50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders

LDC's 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders

We’re delighted to announce that our Chairman, Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, has been named as one of The LDC’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders for 2021.

The programme, which is supported by The Times and now in its fourth year, celebrates the inspiring leaders behind some of the UK’s most successful and fast-growing firms.

The featured Top 50 were selected from over 600 applications from every corner of the country and operate across a diverse range of sectors. Collectively, they employ more than 9,500 people and contribute more than £1.2bn to the UK economy.

Dr Kotecha’s business, Morningside Pharmaceuticals based in Loughborough, manufactures and supplies generic medicines to the UK and international export markets.

Morningside was established from a home garage in the 1990s, and is now one of the UK’s leading suppliers of a wide range of quality medicines to international Aid organisations, NGOs and charities, having exported to more than 120 countries since inception.

Through focussing on innovation, continuous improvement and making significant investment in Research & Development, Morningside has developed new ways for patients to take their medicines, designed to make their lives easier.

Today, the business has over 240 generic and branded licenced medicines in the UK and EU, which are delivered twice daily to UK pharmacies and hospitals, as well as save the NHS millions of pounds each year.

Dr Kotecha said: “It is a great privilege and an honour to make this national list alongside so many talented business leaders and entrepreneurs. One of my passions is working with young entrepreneurs to help them develop the necessary skills and experience to create the success stories of tomorrow. I hope my story and experiences can inspire and encourage others to try new things and follow their entrepreneurial dreams.”

As well as being a successful entrepreneur, influencer and business leader, Dr Kotecha now focusses much of his time and expertise to philanthropy, which led to the establishment of the Randal Charitable Foundation with his wife Moni in 2017.

The charity has a mission to directly save lives and significantly improve the lives of people in the UK and globally, and has already saved over 145,000 people by providing grant funding to a wide-range of charities working directly with communities on the ground.

Dr Kotecha added: “I’m immensely proud of the Foundation’s work, both in the UK and globally, which has made a big difference to hundreds of thousands of lives, which may well have been lost or significantly disadvantaged without the Foundation’s support. I hope my inclusion in the LDC’s list also recognises the importance of giving back to communities and society as a whole.”

LDC’s John Garner added: “The last 18 months have presented challenges that none of us could have foreseen, but despite everything, it’s fantastic to see that so many business leaders have achieved remarkable things. Through their resourcefulness and resilience, this year’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Leaders prove that the flame of ambition is hard to extinguish. Congratulations to all those featured and we look forward to seeing their continued success and impact, and contribution the broader UK economy.”

You can find out more information on this year’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders programme here.


World’s Biggest Coffee Morning at Morningside

Macmillan's World's Biggest Coffee Morning

Lovely morning full of tea, coffee and cake at Morningside Pharmaceuticals to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

As is the Morningside way, our colleagues went over and above to cook up some very delicious treats for others to enjoy, as part of Macmillan’s annual World Biggest Coffee Morning event.

A donation was made for each slice of cake sold, which was donated directly to the charity, which provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer. Macmillan also looks at the social, emotional and practical impact cancer can have, and campaigns for better cancer care.

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event to support people living with cancer. Every year people all over the UK host their own Coffee Morning and donations raised on the day are made to the charity.

In 2020 the event raised over £10 million.

To find out more about Macmillan Cancer Support visit here.

Morningside Win a Business Award!

Cliff Fung, Chief Financial Officer for Morningside Pharmaceuticals

Congratulations to the Morningside Team for winning a LeicestershireLive Business Award at a glittering ceremony, featuring Britain’s Got Talent Winner Richard Jones.

The award winning magician joined Leicestershire’s brightest and best businesses at the ceremony hosted in the Maher Centre, in Leicester, for the first live Business Awards event since before the Covid-19 pandemic locked down the world.

Morningside Pharmaceuticals were thrilled to win the Excellence in Science and Technology Award, which was collected by our Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Cliff Fung.

LeicestershireLive Business Awards 2021

This is a very special award for Morningside because it pays tribute to a company that ‘has excelled in the field of science and technology, and recognises advancement and innovation’.

The judges were impressed by Morningside’s strong scientific and technological ethos, as well as the quality of our products. The judges were also looking for a dedication to sales performance, and a commitment to innovation and the sustainability of the business.

Morningside would like to dedicate this award win to our talented, dedicated and hard working employees, without whom, none of this would be possible.

LeicestershireLive Business Awards 2021

As well as winning an award, Morningside also sponsored the Business Entrepreneur of the Year category, which was presented by our CEO Tim Brady.

This category is close to our hearts at Morningside, as our company was founded in the 1990s through an entrepreneur’s dream of ‘making quality healthcare an affordable and accessible reality throughout the world’.

Today, we’re immensely proud to be one of the Midlands’ leading Life Sciences businesses, but we continue to be proudly guided by our founding mission.


Innovation Awards 2021: Headline Sponsors

LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards 2021

Truly inspiring evening at the 2021 LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards, which Morningside Pharmaceuticals were once again proud Headline Sponsors of.

The annual festival of ideas and all things innovative took place at the National Space Centre, in Leicester, where the county’s brightest innovators were honoured for their pioneering work, which is quite literally creating the future.

During the evening our Founder and Chairman Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, as well as leaders from the public, private sectors and academia, delivered rousing speeches, which showcased the hard work going on behind the scenes to promote and nurture innovation in Leicestershire.

Dr Nik’s speech focussed on Morningside’s journey as a leading innovator in the Life Sciences Sector, as well as how leaders from key sectors have come  together, this year, and are seeking to create a long term sustainable innovation strategy for the county and region.

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals

The awards, now in their third year, are a flagship event in Leicestershire which celebrates the very best technology, services, digital advances, and creative thinking that the region has to offer.

Its aim is to celebrate the individuals, teams, businesses and public sector bodies that are leading the way in research and development and in manufacturing techniques, software and digital technologies. Alongside this, the awards also honour the engineers and construction specialists who are shaping our world.

Congratulations to all of the night’s nominees and winners. So many amazing stories, which are a testament to the dynamic, creative talents we are fortunate to have here.

Regional Champion Win for Dr Nik

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE: EY Entrepreneur of the Year Regional Champion

Huge congratulations to our Chairman, Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, who has been named a Regional EY Entrepreneur of the Year Winner for the Midlands and South West, in the Sustainable Excellence category.

This is a particularly humbling moment for Morningside Pharmaceuticals, as we celebrate our 30th year, as well as to have our Founder honoured alongside so many inspiring , successful and talented people.

From an entrepreneur’s dream of ‘making quality healthcare an affordable and accessible reality throughout the world’, Morningside was established by Dr Kotecha in the 1990s as a start-up.

He noticed a gap in the market to supply international aid to lower- and middle-income countries. Today, and through a strong focus on innovation, investing in R&D and continuous improvement, the business uses novel technology to launch niche generic and branded medicines to expand choice and value for patients and pharmacies in the UK and globally.

With an inquisitive mind and a proactive approach, Nik has improved health care for communities living in more than 120 countries worldwide, since the company’s inception, as well as saved the NHS in the UK millions of pounds.

Morningside also continues to supply pharmaceuticals to aid agencies, charities and NGOs — including UNICEF, Red Cross and the World Health Organization (WHO); as well as works with partners in the private sectors in individual countries.

Dr Kotecha said: “It is a great privilege and a real honour to be nominated. One of my passions is working with young entrepreneurs to help them develop the necessary skills and experience to create the success stories of tomorrow.

“I hope my story and experiences can inspire and encourage others to try new things and follow their entrepreneurial dreams.”

As well as his successes in the business world, Dr Kotecha is also passionate about ‘giving back’, through Morningside’s extensive corporate-social-responsibility support, as well as through his significant philanthropic work.

To find out more about the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards visit here.

30th Anniversary Celebration

Morningside Pharmaceuticals 30th Anniversary Celebration

Morningside has proudly celebrated our 30th anniversary with a summer party to thank all of our employees and their families for making the company the success it is today.

The outdoor event was hosted at Whatton House, near Loughborough, where a wide range of activities were set up, including bouncy castles, as well as traditional fairground-style games like hook-a-duck, the high striker, tin-can alley and giant jenga.

Morningside Pharmaceuticals 30th Anniversary Celebration

A celebratory BBQ was laid on for all of the guests, as well as a popcorn and candy-floss cart, which was a big hit with the adults and children alike.

As part of the festivities everyone came together for speeches by our Chief Executive Tim Brady and our Chairman Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, who founded Morningside as a home-garage startup with his wife Moni in 1991.

During his speech Dr Nik thanked every employee for their hard work and dedication over the years, as well as their families for all of the support they have provided behind the scenes.

He then went on to talk a little about Morningside’s rich history, from our origins of being a 100% export business to international Aid agencies, NGOs and charities, which in turn provide Aid to lower-middle income countries facing crisis. To this day Morningside remains one of the UK’s leading suppliers of a wide range of quality medicines to international Aid, and has exported to more than 120 countries, since inception.

Morningside Pharmaceuticals 30th Anniversary Celebration

Later in our journey the Morningside companies established a sales & marketing, Quality Assurance and regulatory presence in the UK. A focus on investing in R&D, innovation and continuous improvement led to the development of niche high-value molecules. At the same time the business invested heavily in infrastructure with the addition of 3 GMP approved warehouses, in order to build an international and UK distribution network.

In 2012 Morningside were humbled to win the Queen’s Award for Innovation: International Trade. In the same few years the first product was launched with full IP ownership and a substantial marketing investment was made to launch our Headline Brand range.

Fast forward to today and Morningside proudly delivers twice daily to the NHS in the UK and has 242 generic and branded licensed medicines in the UK and EU. Internationally, our focus remains on supplying Aid, as well as continuing to expand into new international markets, where product registrations in individual countries offer an opportunity to grow into the private sectors.

Morningside Pharmaceuticals 30th Anniversary Celebration

During this time Morningside and our Chairman, Dr Kotecha, have won numerous awards, including being bestowed as an OBE by HM Queen Elizabeth II (2017), being named the national Entrepreneur of the Year at the National Business Awards (2019), and Morningside being honoured with a Board of Trade Award by the Department for International Trade (DIT 2018).

Morningside has also received international recognition, and following a trade mission Dr Kotecha attended with former Prime Minister Theresa May to India in 2016, the PM said: “I am showing off the best of British on my trade trip to India – and Morningside Pharmaceuticals is a great example of what the United Kingdom can offer the world as we leave the EU.”

The 30th anniversary celebration was rounded off with the cutting of the cake and a toast to Morningside’s rich successful past and very bright future.

Morningside Pharmaceuticals 30th Anniversary Celebration


Opinion: The Commonwealth’s Relevance Today?

Tokyo Olympics 2021

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals , looks at how the Olympics and next year’s Commonwealth Games bring out the best in nations, and examines the modern relevance and benefits to the UK of the concept of ‘Commonwealth’. 

This summer’s Olympics and Paralympics have showcased the very best of humanity under the most difficult of circumstances; but I’m not just talking about the exceptional performances of the athletes.

The games have come to celebrate and symbolise all that is great about diversity and inclusion, where multi-culturalism takes centre stage and wins gold.

As this summer’s Japan games draw to a close, I’m reminded that we now have less than a year to go until for the next sporting extravaganza begins – the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

But for many, the concept of ‘Commonwealth’ is outdated and consigned to Britain’s much maligned colonial past, so what is its reverence to today’s world?

For me, the Commonwealth Games and the diversity and inclusivity of the Commonwealth and the whole Olympic movement are particularly meaningful, as they have run like a thread through my life, both personally and as an entrepreneur.

I was born in East Africa, my family heritage is from India, whilst I am now proudly British, having lived here for almost 50 years, and also I have done business throughout the world and in particular the Commonwealth. I think there are three key elements to focus on.

First, the Commonwealth has been helpful to many entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to expand. Whilst it does not offer a single market like the European Union, it is instead a powerful economic network, accounting for over 15% of global exports and 14% of global GDP.

When I set up my pharmaceuticals company in 1991 from my home garage, this was before the internet and the world was much less connected. We looked for exporting opportunities to emerging markets. Some of the first countries we exported to were Commonwealth ones, such as Barbados, Guyana and many African nations.

The Commonwealth contains emerging economies, which, when they recover from Covid, are set to grow fast. It offers a network through which companies can grow and entrepreneurs can find opportunity. This will be particularly important as countries look to rebuild from the ravages of Covid. The Commonwealth has a very young population, with 60% of people under the age of 30. We need to provide skills, jobs and hope to the next generation.

Second, the Commonwealth is an important part of the UK’s post-Brexit identity and role in the world. Following the Brexit deal which took effect on 1st January, the UK will be refreshing its trading relationships. There are great opportunities here. As an example, India is the giant of the Commonwealth, and is set to become the world’s third largest economy by 2025. I was part of the PM Theresa May’s Trade delegation to India five years ago, and have done business there. I know that there is an appreciation of UK standards, services and products, as well as a shift towards regulatory alignment on things like law and accounting procedures. UK-India trade is worth £24 billion, supporting half a million jobs, and is set to grow.

The UK has been busy negotiating and finalising new trade deals, including an Enhanced Trade partnership with India, which the Department for International Trade (DIT) is working to expand into a comprehensive free-trade agreement. We are applying to join the 11 nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which includes Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We are also in advance discussions bilaterally with these countries and other Commonwealth nations. There is a rationale for prioritising Commonwealth countries. Research shows that intra-Commonwealth trade is 19% cheaper, largely due to similar legal and regulatory systems, which is sometimes labelled the Commonwealth advantage. It is therefore not surprising that the trade of Commonwealth countries tends to be proportionately greater with members than non-members.

Whilst trade, investment and capital flows are important, the third factor I’d like to discuss are the people-to-people links, across the 2.4 billion people of the Commonwealth, which brings me back to the real achievements of the entire Olympic movement. The association, whether it’s through the Commonwealth or sporting achievement, spans every continent and has diversity at its heart with the people unified through common ties cemented by language and shared experiences and history. For Commonwealth countries these bonds are reflected in the strong diasporas in London, the Midlands and the rest of the UK.

The success of celebrating diversity and inclusion has certainly been one of the stand-out accomplishments of this summer’s Olympics, and this will be continued when the UK hosts the Commonwealth games next year. It should also be recognised that trade brings people together, and facilitates cooperation and understanding between nations.

Perhaps we underappreciate how important the Commonwealth Games and our ties to Commonwealth countries are to our history, but also to our present and future; and how together we will continue to play a key role in championing global trade, diversity and inclusion.

As Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth, the UK is in the hot seat for now but over the longer term we must capitalise on the powerful network it provides, and the opportunities to enhance business, trade and people-to-people ties.

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE is Founder and Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Lift Off for LOROS’ Rocket Trail

Rocket Round Leicester

3 – 2 – 1 and we have lift off! Morningside is delighted to reveal that we are sponsoring a giant rocket, as part of LOROS Hospice’s Rocket Round Leicester art trail.

The charity bills the forthcoming event assomething out of this world is coming to Leicester’ and will see a free, fun, family-friendly art trail bring the people of Leicester together to share in the biggest art event the city has ever seen.

To reach the launch pad LOROS is working with leading artists to create the 10-week trail, which will comprise of 40 giant, spectacularly-decorated Rockets touching down across Leicester this summer between Monday 19th July, before blasting off on Sunday 26th September.

Visitors to the art trail will steer a voyage of discovery through the city’s streets and open spaces and help even life-long Leicester dwellers discover something new about where they live. Each Rocket will be designed by a professional artist and sponsored by local businesses. With a likely footfall of around 300,000 people, bringing in an expected £6 million to the local economy, Rocket Round Leicester will form a pivotal part of the city’s post-pandemic economic recovery, as well as a brilliant day out for everyone.

We are delighted to reveal that Morningside has chosen a design called ‘Hopes, Dreams and Wishes’ by artist Lynne Hollingsworth for our rocket. We can’t reveal what it looks like yet, as this is still top secret, but what we can say is that the design aligns well with Morningside’s mission of “making quality healthcare an affordable and accessible reality thorough the world.”

After the trail ends there will be the chance to say a final ‘goodbye’ at a Farewell Event, before each Rocket is auctioned to raise funds for LOROS Hospice to enable them to continue to care for over 2,500 terminally ill local people.

John Knight, LOROS Hospice CEO, added: “Rocket Round Leicester will be the biggest and most exciting art project ever seen in Leicester. It will bring fun, colour and creativity to the city all for a brilliant cause. I’d like to urge everyone, local people, schools, community organisations and local businesses to get involved and be part of something amazing for the city of Leicester.”

OPINION: Vital to Vaccinate the World

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chief Executive of Morningside Pharmaceuticals Ltd

There is a moral imperative to vaccinate poorer countries writes Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Founder and Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals.

As the UK and other developed nations begin to phase out Covid-19 restrictions, many lower-middle income countries feel left behind by the unequal distribution of vaccines.

This is despite the G7 pledging 870million vaccine doses for 2021 and 2022, which has been welcomed by international NGOs, but is still no-where near enough to protect populations from the rampant spread of the virus.

The official death toll from Covid is nearing 4 million, with almost 200 million cases. Whilst we have suffered almost 130,000 deaths in the UK, we know that the virus has affected every country on every continent. It has wrought destruction not only in poorer countries but rich countries too. The comparison is drawn with the Spanish flu of 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people (including approximately 250,000 in the UK). Thankfully the development of a vaccine, as well as lockdowns and other measures, have meant that a century on, we are much better able to cope with a global pandemic.

In dealing with the pandemic, whilst governments around the world have displayed some disappointing examples of incompetent leadership and vaccine nationalism, one of the positive aspects of the global response has been some outstanding examples of collaboration and partnership, notably between government, universities and the private sector.

The AstraZeneca partnership with Oxford University, supported by the UK government, is a case in point. Together they have quickly developed a vaccine, in a matter of months, where it would normally have been expected to take five to ten years. It was sold at cost and has already provided 500 million doses in 160 countries. Where possible, AstraZeneca has enabled technology transfer, so that developing countries can quickly manufacture their own vaccines.

As the founder of my own pharma business, Morningside Pharmaceuticals, I recognise the value of working in partnership with the not-for-profit sector. We have partnered with UN organisations and global NGOs for 30 years, supplying medicines to them on the ground in Asia, Africa and elsewhere. In doing this, we know that business can be and is a force for good.

We should take pride in the fact that more than 40 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a vaccine, but at the same time be mindful of the fact that just 5% of India has been vaccinated and, even more alarming, barely more than 1% of sub-Saharan Africa.

The Covid crisis has shown that none of us are safe until all of us are safe. The virus and its variants transmit across borders, and it’s in our practical interest to roll out vaccines worldwide.

The IMF estimates that a Covid recovery will bring a $9 trillion benefit to the global economy by 2025. Yet each country cannot operate as an island. Martin Luther King’s famous remark, from 1967, is apt for this time: “All life is inter-related. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

There is also a moral imperative to help poorer nations. I remember the amazing Live Aid concert in 1985, inspired by Sir Bob Geldof in response to famine in Africa. He captured people’s imaginations by talking about the injustice of hunger and our moral responsibility to act.

The UK is commendably one of the largest country donors to the Covax Advance Market Commitment, and has pledged that the majority of any future surplus coronavirus vaccines will go to the Covax pool, but still more can be done.

Some have estimated that one billion vaccines could be redistributed to poorer countries, without compromising the vaccine rollout of richer nations. Former PM Gordon Brown has been calling for a $30 billion a year mass vaccination programme.

Support is not just about what we can give, but about meeting the needs of the poorer countries. Sometimes countries with basic health infrastructure may not be able to receive a high volume of vaccines, or may not be able to store them at the right temperatures.

The last thing you want is medicines piling up at an airport and going to waste. Developing countries may need help implementing a vaccine rollout programme. The NHS has done an outstanding job of this in the UK and has valuable lessons to offer other countries.

The developed nations of the world now have a golden opportunity to show global solidarity and do more. History will judge whether they were able to put politics and internal self-interest aside to truly defeat Covid on a global scale.

Our LOROS Rocket Blasts Off!

LOROS Rocket Round Leicester

And we have blast off for Morningside’s rocket, as part of LOROS Hospice’s Rocket Round Leicester art trail!

It’s been a galactic challenge keeping the secret for so long, but we can now exclusively reveal the design for our rocket, called ‘Hopes, Dreams and Wishes’.

The gorgeous artwork is by artist Lynne Hollingsworth and features foxes, which represent Leicester, moving into butterflies, as you gaze up to the starry sky.

Morningside are delighted with the design, which aligns well with our focus on supporting young people into the world of work, and promoting skills to develop future careers.

The Morningside rocket is among 40 giant ‘out of this world’ installations scattered around Leicester city centre, and is situated outside the Morningside Arena, Leicester, which we are the named sponsor of.

We would encourage anyone visiting our rocket to download the App, as there is a chance to enter a competition to win tickets to a Leicester Riders basketball game at the Arena, or to see a future cricket match at Leicestershire County Cricket Club, where we sponsor the Morningside Medical Centre.

Cliff Fung, Chief Financial Officer for Morningside Pharmaceuticals

Visitors to the art trail, which is on between July 19th to September 26th, will steer a voyage of discovery through the city’s streets and open spaces and help even life-long Leicester dwellers discover something new about where they live.

Each Rocket has been designed by a professional artist and sponsored by a local businesses. With a likely footfall of around 300,000 people, bringing in an expected £6 million to the local economy, Rocket Round Leicester will form a pivotal part of the city’s post-pandemic economic recovery, as well as a brilliant day out for everyone.

After the trail ends there will be the chance to say a final ‘goodbye’ at a Farewell Event, before each Rocket is auctioned to raise funds for LOROS Hospice to enable them to continue to care for over 2,500 terminally ill local people.

Morningside Arena, Leicester