PatientPak Limited: Jonathan Sayeed
Jonathan Sayeed on setting up patented personal health product company, PatientPak
Company name: PatientPak Limited
Website: http://www.patientpak.com/ Founders: Jonathan Sayeed (Executive Chairman) and Rob Gros (CEO)
Age: 60 and 41
Staff Numbers: 2 plus contractors
Date started: November 2006
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Tell us what your business does.
We produce PatientPak kits – a selection of personal health products including sprays, wipes and body wash that include a patented antimicrobial formula that kills superbugs, viruses and bacteria.Where did the idea for your business come from?
The prototype was produced in response to a request from a member of the public who was going into hospital and wanted a selection of products to help protect them from superbugs, viruses and bacteria.
How did you know there was a market for it?
I believed there was a market for our product because research shows that many people are genuinely worried about superbugs but feel completely helpless.
The unique selling point is a patented antimicrobial formula that is strong yet hand safe, has been tested to the highest standards and proven to kill 99.999% of superbugs, viruses and bacteria. This formula destroys pathogens in six different ways, which means bugs are unable to build up resistance to it. It’s also kind and gentle to the skin, leaving patients clean and comfortable.
What were you doing before starting up?
I also run my own public affairs company called Ranelagh International, which I established after being a Member of Parliament for 17 years.
What planning did you do before you started up?
Market research – most of it face-to-face – has been essential in developing what the kit contains. It has over a dozen items and months were spent talking to the doctors who helped develop the product, people who were going into hospital, healthcare professionals, opinion formers and of course my wife, who used to be a nurse.
How did you raise the money?
It took sheer belief in the early days as I invested my own cash: I didn’t pitch to any investors.
What challenges have you faced how have you overcome them?
So far, the biggest challenge has been gaining the correct depth of distribution, because while retailers have responded enthusiastically to PatientPak, most stores want to test the water before they agree to full distribution through every outlet. Our rate of sale is proving exceptionally strong, and this is the biggest help to developing our distribution base.
How have you promoted your business?
A design team, headed up by Nick Paterson-Jones has been crucial to our brand’s success. Public relations and media publicity has been helpful in driving sales, which is unusual for a product of our kind but given media interest in the subject, I always had a hunch that it would be ‘media friendly’.
What about staff – how many do you have?
I have chosen to work with a number of different entrepreneurial contractors rather than take on a pay roll but as the business develops, I appreciate this mix may change.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Research, believe in your own hunch and then research again!