Imran Hakim is a serial entrepreneur,
inventor, and CEO of The Hakim Group. Perhaps best known in the public eye for iTeddy on BBC’s Dragon’s Den, he continues to invest in innovative businesses and regularly speaks on a range of themes associated with enterprise and innovation.
At 16 years young, Imran, eldest of five, took his first steps in the world of business buying and selling computers whilst still at school.
The Hakim Group’s first ever acquisition, Bussins Opticians in Failsworth, already had an established patient base and none of the difficulties of a start-up practice. The seed of an idea was sown!
IN THE DRAGONS DEN
Exploration of other business opportunities now starts with the unlikely inception of iTeddy; which quickly turns into one of the most successful seen on BBC’s Dragon’s Den with product sales into 45 countries globally.
Imran is honoured with the main award for Entrepreneur of the Year at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. He was also presented with the award for Scale Up Entrepreneur 2019 at the ceremony.
CROSSING THE ATLANTIC
As Hakim Group passes the milestone of 200 practices, more than doubling its portfolio in less than 2 years. Imran secures his first acquisitions in the United States as well.
The first practice, Hakim Opticians, opens from scratch in Imran's hometown of Bolton. Hafiza books dad in as the very first patient.
The portfolio of independent practices continued to grow and spread across the north of the country. The Hakim Group was formed. The innovative approach of the Group led to several awards including one from HRH Prince of Wales.
TIMES 100 SUCCESS
As well as surpassing 100 independent practices, Hakim Group is also announced as the UK’s Best Small Company To Work For in the Sunday Times 2018 Best Companies Awards. Imran also receives a special award for Best Leader, beating some of the UK’s best-known CEOs.
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Imran spearheaded the #StrongerTogether initiative, which provided independent optical practices with free access to vital business support through a series of thought-leadership webinars and online resources.