Getting to know Alitam Founder Feisal Nahaboo.
Feisal was born to do things differently. Growing up on a council estate in Bracknell, there was never any doubt in his mind that he’d transform something, someday. “I was always looking at things in a different way to everyone else,” he says. “I could see, even then, that people tend to stick to the same way of doing things.” He smiles, “My instinct was always to turn things on their head, to creatively spin ideas in my mind and see what happens. You suddenly free up possibilities, it’s like you take the brakes off and can power forward.”
As a young man, it became very clear to Feisal and those around him that the corporate world was the right home for this unique drive. At the tender age of 27, Feisal took the leap of faith to leave employment with an intent to disrupt and innovate the accountancy sector. He began self employment by working from his 3-bedroom ex council house. Just affording a £5k deposit (and borrowing legal transaction fees from his parents), he purchased his first small home in 2002 and began industry disruption from his own bedroom. He invested just £450 on second hand goods including a desk, fax machine, printer and a very dated laptop. Within weeks, his marketing systems were working effectively and he was engaging thousands of accountants into seminars where he began a career of motivating, influencing and directing substantial change in the accountancy sector.
“For fifteen years I helped accountants develop their practice, beyond the statutory compliance-based services, to offer a huge amount more and lock their clients in for longer,” explains Feisal. “I enabled them to deliver a wide range of value-added services including employment law, HR, corporate finance, insolvency, financial services and technology to name a few. It not only transformed each individual accountancy practice, it turned them into flagships for accountancy as we see it today.”
A force of nature
Bob Stebbings has worked alongside Feisal since those early days, and fondly testifies to his remarkable qualities. “Feisal is a force of nature,” he grins. “He has unlimited reserves of energy and, if he decides that something needs to be done, it will get done. In any given situation, he has an innate ability to focus on the critical factor, to divine a range of possible solutions and to find the optimum path to the desired outcome.”
Now a highly sought after fixture on the speaking circuit, and widely acclaimed for his business acumen, strategic expertise and creative vision, Feisal is the one behind whom all others gather.
A world first
Feisal channelled his trademark ingenuity and extraordinary energy into the genesis of the Overnight Multiple Merger Model (OMMM). Hailed as a ‘corporate miracle,’ this world-first involved merging a significant number of companies into one group at low cost and in record time. It was a stunningly original idea, and is taking the world by storm.
Feisal explains, “From the affiliate business model down to the vertical integrated business model, there are at least 39 options out there for building a business of substantial size. But I could visualise another, one so elegantly simple and requiring a handful of staff to get the model up and running. It offers a low-risk vehicle for high profit after tax (PAT) and the ability to pay high dividends. You can now build a ‘corporate giant’ at low cost, maximum speed and with substantial profit and value.”
The very first OMMM was Xeinadin Group, a 122 strong accountancy firm merger, overnight on 31st May 2019.Xeinadin is named after Feisal’s two eldest children Zein and Nadine. “Typically, merging companies is highly challenging,” says Feisal. “Requiring agreement on shared business principles, objectives, values and ongoing strategy. And yet, after a year of discreet planning, with competitors completely unaware of any activity, an industry-changing top 12 accountancy company was born.” The result has been to turn the accountancy sector on its head. Xeinadin is out in front with regard to client service, innovation and profitability. Witnessing such success, Feisal could hardly stop there.
The future of pharmacy
“The beauty of the OMM model is that it applies to all sectors around the world. But I’d had my eye on the pharmacy industry in the UK and Ireland region for some time. I thought that the OMM could be the key to driving the change our vital pharmacy businesses needed.” Indeed, while Feisal is passionate about the OMMM, it’s with regard to the pharmacy industry that his eyes really light up. “We see now, more than ever, that the healthcare systems in the UK and Ireland are collapsing under the weight of increasing need. One of our operational board members, Sukhjit Singh Gil, describes the current health service as ‘a giant behemoth.’ He’s spot on. While it performs well in many ways, unfortunately it can’t be nimble and reactive enough to deal with the complex demands of today’s population.” He continues, “And yet all along we’ve had these caring, skilled professional pharmacists, deeply embedded in their communities, often able to clinically advise patients and thus avoid the need for hospital and GP visits. And that’s when I had my A-ha! moment. What I needed to do was create a group of the very best pharmacies in the UK and Ireland; and use the enormous cost efficiencies, innovations and drive afforded by this group to enable a sea-change in the way we do healthcare.”
The improvement of healthcare for all
And thus Alitam was born. Feisal was characteristically meticulous in the process. “I’ve handpicked the top performing pharmacists in these geographical territories,” he says. “Those with not only admirable clinical skills, but entrepreneurial and forward-thinking mindsets. People who inspire me every day with their commitment and vision. Each has a different strength they bring to the table: Oonagh O-Hagan demonstrates how retail flair can transform the pharmacy offering; Mark Ledwidge is redefining the way we prescribe medicines; pharmacists like Nathan Raymond and Karen O’Brien are collaborating with GPs like never before; the Walker brothers are delivering the ultimate wellness offering in store; Dhruv Patel is the doyen of NextGen thinking. That’s really just to mention a few.”
“All of it is built on collaboration and trust. For hundreds of years, pharmacies have worked in competition with each other. For the first time, we are pooling an enormous amount of wisdom, connections and talent to exploit all the abilities of pharmacists; to create wellbeing hubs throughout the UK and Ireland which dramatically ease the burden on the NHS and improve healthcare for all.”
The Alitam executive board is one of the most stellar ever seen. A huge source of pride for Feisal is his Alitam Chairman, Sir Ken Olisa. “Having Sir Ken at the helm fills me with certainty that we are building something special,” he says. “None other than the Queen’s right hand man is guiding us towards success. I know I must be doing something right,” he smiles.
From the outset, it was clear that Feisal had the talent and energy to make Alitam a ground-breaking pharmacy group. Many business propositions come and go, but this one is remarkable, trustworthy and here to stay.
Surrounded by brilliance
Feisal credits his success to surrounding himself with the leaders in their field. “The criterion of excellence I apply when picking a business also applies to the team around me,” he says. “I surround myself with brilliance: brilliant thinkers, the best financial brains, visionary entrepreneurs with phenomenal track records, the top marketing professionals. All of them are at the top of their game. I trust them completely.”
Alitam executive director Arnold Wylie agrees, “Feisal’s ability to build and shepherd a community of like-minded people is quite extraordinary. It’s undoubtedly a big factor in the success he has enjoyed to date. I know I speak for everyone when I say how grateful we are to be led by this exceptional figure. The pharmacy and healthcare worlds are about to be transformed. Knowing Feisal he won’t stop here. I’m aware he is already planning an innovative attack on the Veterinary, Optician, Legal, Nursing Home and financial services industries with many others to follow.”