University of Leicester honours refugee-turned-entrepreneur

University of Leicester UOL Dr Nik Kotecha OBE

In 1972, Dr Nik Kotecha OBE DL came to Leicester as a young refugee alongside his family, fleeing Uganda during Idi Amin’s reign of terror.

They arrived with only the clothes on their backs and a few suitcases to their name.

Starting from these modest origins, Dr Kotecha embarked on his journey, establishing Morningside pharmaceuticals and later becoming a significant philanthropist as founder of the Randal Charitable Foundation.

Drawing inspiration from his formative years, through Morningside pharmaceuticals, Dr Kotecha had a vision to provide high quality affordable and accessible medicines to the world.

His contribution have extended globally, leaving a lasting impact on pharmaceuticals, life science and innovations.

The University of Leicester has formally recognised Dr Kotecha’s contribution to society, by rewarding him an Honorary Doctorate of Science during a graduation ceremony held on the 20th July at De Montfort Hall.

Speaking after the ceremony, Dr Kotecha said: “I hope my story helps inspire the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to work hard and follow their dreams of making a positive difference in our world.

As a young man and throughout my academic and entrepreneurial  journey, I’ve long been an admirer of the University’s commitment to supporting and developing young people.”

Dr Kotecha has actively contributed to the creation of the Leicester Medical School at the University.

Additionally he has collaborated closely with the institution to foster innovation by being involved in the innovation hub.

He has played a vital role as the chair of the innovation board for the Leicester and Leicestershire enterprise partnerships (LLEP).

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Nishan Canagarajah said:  “For over 30 years he has utilised his passion for drug discovery, international trade and providing quality, affordable healthcare to forge a highly successful career, where he has drawn on his experience to be a strong voice and ambassador for businesses, charitable organisations and establishing a charity that saves and improves lives.”

Following Dr Kotecha’s arrival into the UK, he diligently dedicated himself to his studies, resulting in a grant from Leicestershire Council.

This grant served as a stepping stone for his higher education in Newcastle, where he pursued a PHD under the guidance of Professor Steven Ley FRS at Imperial College London and further doctorate work at the University of Cambridge.

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Nishan Canagarajah said: “Nik has reaped exceptional achievements academically, in business and through his contributions of charity and philanthropy.

“Nik is an impressive role model to our graduates and wider University community.”