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Winners

Winners - KEiBA

Entrepreneur of the YearBack to Winners

Sponsored by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce & Creaseys

Bulgaro Ltd

When Bal Sandher launched Hectic Lifestyles – which trades as Nutra Direct – in 2008, he was recovering from a freak injury which had left him unable to walk for six a freak injury which had left him unable to walk for six months – and had just £1,200 to his name.

But from tiny acorns, mighty oaks spring. From a single product being sold from a bedroom, and a turnover in his first year of just £5,000 his business has become one of the leading dietary supplement manufacturers in the UK. A little over 10 years of hard work later, by 2019 his turnover stood at £4.9million.

Today it manufactures for other companies ranging from sole traders to international retailers.

Last year it expanded into new bespoke premises in its home town of Rochester on Medway Valley Park – a move it hopes will see its growth accelerate yet further – and it acquired a second premises earlier this year to increase its offering.

Perhaps most impressive has been the fact its growth has been organic – with no external investment other than that original £1,200.

Now it employs 40 staff but Bal Sandher says he still has a “very hands on” role in the company – ensuring his staff have the same drive and passion for the business as himself.

From dealing with customers to assisting in the production process, creating technical formulas or driving a forklift around the warehouse, he believes in leading by example.

“If your managing director is helping you carry heavy boxes around the warehouse,” he says, “or staying late to help you set-up a machine, you feel valued and work harder as a result.”

And he’s helped pass on his expertise – regularly giving talks to budding entrepreneurs and assisting in schemes to help start-ups.

“I’ve had many years of growing and learning,” he says, “and have made every mistake in the book along the way. I didn’t have much guidance when I started and had no formal business experience or qualifications, so its great to be able to offer help to those starting off on similar journeys.”

His aim now is to take the company into the pharmaceutical field and has a target of hitting turnover of £16-28m by 2023.

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