French Honor for British Sikh

By Prasun Sonwalkar

French Honor for British Sikh

Kartar Lalvani, the Indian-origin founder of Vitabiotics, the largest vitamins company by sales in the UK, has been conferred an honorary professorship of University of Franche-Comte, one of the oldest universities in Europe, for his work in the field of dermatology.

The post, only the second such to go to a Briton in the university’s history, was conferred by university president Dominique Vuitton at a ceremony in Besancon, the capital of Franche-Comte region in eastern France, on Monday.

Lalvani, whose family was displaced from Sind when India was Partioned, settled in Mumbai before moving to UK, studied pharmacy at King’s College, London, and completed a doctorate in medical chemistry at Bonn University before founding his award-winning company in 1971.

Lalvani’s latest invention, an anti-ageing tablet called Perfectil, successfully passed clinical trials recently and the results were published in the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Ageing.

Vitabiotics has entered into a deal with France’s leading centre for dermatological research, CERT, a part of the university. “Ours is the first British company to bring transformative innovation to dermatology and cosmetics… so for us a French scientific partner was a natural choice,” Lalvani said.

Lalvani is one of the richest Asians in Britain and Vitabiotics exports several brands to over 100 countries, including India. Its Indian arm, Meyer Vitabiotics, is betting big on the domestic market, and recently launched a few health food supplements in the country.

It also plans to launch its entire Nutraceuticals product range in India within three to four years, besides setting up manufacturing facilities in the country.

Nutraceuticals are neither food nor drug products, and can be sold over the counter or even in retail stores without a prescription.

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