Stone Bank

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Stone Bank's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Stone Bank is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
Highlighting best practice
Managing Director Vijay Odedra
The Stone Bank team
Stone Bank Investments oversee a wide range of different
services, including the operation of care homes,
investment in property portfolios and wider investment
opportunities. Currently managed by Vijay Odedra, the
company was started by his father and has remained in the
family ever since. By focusing on breaking tradition, Vijay
has been able to grow and develop the business. Through
emphasising the installation of proactive and highly qualified
staff in key roles, he has been able to reduce his day-to-
day responsibilities while ensuring the continued success of
his company. He explains the heritage of the firm and his
innovative management style.
We were originally founded by my father. At its inception, the company
concentrated on large supermarkets. As the business developed, we began to
focus on investment in various properties before making them available to rent.
We were run with various partners, many of whom were members of my extended
family, as is customary in the Asian community. My father brought over his siblings
from Kenya, and they were immediately running the business. The family-run firm
continued to thrive, and we were able to add the portfolio of care homes that we
still run and operate.
Within our community, it was expected that the eldest son would become involved
in the family business. I have been engaged in helping with the running of the
»Managing Director:
»Founded in 1980
»Based in Birmingham
»Services: Property investment
and care homes for the elderly
»No. of employees: 50
»No. of clients: 120
Stone Bank
company from a young age. My
father was the director, and many of
the members of our family, including
me, have held the role of partner. As
time went on and I became older, my
responsibilities grew. In the last 20
years, my father began to take a back
seat and I came to the forefront.
Breaking tradition
In August 2014, my father passed
away and I assumed control of the
company. I immediately decided to
change and innovate the way the
company was run. One of my first
steps was to increase delegation, and
I began to place greater responsibility
on the two full-time staff members in
the office. Although this may seem
commonplace, it was a drastic step in
our local community. This increased
delegation allowed me to spend less
time in the office, and I was able to
travel with my mother, who was still
grieving the death of my father.
I also began to renegotiate the deals
my father had made, many of which
were heavily skewed in favour of the
other party. This included a dispute
over the running of four of our care
homes, which I promptly traded for a
more lucrative deal for our company.
I instituted a total change across the
whole business, including changing
both our banking services and our
solicitors. These sorts of changes
can often be essential, as having
the right support can significantly
After successfully navigating this
difficult transition, I turned my
attention to our portfolio of care
homes. It was immediately clear
that they required a complete
overhaul. The staff needed to be
replenished, and I prioritised the
hiring of experienced and high-quality
employees. All of the staff were let
go, and I endeavoured to change the
entire atmosphere of these homes.
I also hired a designated member
of staff to oversee the running
of these care homes, increasing
the delegation that had been so
successful previously. A lot of time
was spent training these new recruits
and ensuring that they met the high
standard I expected. I also hired a
highly experienced personal assistant
to deal with the day-to-day running of
the business.
This proved to be a successful move,
and I strove to create a happy and
productive workforce. This included
the provision of extra perks for all staff,
including private healthcare. It is my
sincere belief that if you treat your
workforce well, they will return the
favour with an excellent work ethic.
My father, the original
founder of the business
It is my sincere
belief that if
you treat your
well, they will
return the
favour with an
excellent work
Highlighting best practice
The care homes are now in very high
demand, and we have been forced to
instigate waiting lists to try to cope
with this increased interest.
Profitability immediately increased.
Initially, I had put the care homes up
for sale, but I soon removed them
from the market due to their drastically
increased performance. The increased
self-sufficiency of these practices
allowed me to reduce my personal
involvement and allowed me to focus
on the investment side of the business.
Contrary to belief, a company can be
widely successful without excessive
input from directors and managers.
By ensuring a happy workforce and
setting clear standards of expectation,
I have been able to decrease my
Creating a proactive and
independent workforce
The business is now performing better
than ever before. I am now able to
work from home, staying in contact
through phone and emails, and I
have been able to target lucrative
investment opportunities. These
include new property opportunities,
as well as more opportunistic
investments: I recently made a
sizeable profit from investing in
number plates.
The key to this growth has been
the installation of talented and
motivated employees in key positions.
By promoting a happy atmosphere
within my workforce and setting
clear standards of best practice, the
business has been able to develop
Looking forward, I am continuing to
search for appropriate investments.
Mydesignated care manager has
identified a group of five care homes
that we could add to our portfolio,
expanding our existing service and
establishing a new base in Coventry.
We are not, however, desperate to
expand, as it is not necessary at this
time. Excessive expansion can lead to
problems further down the line and
may interrupt the smooth running of
our business.
I am currently looking at cost-
efficiency improvements and have
begun to target selected properties
that will significantly enhance
our current range. We are also
developing new relationships with
financial service organisations that
are able to provide us with larger
loans in a far shorter timeframe. By
continuing to promote the excellence
of my employees and setting high
expectations, I am confident that our
company will continue to expand
By promoting a
within my
workforce and
setting clear
standards of best
practice, the
business has been
able to develop
and grow
My mother, a constant
source of inspiration and

This article was sponsored by Stone Bank. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy