Seven years ago, we conceptualised an Awards Scheme to recognise, reward and celebrate the success of Indian businesses in New Zealand and structured a system of entries and their evaluation by a panel of judges that would be fiercely independent of this newspaper.
We were determined to enhance the value of the service that we render to the community, confident of bringing the independence, credibility, honesty and most important of all, confidentiality to the Awards Scheme.
It began as a modest enterprise but conducted with confidence and diligence to create an opportunity for our businesses to showcase their performance and celebrate their success with others.
IBA 2008 was an instant success, encouraged by which, we have planned and implemented the Awards Programme every year thereafter.
Securing sponsorship is always a challenge, not just because companies and commercial entities look for return on investment but also because of their own evolving marketing requirements and the need or otherwise for exposure.
We have been fortunate to have institutions of international and national reputation as our Sponsors, all of them inspiring us to improve our own performance. We are grateful to all our sponsors who have reposed confidence and trust in us.
The Award Categories are rigid in their approach and content but are also flexible to allow changes to meet the evolving needs of the economy and the market.
Four years ago, we added two new categories – Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Best Businesswoman of the Year – reflecting the growing importance of women in business and the need to promote professional talent and business acumen among the younger members of the community.
The ‘Best Accountant of the Year’ Category was introduced in 2013 in recognition of the growing importance of the profession. Entries to this Categories are open to all practicing accountants (Chartered and otherwise) of Indian origin, either as nominations or as direct submissions.
Chad Wilkie is Executive Director of Ignition Partner, a Consultancy firm based in Auckland. He is the Chairman of the Panel of Judges of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards and an experienced adviser to Chief Executives of companies on shaping businesses for growth, and structuring deals to achieve business growth.
Mr Wilkie has been a great source of inspiration for hundreds of small, medium and large businesses to enter our Awards Scheme. He conducts free Workshops (hosted by BNZ, our Title Sponsor), motivating participants to file their entries and enabling them to realise the importance of a sound Business Plan and Growth Strategy.
Nine other professionals of proven integrity and expertise complete the Judges Panel.
The Awards Night, a Gala Black Tie Dinner, held at Sky City Convention Centre on November 24, 2014 was a spectacular event, with more than 900 businesspersons interacting with each other and networking for commercial opportunities.
They were also able to greet individually our Guest of Honour Prime Minister John Key and take photographs with him.
Among the Guests of Honour at the Ceremony were India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Ravi Thapar, Auckland Mayor Len Brown, Members of Parliament Phil Goff, David Cunliffe, David Shearer, Jenny Salesa, Louisa Wall (Labour), Judith Collins, Alfred Ngaro, Scott Simpson, Melissa Lee, Dr Parmjeet Parmar (National), Winston Peters (New Zealand First) and David Seymour (ACT); BNZ Chairman John Waller and BNZ Managing Director & Chief Executive Anthony Healy.
National Party President Peter Goodfellow, Employers & Manufacturers Association Chief Executive Kim Campbell, KPMG Executive Chairman Ross Buckley, top executives of banks and government and private undertakings were present.
Michelle A’Court, the energetic and iconic celebrity speaker and entertainer was the Master of Ceremonies and established an instant rapport with the audience.
The entertainment segment included performing artistes Ratna Venkat (Indian Classical Dancer), Jeffery Nathan (Vocal & Guitar) and the Gurus of Groove Band comprising Joscel Alexander (Acoustic Drums), Joseph Alexander (Octopad), Hemant Thaker (Keyboards), Ravi Shah (Lead Guitar) and Carlyle Fernandes (Bass Guitar)
Our sponsors formed the heart of the project, fostering a mutually rewarding relationship. We believe that association with IBA has accrued a two-way benefit, helping both of us to reach out to the community.
IBA has now become an integral part of our daily routine and hence is not perceived as an annual event, but as a project that needs to be exercised at least for an hour every day. That is the seriousness with which we treat Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards.
Because, we know that nothing comes without effort and no success accrues without persistence and perseverance.
As we congratulate the finalists and winners in each category and the winner of the Supreme Business Award, we wish to reiterate our commitment for excellence in everything that we do; be it this newspaper, the Indian Newslink Fastfind Business Directory, Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture and Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards.
We look forward to another Gala Black Tie Dinner and Awards Presentation ceremony at Sky City Convention Centre in November 2015 to celebrate the success of the participants in IBA 2015 and another Special Awards Issue to inform you with special reports and pictures.