Bigger, Better Westpac’s PM’s International Business Awards
More applications received this year compared to last year
All the categories in the 2016 Westpac’s Prime Minister’s International Business Awards have been revamped.
Fifty applications have been received for the awards this year, compared to 45 last year.
This was confirmed by Investment Fiji chief executive Godo Muller- Teut.
“The new criteria is relevant to the different sectors of the economy,” Mr Muller-Tuet said.
“The new criteria are quite specific on what a business or an individual has to meet in order to be eligible for the awards.”
He said despite the applications being new, applicants understood the new set of criterias quite well.
“We did not have any issues where applicants were ambiguous about certain requirements of the Awards.
“The new set of criteria is set in such a way that recognises a variety of businesses from various sectors that play a major role in bringing foreign exchange in the country.”
There are a total of twelve categories for the awards this year and categories also recognise small and medium enterprises, emerging exporter and re-exporters.
The Westpac Prime Minister’s International Business Awards will be held at Sheraton Fiji Resort on the 10th of December.
Close to 700 guests comprising of Government officials and businesses are expected to be a part of this event.
Sun INTERVIEW – Investment Fiji chief executive Godo Muller- Teut
1) How many participants have been shortlisted for the Westpac’s Prime Minister’s International Business Awards?
We have received a total of 50 applications. These applications came from a wide range of businesses-from small to medium and big businesses.
Some applications even came from individuals who were quite encouraging to note.
However, we do not have a short listing process. All the applications have been vetted thoroughly by our team and will be forwarded to the judges.
These judges will work independently in selecting the winners. We want to ensure that we follow a very transparent process in deciding the winners.
We would like to give every company who has applied for the awards a fair chance of competition thus the judges will go through every application and decide who the winners are.
2) How many applications were received this year?
We have received 50 applications for this year however there are certain businesses who have applied in more than one category.
These businesses are from manufacturing, telecommunications, IT, Service and Audio Visual sector.
This is certainly a positive and an encouraging sign that businesses from a wide range of sectors have applied to be part of this prestigious ceremony.
With 50 different businesses vying for the awards in different categories, it surely reflects the interest and enthusiasm in our revamped Westpac’s Prime Minister’s International Business Awards.
More businesses have shown their interest in this year’s awards compared to previous years and I believe this speaks volume of the significance this Awards has.
Businesses want to be recognised for their hard work and they have seen Westpac Prime Minister’s International Business Awards as a platform to be internationally recognised.
That is intention of this award and Investment Fiji as well, which is to give due recognition to the hard working businesses in the country.
3) What are the criteria’s to enter the awards?
Since the Award is centered on recognising our exporters, so the main criterion is it has to be an export based business.
Prime Minister’s IBA aims to provide an opportunity for Fijian businesses to benchmark performance, build capacity, inspire to innovate, show service excellence, support job creation and boost employee morale.
Keeping these principles in mind, the criteria for any business who wanted to be part of the Awards had to be creative, dynamic, developed uniqueness in the quality of their products and demonstrated leadership in their business venture.
4) What are the categories for this year’s awards?
There are 12 categories consisting of the Supreme Award, three General Awards and eight Special Awards.
n Supreme Award
This award will be presented to a company that had demonstrated significant and sustained international growth along with clear understanding of overseas markets.
The winner should have demonstrated commercial success and outlined benefits across multiple facets including job creation, innovation service excellence and social responsibility.
General Award that encompasses Best Small, Medium and Large operating businesses
-This Award recognises businesses who built extraordinary and sustainable growth.
SMEs obviously play a hug role in our thriving economy and this is the ideal category to highlight their success and appreciate their contribution to the economy.
Westpac Prime Minister’s International Business Award for the Best Small Business operating internationally recognizes a company with sales less than $1million.
The Award for the Best Medium Business operating internationally celebrates the contribution of mid-market companies while the Award for the Best Large Business Operating internationally recognizes a company with sales exceeding $5million.
The winner of this category should have made a significant contribution to the nation, has an engaged workforce and whose growth, compelling business strategy, ambition and effective leadership allows the company to continually innovate in order to support future growth.
Special category that encompasses Emerging exporter, Re-exporter, Excellence in Innovation, Excellence in E-Commerce and Marketing, Excellence in Service, Primary Industry, Excellence in Business Leadership and Socially Responsible.
Emerging Exporter- This award will be presented to an organization that has developed a niche market through creativity and developed uniqueness in quality.
Re-exporter of the Year Award- This award will be presented to a company who has excelled in re-exporting and at the same time establishing Fiji as the true hub of the region. The winner will demonstrate expansion across existing and new markets and utilized Fiji’s sea and air connectivity well within the region.
Excellence in Innovation Award- This Award will recognize a company for their innovative product and service development and business models employed to maximize international revenue.
Excellence in E-Commerce and marketing- this Award will recognize a company that has demonstrated successful e-commerce approaches by using digital media to market products and services internationally.
Excellence in service- the Award will recognize a business that constantly thrived to exceed customer expectations, industry leading standards of service and innovation around customer service.
Primary Industry Business Leadership- this Award recognizes a business for outstanding export results in agriculture, forest and fisheries sector.
The Award aims to showcase innovation and adaptability across a number of primary industry sectors.
Excellence in Business Leadership
This award will recognise an individual who has shaped the business world in Fiji through steadfast leadership, vision, tenacity and dedication, who is a true leader and role model for other companies, who is visionary and created products and services that creates jobs and helps economy grow.
Social Responsibility Business of the Year Award
This Award will recognize a company that has demonstrated principles of Governments Green Growth Framework by establishing a positive, sustainable and societal impact as part of their business journey.
5) How is the preparation going for the awards this year?
The preparations have been going very well for the Westpac Prime Minister’s IBA.
Due to a huge demand, our team is still in the process of vetting some of the applications before it goes to the judges.
Investment Fiji is actually thrilled to receive such an enormous response from businesses.
Preparing for such a significant event is obviously not easy but we have been doing everything to ensure the awards and especially the selection of winners is done smoothly.
This year’s awards will be better than last year’s given the large number of applications received as well as new and exciting categories.
6) Who are the sponsors for the awards?
The major sponsor is Westpac. Westpac has been with us, supporting this event for some years now. Investment Fiji is very grateful to Westpac for its continued support.
Westpac and Investment Fiji realise the importance of recognising hardworking businesses who contribute significantly to the Fijian economy.
Then we have other sponsors for each category as well. These are Technix, Pacific Agencies, Ministry of Industry Trade and Tourism, Vodafone, LICI, RBF, Golden Manufactures and Tropick Woods.
These sponsors share similar vision with Investment Fiji and that is to give due recognition to the movers and shakers of the economy.
7) What are some of the challenges faced while preparing for this awards function?
Preparing for such a significant annual event obviously requires a lot of hard work and Investment Fiji has been on top of it since day one.
We do not have any major challenges at the moment. Applicants have been collaborative.
They have filled their applications accordingly and our team is working very hard to vet these applications vigorously and ensure everything is in place for the awards.
As mentioned earlier, the new look of the awards has obviously attracted a lot of attention from the businesses.
This year’s awards will be bigger and better than last year’s.
8) Any other comments
We would like to encourage those who are still waiting to buy tickets, to buy it fast. Tickets have been selling fast.
There are limited spaces so we would not like to leave anyone behind.
This is a significant event in Investment Fiji’s calendar and we are making sure that it is a success.
We are also very thankful to the Honourable Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama who has agreed to be the chief guest during the Awards night.
His presence alone will certainly give more confidence to the exporters and meaning to the Awards.
After all it’s all about giving innovative and smart businesses a due recognition for their efforts.
EDITED BY: FARZANA NISHA