The Seventh BNZ-Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards attracted a record number of entries from across the country, posing a challenge to the panel of experienced judges.
Among the judges on the panel were Ignition Partner Limited Executive Director Chad Wilkie; National Business Review Editor-in-Chief Nevil Gibson; Massey University e-Centre Limited Chief Executive Steve Corbett; Vodafone New Zealand Sector Partner and Partner Manager Tony Bacon; UHY Haines Norton, Chartered Accountants Senior Partner Tim Livingstone; Soda Inc Chief Executive Dr Claire McGowan; International Business Management Limited Managing Director Chip Dawson; Value Added Management Consultant Adrian Dixon; Talking Tech Head of Delivery Ray Knight and Managing Consultant Mike Skilling.
Variety & Quality
Mr Wilkie said the judges were impressed with the variety and quality of the companies, which eventually formed the top quartile of the entries.
“There were very good Indian businesses, which were involved in manufacturing, construction, retailing, finance, accounting, physiotherapy, international trade, information technology and other sectors. The category finalists and winners were all outstanding companies, who will compete well in the difficult economic times ahead,” he said.
Mr Wilkie said that the judging process has always been robust, independent and honest and that the panel meticulously ensures that no judge has any conflict of interest in any of the companies and individuals who file their entries.
Indian businesses have done very well in New Zealand and these Awards have been designed to recognise and applaud their success. Apart from being able to assess their status among the business community, many entrants often engage for the first time in such important matters as writing a business plan, preparing market strategies, ensuring a response supply management chain, proper inventory control and most important of all, financial discipline,” he said.
Other members of the Judging Panel agreed, saying that these awards not only showcase their achievements but also enable the participating companies to evaluate themselves and compare their performance with others.
Partners in Progress
They said that the contribution of the Indian Community to commerce in New Zealand should not be underestimated.
“Entrepreneurial spirit, the ability to recognise opportunities and a dogged determination to achieve are hallmarks of the skills the Indian business community demonstrates in business,” they said.
“The inspiring contribution of Indians from India and people of Indian origin to New Zealand and our common life together should be properly acknowledged. We welcome business as a force for good in the community, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to help foster Indian businesses, and the Indian community, in partnership with the IBA and Indian Newslink.”
Vijaya Vaidyanath, Chief Executive of the City of Yaara near Melbourne in Australia, who was in Auckland specially to attend the Annual Awards Ceremony, said that she was pleased to see the Awards Programme grow from strength to strength.
“From its modest beginnings, the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards have become the most significant business event among the Indian community in New Zealand. I was delighted to see the increasing presence of businesspersons and professionals from other ethnic groups and mainstream New Zealand,” she said.
Mrs Vaidyanath was primarily responsible in the launch of the Awards Programme in November 2008 when, as the Chief Executive of the then Waitakere City Council, she secured the Title Sponsorship of the Council.
“The Awards Night marked a celebration for India and New Zealand, since it recognises and rewards success. Such awards not only motivate businesses to perform better, but also create opportunities for higher levels of growth and productivity. These Business Awards perform the vital role of encouraging businesses to look at their strategies and programmes and evaluate them against the market needs. Indian businesses have been an integral part of the New Zealand business community for a long time and it was important that they were recognised and rewarded,” she said.
Entries for awards in 12 categories were open to businesses owned, operated and managed by people of Indian origin throughout New Zealand. Entries to the ‘Business Excellence in Export to India’ Category were open to all companies based in New Zealand irrespective of their ownership.
Best Accountant of the Year, Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the Best Businesswoman of the Year were open to people of Indian origin living in New Zealand as citizens or permanent residents. Entries were either nominated or directly from the candidates.