Connect with us

Entrepreneurship

Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2016 – UAE

Published

on

Fourteen entrepreneurs and business leaders from the U.A.E. were honoured as winners of the prestigious Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2016 (APEA) at a star-studded awards ceremony in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Over 200 attendees were present at the by-invitation only event, comprising of industry leaders, leading entrepreneurs, dignitaries and the who’s who of the business world, including, Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn, Chairman of Enterprise Asia, H.E. Umej Bhatia, Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore to the UAE, H.E. Hani Al Hamli, Secretary General of the Dubai Economic Council, Dr. Bassam Dahman, Managing Partner of RSM UAE, Lt. General Sudhir Sharma, Advisor to Enterprise Asia, Mr. Talmiz Ahmad, Former Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and Dato’ William Ng, President of Enterprise Asia.

The Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) is a regional recognition programme organised by Enterprise Asia, the region’s leading association for entrepreneurship. The Awards are presented to a handful of entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific each year, with annual award ceremonies held in over fourteen countries.

The APEA is often compared to the Olympics for its stringent entry criteria and highly-competitive judging parameters. Nominations to the APEA itself is by invitation, either through past or current awardees, a supporting trade association or the executive committee of Enterprise Asia. Nominees are then subjected to a series of rigorous tests, which include financial verification by an appointed audit firm and a compulsory physical site audit and interview, culminating with a confidential balloting process by an independent judging panel.

Awardees are expected to be torchbearers of entrepreneurship and business leaders in their respective countries, while adhering to strict standards of personal and business ethics.

“We can say with certainty that the recipients of the APEA are like no other. Not only do they have to prove their entrepreneurial skills and experience in one of the toughest contests in the world, they also subject themselves to a pledge to uphold the highest standards of entrepreneurship, which includes allegiance to the two founding pillars of Enterprise Asia,
namely Investment in People and Responsible Entrepreneurship”, says William Ng, president of Enterprise Asia.

Among the recipients were Dr. Shaikha Al Maskari of Al Maskari Holding, who received the ‘Woman Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award, Mr. Firoz Merchant of Pure Gold Jewellers LLC, who received the ‘Special Achievement Award’, and Mr. Talal Al-Gaddah of MAG Property Development who received the APEA in the ‘Outstanding’ category.

“I am thrilled to have won this coveted award. The role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude, and having my hardwork recognized by an award of this caliber is inspiring and encouraging”, said Mr. Talal Al-Gaddah, CEO of MAG Property Development.

The recipients in U.A.E. were selected from among 100 shortlisted candidates, ranging from talented young entrepreneurs to experienced industrialists.

Ng explained, “The APEA is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship. Beyond recognizing the efforts of these entrepreneurs, we hope to encourage them to continue taking their businesses to the next level, and in the process, provide more job opportunities to the people in the region and help to drive the economy forward.”

RECIPIENT LIST OF ASIA PACIFIC ENTREPRNEURSHIP AWARDS 2016 U.A.E.

WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Dr. Shaikha Al Maskari, Chairperson, Al Maskari Holding

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Firoz Merchant, Founder and Chairman, Pure Gold Jewellers LLC

OUTSTANDING CATEGORY
Khaled Bassatne, Managing Director, BB Energy (Gulf) DMCC
Mohammed Abdullah Al Jarman, General Director, Emirates Transport
Deepak Dhawan, Chairman, Food Specialities Limited
Lalu Samuel, Chairman & Managing Director, Kingston Holdings FZC
Talal Al-Gaddah, CEO, MAG Property Development
Premchand Kurup, CEO, Paramount Computer Systems FZ LLC
MOST PROMISING CATEGORY
Saleh Al-Akrabi, Chairman, Emirates Consulting Group LLC
Dr. Sassan Dieter Khatib-Shahidi, CEO, German Imaging Technologies (GIT) Dubai LLC Nawaz Khan, Managing Director, MODEC Group
Gopu Nair, CEO, Tablix Technology LLC
Sirish Kumar, CEO & Co-Founder, Telr
Ayman Al Awadhi, Group Managing Director, The Corporate Group

ABOUT APEA
Launched in 2007, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards are the region’s most prestigious awards for outstanding entrepreneurship, continuous innovation and sustainable leadership. The Awards provide a platform for companies and governments to recognise entrepreneurial excellence, hence spurring greater innovation, fair business practices and growth in entrepreneurship. As a regional award, it groups together leading entrepreneurs as a powerful voice for entrepreneurship and serves as a by-invitation only networking powerhouse. The program has grown to encompass twelve markets all over Asia. 

Entrepreneurship

What Kills A Startup

Published

on

1 – Being inflexible and not actively seeking or using customer feedback

Ignoring your users is a tried and true way to fail. Yes that sounds obvious but this was the #1 reason given for failure amongst the 32 startup failure post-mortems we analyzed. Tunnel vision and not gathering user feedback are fatal flaws for most startups. For instance, ecrowds, a web content management system company, said that “ We spent way too much time building it for ourselves and not getting feedback from prospects — it’s easy to get tunnel vision. I’d recommend not going more than two or three months from the initial start to getting in the hands of prospects that are truly objective.”

2 – Building a solution looking for a problem, i.e., not targeting a “market need”

Choosing to tackle problems that are interesting to solve rather than those that serve a market need was often cited as a reason for failure. Sure, you can build an app and see if it will stick, but knowing there is a market need upfront is a good thing. “Companies should tackle market problems not technical problems” according to the BricaBox founder. One of the main reasons BricaBox failed was because it was solving a technical problem. The founder states that, “While it’s good to scratch itches, it’s best to scratch those you share with the greater market. If you want to solve a technical problem, get a group together and do it as open source.”

3 – Not the right team

A diverse team with different skill sets was often cited as being critical to the success of a starti[ company. Failure post-mortems often lamented that “I wish we had a CTO from the start, or wished that the startup had “a founder that loved the business aspect of things”. In some cases, the founding team wished they had more checks and balances. As Nouncers founder stated, “This brings me back to the underlying problem I didn’t have a partner to balance me out and provide sanity checks for business and technology decisions made.” Wesabe founder also stated that he was the sole and quite stubborn decision maker for much of the enterprises life, and therefore he can blame no one but himself for the failures of Wesabe. Team deficiencies were given as a reason for startup failure almost 1/3 of the time.

4 – Poor Marketing

Knowing your target audience and knowing how to get their attention and convert them to leads and ultimately customers is one of the most important skills of a successful business. Yet, in almost 30% of failures, ineffective marketing was a primary cause of failure. Oftentimes, the inability to market was a function of founders who liked to code or build product but who didn’t relish the idea of promoting the product. The folks at Devver highlighted the need to find someone who enjoys creating and finding distribution channels and developing business relationship for the company as a key need that startups should ensure they fill.

5 – Ran out of cash

Money and time are finite and need to be allocated judiciously. The question of how should you spend your money was a frequent conundrum and reason for failure cited by failed startups. The decision on whether to spend significantly upfront to get the product off the group or develop gradually over time is a tough act to balance. The team at YouCastr cited money problems as the reason for failure but went on to highlight other reasons for shutting down vs. trying to raise more money writing:

The single biggest reason we are closing down (a common one) is running out of cash. Despite putting the company in an EXTREMELY lean position, generating revenue, and holding out as long as we could, we didn’t have the cash to keep going. The next few reasons shed more light as to why we chose to shut down instead of finding more cash.

The old saw was that more companies were killed by poor cashflow than anything else, but factors 1, 2 and 4 probably are the main contributing factors to that problem. No cash, no flow. The issue No 3 – the team – is interesting, as if I take that comment ” I didn’t have a partner to balance me out and provide sanity checks for business and technology decisions made” and think about some of the founders and startup CEOs I know, I can safely say that the main way that any decision was made was by agreeing with them – it was “my way or the highway”. I don’t therefore “buy” the team argument, I more buy the willingness of the key decision makers to change when things are not working (aka “pivoting” – point 9).

_________________________________________________

About the Author

This article was produced by Broadsight. Broadsight is an attempt to build a business not just to consult to the emerging Broadband Media / Quadruple Play / Web 2.0 world, but to be structured according to its open principles. see more.

Continue Reading

Callum Connects

Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor

Published

on

Jasmine saves her clients time and effort when doing kitchen fit outs with her biz Stone Amperor.

What’s your story?
I started working in the industry in 2003. I was in a marble and granite supplier company for 5 years. Even though I left the company, I still had customers calling me for my services. I referred them back to my previous company but they refused to because they loved the fast response service that I offered. I realised that customers do look at prices, however most of them prefer quality over quantity. Thus I have decided to establish a sole proprietor company also known as 78 Degrees which later rebranded as Stone Amperor in 2014.

What excites you most about your industry?
The kitchen countertop industry is a very confusing market. There are many brands, materials and prices to choose from. What excites me the most is my ability to help clients choose the best materials and brands within their budgets, whilst saving them time and effort.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have been in Asia all my life and I love Asia. No matter where you go there is no place like home.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I love Singapore. This is because Singapore has always been a stable country and it is great for doing business. However as it is a small country, it can be really competitive. I believe that if just do your best and give your best to your customers, you can overcome this.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Take actions. Learn and improve continuously. An idea without action is just a dream.” This was really good advice that I received from my partner.

Who inspires you?
A very down to earth billionaire from Malaysia, Robert Kuok

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Property is the foundation of every business.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Own instead of renting property for my business.

How do you unwind?
I enjoy going shopping, watching movies and hanging out with friends. I am quite a simple being.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love going to Taiwan as I love the culture there. Everyone is so polite and the weather is great.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Sun Tzu, Art of war

Shameless plug for your business:
Perfect top, Perfect price, Perfect life from Stone Amperor

How can people connect with you?
Email me at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@StoneAmperor

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

Continue Reading

Trending