“I look back on my time in the Den with great fondness.”
Tej Lalvani has revealed he will leave Dragon’s Den after its 18th season to focus on his business and investment empire.
The businessman is stepping down after four years on the show, the BBC confirmed on Thursday, January 28, 2021.
Tej is currently CEO of Vitabiotics, the UK’s largest vitamin company.
The business tycoon also has an estimated net worth of £390 million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List in May 2019.
He joined the show in 2017.
The 46-year-old made his own announcement on Twitter on Thursday, January 28, 2021.
After 4 proud years as a Dragon on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, I’ve decided that the upcoming series will be my last. pic.twitter.com/8aLOvQzxOt
— Tej Lalvani (@TejLalvani) January 28, 2021
He tweeted: “After 4 proud years as a Dragon on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den, I’ve decided that the upcoming series will be my last.”
He continued: “I look back on my time in the Den with great fondness.
“I leave having met so many incredible people, with unforgettable memories and, of course, numerous successful investments!”
Tej also confirmed that he is leaving Dragon’s Den to focus on growing his business and multiple investments.
In another Tweet, he wrote: “As my own business, @vitabiotics, continues to expand, and my portfolio of investments grows, I am no longer able to dedicate the necessary time and attention to the show.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been a part of the journey and wish them all the very best for the future.”
Sarah Clay, Commissioning Editor for Entertainment at the BBC, said:
“We’ll be very sorry to see Tej go as he’s one of the shrewdest and coolest Dragons ever to grace the Den and I want to thank him for his enormous contributions, both personally and professionally to the series.
“As audiences will see, he certainly leaves the show on a high and we wish him continued success.”
The entrepreneurial series will return to screens in March 2021, after which Tej Lalvani will part ways with the show.
Tej will feature in Dragon’s Den alongside fellow Dragons Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Sara Davis and Touker Suleyman.
The 14-episode run was filmed in 2020 after new guidelines were introduced allowing TV production to continue during the pandemic.
Clay added: “Despite the additional production challenges Covid-19 posed, this new series is one of the most tense and competitive yet.”
Tej Lalvani’s journey to success
Tej Lalvani has overseen Vitabiotics and its growth for the last two decades, according to his official website.
He succeeded his father, Professor Karter Lalvani, who founded Vitabiotics in 1971.
Tej was involved in every aspect of the business from a young age. He followed in his father’s footsteps by studying Pharmaceutical Science in London, Germany, and India.
During Vitabiotics’ early years, Tej explored every department to gain an in-depth understanding of the company. His first position was driving forklift trucks in the warehouse.
Tej has always had an involvement in the design, branding, and advertising aspects of the business.
As a result, he oversees almost all of the company’s marketing.
Tej Lalvani’s dedication to working his way up the Vitabiotics ladder crowned him ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ twice, first at the Asian Business Awards in 2012 and again at the 2013 TiE UK Awards.
He was also featured on India Gazette London’s “The India-UK Power List 2017”, and ranks number 48 on the GG2 Power List of the Most Influential Asian people in Britain.
Over the years, Tej has expanded Vitabiotics to sell its products in over 100 countries worldwide.
Vitabiotics is responsible for producing many of the UK’s number one vitamins including Wellwoman, Perfectil, and Pregnacare.
Professor Lalvani remains chairman of Vitabiotics and, run by Tej, the company now turns over £300 million a year.
Tej and his wife also run a property investment business together in London.