second evening job at Westbury Chemists in Streatham which opened till midnight. So, in characteristic fashion worked over a 100 hour a week to fully learn the trade.
  • After qualifying, Samit locumed to gain varied experience and meet new owners who may one day be willing to sell their shop. Again, this turned into a seven day a week role.
  • Samit managed to purchase to his first shop, CH Smith Chemist in New Addington, with the help of a bank loan and family savings. Dad, newly retired from his banking role jumped straight into helping Samit in the shop and the business Journey for the family began. Longer hours, dedication to customers and a willingness to go that extra mile lead to the business nearly doubling in 12 months. This then lead to more purchases and over the next few years grew to a chain of 22 pharmacies jointly owned with close family friends, the Chotai family.
  • On a trip to Manchester for a family wedding Samit reluctantly had his first ever "arranged date" with unbeknown to him his future wife Alpa. Alpa Jobanputra, as she was then, was a successful executive who had graduated in business from Manchester University. After a very strange first meeting where neither Alpa or Samit liked one another they kept in touch and over time their friendship grew. (This was helped by the fact that Alpa lived with six other girls !!). Alpa then moved back to her family home in London and secured a prestigious role as a Business Development Manager role for Unilever.
  • In 1996 Samit had the chance to sell the pharmacies. He made the decision to sell the pharmacies as they faced many challenges such as the ending of retail price maintenance. Certainly, as a piece of advice to anyone in a similar position Samit would say work out the financials before you do anything. Make sure you can maintain your lifestyle without eating into your sale proceeds and make sure that you have something to do. Having a pot of money and eating into it is very disheartening.
  • Samit earned a place at the London Business School to read for a Masters in Business Administration. This proved to be an interesting experience as it exposed Samit to different ambitious people from all over the world. Simultaneously Dad not being able to sit and home and enjoy life went off and started in wholesaling. He partnered up with the original owner of their first pharmacy, a company called C&D supplies and the family journey into wholesaling began. At the same time, Alpa was headhunted by ICL and moved to take on a Regional Sales Manager role managing prestigious accounts such as Marks and Spencers.
  • As part of his thesis for his MBA, Samit studied the dynamics of the pharma market and in particular the wholesaling sector. When Samit graduated from London Business School, he dovetailed onto the business that Dad had built and from sales of about one million in 1998 the company grew. This all sprang from the knowledge that Dad had acquired whilst Samit was studying and Gowrie Ltd was born. Gowrie is a religious name in the Hindu religion and hence was chosen as the Limited company name.
  • Gowrie Limited was officially formed where Samit and Mr Hathi (Senior) started the wholesaling pharmaceutical business. The first site was in a small 300 square feet (Yes that is correct) warehouse based in the Park Royal Business centre. Armed with a small computer, a second-hand Sage software programme and lots of passion the company was on its' way. Alpa continued to work for ICL but of course worked evenings and weekends at Gowrie Ltd to help build the business. Some of her first customers are still with us today and to this day still phone up for chat.
  • The business continued growing. By working on wafer thin margins providing great customer service the company won business. Many people still remember the days when Dad used to bring the deliveries in his car.
    In 2000, Samit finally persuaded Alpa to join the business. Alpa Hathi joined the business full time managing Sales and Operations. The company had grown to 4 people Mr Hathi (Senior), Samit, Alpa and a Picker/Packer. B & S Healthcare was formed as a trading name for Gowrie Ltd. B & S stands for Buy and Sell.
  • The company kept on with its' philosophy of re-investing all profits and strengthening the business. B & S Healthcare expanded and after 3 moves within Park Royal Business centre purchased a 2,500 sqft freehold site in a brand-new estate in Park Royal called Oliver Business Park. The business grew to 15 employees and the company was audited and awarded a parallel import licence by the MHRA. Within months the company had outgrown the site.
    Also, in that year, the next generation of the B&S family Kishan Hathi was born.
  • The next site for the company was in a warehouse complex called the Crystal Centre in Harrow. The company fitted out a mezzanine floor on the building turning this into a 10,000 sq. ft unit. The company grew at a phenomenal pace for the next five years, growing from a standing start to hold 500 parallel import licences, 75employees and over £150m of revenues. Again, B&S had outgrown the site!!
  • B&S Healthcare commissioned the development of a brand-new site. This competed in 2007 and the company moved into the brand-new purpose-built facility in Ruislip. The site was officially opened by the local Mayor with a open day held for customers, suppliers and employees. The business grew to 200 employees and various divisions were hatched with the

    Birth of B & S Export

    Birth of B & S Property

    Birth of O'Neills

    Birth of Specials

    Samit and Alpa Hathi's second son, Sonish Hathi was born in 2007.

  • During this time the world experienced & faced the challenges of a worldwide global financial crisis. Banks collapsed, people lost jobs, interest rates were cut to near zero and governments fought hard to ensure that the financial system did not collapse. This effected businesses large and small. May organisations collapsed. The pound to Euro exchange rate collapsed by over 40% leading to a reduction in revenues at the group. Because the company had been very conservative in its' financing it managed to navigate through this period.
  • Due to the global financial crisis many companies faced financing problems. B & S Group were able to acquire the assets of Colorama Pharmaceuticals in 2010. This meant the group now had offices in Oxford, Manchester, Scotland and India. The group now employed over 800 employees. The focus turned to rationalising the group and stripping out unnecessary costs and streamlining the business. New IT systems were implemented into the acquisition and the business was totally reshaped.
    Samit and Alpa Hathi's third child was born, Ishavara Jaya Laxmi Hathi was born. She was born on a very auspicious day in the Hindu calendar and she brought great luck to the whole B&S family.
  • In November 2014, B&S were given the opportunity to acquire the distribution assets of one the original and dynamic pioneers of the Parallel import industry Waymade PLC. The deal was agreed within hours and after shaking hands the deal was completed in 2 weeks. The business was integrated fully within the B&S group within 6 months.
  • To further expand the storage capacity for the site, the Perivale distribution centre was further expanded and renovated to cope with the additional volumes from the Waymade deal. In addition the whole site was upgraded to match the corporate image of the B&S Group.
  • In 2017, the next site in the B&S group was opened. A brand-new facility in Ruislip, Stonefield was backing onto the Official opening of Stonefield Way, Ruislip (London). This is the third site in the UK.