Entrepreneur Interview: Tim Smith

January 31, 2022

We chat to Tim Smith, Managing Director at Devonshire Healthcare Services. Tim shares some valuable information about his experience of the M&A process as well as gives some tips to entrepreneurs considering a sale. We also learn about his journey to Managing Director and what is next on the cards for him.


1. What is your background prior to becoming Managing Director at Devonshire Healthcare Services? 

I qualified as a pharmacist in 1980 and I have worked in both retail and hospital pharmacies. 


2. How has Devonshire evolved since you started the business? 

 We have grown the number of clients, we have had to deal with many changes to the pharmaceutical industry and the regulations that govern the sector, but the core values of the company which are integratory, and service remain the same. 


3. How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected the business, and what contingency plans were put in place to ensure survival? 

During the pandemic we continued working as an essential service. This has been good for the team’s mental wellbeing and of course put the business in a better place than other businesses like hospitality. Turnover was not affected too much in 2020 but the third wave in 2021 affected our clients to a greater degree and reduced our turnover. 


4. Devonshire has recently been acquired by Uniphar plc, how did you find the M&A process? What were the biggest challenges you faced during the process and how did you get past them? 

The M&A process was a great opportunity to review what we do and it highlighted where we needed to improve things. Towards the end of the process there was a lot of pressure and Bluebox played a huge role both in doing the actual heavy lifting but also in keeping me sane! 


5. What three tips do you have for business owners looking to embark on an M&A process and to sell their business? 

  • It takes longer than you might imagine so don’t delay.  
  • Choose a good partner (Bluebox!) to help you.  
  • Be prepared for setbacks 


6. Post M&A process and post deal, once the transitional period is over, what’s next on the cards for you? 

Dive holidays and sunny beaches. 


7. What 2 personality traits do you believe make a good Managing Director? 

Ability to delegate and taking the long view of the big picture. 


8. What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur starting up their own business? 

Get a proper job! No seriously, get advice, talk to people, and remember it can’t be that difficult because loads of people have done it. 


Rapid Fire: 

  1. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Mindreading 
  2. If you could have dinner with anyone (past or present) who would it be? My wife 
  3. Go to holiday destination? Coral Triangle 
  4. If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be? Lamb Chops 
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