Tej Lalvani, 45, shot to fame as one of the dragons on BBC show Dragons’ Den, but he was a huge success in business long before appearing on TV. The British businessman is so wealthy he features in the annual Sunday Times Rich List. He is the CEO of Vitabiotics, a company specialising in vitamin and mineral supplements. The company was started by his father, and Tej joined more than 20 years ago before eventually becoming CEO himself.
Being at the helm of such a successful undertaking has afforded Tej great wealth – what exactly is his net worth?
According to the Sunday Times Rich List, published in May 2019, he has a net worth of £390 million.
This is not all from Vitabiotics, as Tej and wife also run a property investment business in London.
The businessman also devotes time to charity, with a host of charities listed on his official website that he is involved in through Vitabiotics, including Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and the National Osteoporosis Society.
Dragons Den has seen Tej invest in a host of companies, including T-Plus Drinks, a vitamin tea brand, and Air Agents, a short-lets management company.
For the latest series, Tej is joined by Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman and newcomer Sara Davies in the famed black leather chairs.
What is the net worth of the other dragons? Peter and Deborah have been on the show the longest, but are they the richest?
Peter Jones, 53, who was born in Maidenhead, had his sights set on a career on the tennis court rather than the boardroom initially.
He set up his own tennis academy aged 16, shortly followed by a cocktail bar in Windsor.
Sara Davies, 35, made her fortune in the craft industry and will be the youngest ever dragon to appear on the show.
She is the founder of Crafters Companion, a company selling craft-related products through retail stores, online and TV shopping channels.
During the early days of her business, she herself was invited to pitch on Dragons Den, and has said of the experience: “It wasn’t all that long ago when I was in the position of the contestants so I really feel like I will be able to relate to their stories and their journeys so far.”
Touker Suleyman, 66, is an entrepreneur and investor who started out in the garmen industry, supplying clothing to brands such as Dorothy Perkins, C&A, and Topshop.
In 2000, he purchased Hawes & Curtis, which was struggling, for just £1 – turning it into one of the most successful producers of luxury shirts for men in the UK, with 29 stores currently on the British high street.
And Deborah Meaden, 60, has a long history in the leisure and tourism industry, building up family business Weststar and selling it for a reported £33million in 2005.