My Locum Choice are looking to disrupt UK Healthcare by creating a self-serve online platform and app that will remove the reliance upon agencies and drastically improve the processes to source temporary workers, as proven with their Pharmacy MVP. Founder and CEO Miraj Patel is an experienced member of the pharmacist profession, having started his journey post degree with one of the largest retail pharmacy chains in the UK. Invesdor's London office sat down with Mr Patel to find out more about how he became an entrepreneur.
Why did you become an entrepreneur?
I was for a long time the “9-5 working professional” in roles as a pharmacy manager and locum but throughout this time and even as far back as university, I always felt like I had this entrepreneurial spark inside me that was just waiting for the right moment to present itself.
It was whilst working as a manager and locum I realised there was a problem to be fixed and my experience in the profession put me in a good position to do that. So, I quit my full time job, took everything I learnt (and earned) and put it into creating My Locum Choice. This was the excuse I needed to start the entrepreneur's journey. Since that point, I have never felt more at place in my working career. Starting a business from scratch, building it up and adding value to others has been truly rewarding.
What are you like as an entrepreneur?
I don't think I’m any different as an entrepreneur to who I am as myself. I’m passionate and determined but also very grounded; I stay true to my morals. I am not afraid of hard work and ever willing to explore opportunities out there. I like to connect with people who can collectively work together to build a successful business.
What makes the story of your personal career interesting?
I have never had any previous accolades in business, nor studied it in my previous education. I am a pharmacist by trade; studied at university level then went onto get a job as a manager progressing to regional roles and then finally as a full time locum. I didn’t have any previous business knowledge so it was nerve racking (and interesting) to see how this big transition from pharmacist to entrepreneur would develop.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
My biggest professional accomplishment without a doubt is My Locum Choice. It was a risk that I took to come out of a secure job where I was paid well, to a point where I was always competing with myself to make the dream bigger. This has been the most rewarding challenge of my life.
And your biggest professional blunder?
There was a point in my life where I worried too much about what others thought and whether I was making the right decisions out of fear I made the wrong decision by not pursuing another project I had the idea for. When I was finally ready, somebody had already done it. After all, a dream is just a dream until you make it a reality.
Once I changed my mentality, I began to view the world in a different way; replaced fear with enthusiasm and my “blunder” was a faded memory. I decided to not make the same mistake again and follow through on my new passion: My Locum Choice.
What is your dream for your company?
The dream for My Locum Choice, which I like to believe is a dream we share across our whole team, is to create something that will truly revolutionise healthcare. We want to give back to this sector by:
- Reducing the costs to the National Health Service (NHS) for sourcing temporary workers via agencies
- Delivering NHS professionals working in areas and settings they are comfortable in
- Allow contractors to have a huge resource to obtain the right workers for their businesses
Who is your role model and why?
I don't think I have a single role model, there so many inspirational people out there! Role models to me are those who have broken out of the norm, bettered the world as well as themselves, continue to be charitable and share their knowledge. To name a few: Will Smith, Steve jobs, Muhammed Ali, Gary Vee, Dalai Lama.
What motivates you?
I guess the biggest motivator for me is the fact that I have and am continuing to build a business from nothing. I am my own boss, I develop things the way I see fit and I enjoy every aspect of what I do. Following the vision to where I believe My Locum Choice will go and how many people it will help and add value to along the way, keeps me motivated on a daily basis.
Why crowdfunding and why with Invesdor?
About 6 months ago, I had absolutely zero clue about raising investment! This whole journey was so new to me; I relied upon friends, colleagues and our own team to guide me through the process of getting funding.
After looking into our options extensively, we collectively decided crowdfunding was the way to go.
We wanted our team to consist of diversity; which would in turn bring new ideas to the table. Crowdfunding enabled us to reach multiple demographics; those with experience, those who have never invested in anything before and those who wanted to be part of something they believed in.
Invesdor was definitely the platform who stood out. They support you every step of the way, arrange regular meetings and calls, are extremely knowledgeable and more so are genuinely lovely people.
Why would you invest in your company? Give three reasons.
- We have solved a huge problem across the board in pharmacy and we now look to do the same in other healthcare sectors, where this issue exists.
- My Locum Choice has grown rapidly in 2 years with plenty of market exposure, great user feedback and a very experienced team.
- My Locum Choice is passionate about healthcare and its future; working together we can preserve the vision of providing our valued professionals work in settings they are comfortable in, and provide financial and productive savings to the NHS.