Inventor and Entrepreneur
Imran Hakim is best known as one of the most successful individuals to gain investment from BBC’s Dragon’s Den after he pitched his innovative iTeddy product idea. After securing investment on the programme, Imran has gone on to work with both Theo Paphitis and Peter Jones to successfully launch the award-winning iTeddy and associated license platform in over 40 countries worldwide including every major UK toy retailer.
What many people don’t realise is that Imran’s business experience began long before he entered the Dragon’s Den. An optometrist by profession, Imran runs a successful chain of independent Optician practices in and around the Northwest. Having run his own business since he was 16, he has extensive first-hand experience of a wide range of business sectors.
Nowadays, as well as working on the iTeddy business, Imran controls a diverse portfolio which includes a lens laboratory, spectacle frame distribution business, optical retail outlets, as well as management, recruitment and investment companies.
Imran’s interests include expanding his business portfolio whilst encouraging entrepreneurship through mentoring and as an inspirational role model for young entrepreneurs in the Prime Minister’s “Backing Young Britian” campaign. In addition, he works with UMIP as Director of Entrepreneurship. He is active on the speaking circuit, and is always looking for new business opportunities to incubate and invest in.