After much anticipation, our 2nd Business Excellence Awards Gala Dinner has come to a triumphant end – and what a night it was! Over 500 guests attended from all strides, with Ministers, Ambassadors, VIPs and Heads of Companies gracing the event dedicated to celebrating the best of British and Malaysian businesses. The night’s Guests of Honour were YB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Minister of Finance Malaysia, YB Dr Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry, and British High Commissioner to Malaysia, H.E. Charles Hay MVO.
The apex of the night came at the announcement for the winner of the UK-Malaysia Business of the Year award, where the coveted title was claimed by Sports Direct MST Sdn Bhd to roaring cheer from the crowd. Since becoming a joint-venture in 2013, Sports Direct Malaysia has grown aggressively, currently operating 30 retail stores with annual sales of over RM225 million and a workforce of over 706 employees. This rapid growth is only set to continue growing with the evolution of larger format stores, incorporating more than 75 brands. The company owns 28 sports brands globally, many of which were never previously available in Malaysia. Upon receiving the award, a jubilant Paul Gibbons, Managing Director of Sports Direct Malaysia was delighted to announce the decision of the company to select Malaysia as a Regional Distribution Hub.
Sunway Group Founder and Chairman, Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO was presented the UK-Malaysia Business Personality of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to bi-lateral trade and business between our two nations. Having founded Sunway Group in 1974 from humble beginnings, Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah has since groomed and grown Sunway to becoming one of Malaysia’s largest conglomerates with 12 business divisions across various sectors. He pioneered the concept of “twinning programmes” in Malaysia with partnerships between Sunway College and the universities of Leicester, Manchester and Greenwich of the years. More than just a leader with a mind for business, Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah has initiated various initiatives with social goals and talent building.
PwC Malaysia won the Diversity and Inclusion Award, this year’ highest nominated category, having proven its strong commitment through its holistic flex+ programme aimed at fostering an inclusive workforce as well as establishing effective recruiting strategies to drive diversity. The Innovation Award went to Capital DK,whose game-changing solutions that employ Machine Learning, AI, Robotic Automation and Deep Analytics have seen them leave their closest competitors years behind.
Another big winner on the night was Sunway Medical Centre, who had out-rivalled strong competition from the likes of Sime Darby Plantation, Naylor Farms, Veritas Design Group and the International University of Malaya-Wales to claim the UK-Malaysia Partnership Award. Through its partnership with the University of Cambridge in 2014, the Clinical Research Centre was established at Sunway Medical Centre, going on to become the first regional site partner for the British university. Researchers from both institutions are working together on researches that focus on prevention, early diagnosis and improved treatments of a range of diseases suited for the Asian genetic composition.
The Social Enterprise of The Year award, a new category introduced this year, was claimed by Teach for Malaysia. TFM, for short, recruits top non-education graduates and young professionals into its two-year Fellowship programme with the vision that all children one day will have access to excellent education, and will be empowered to be leaders of their own learning and leaders of our nation. Through collaborations with various sectors, such as the Fund A Fellow model, TFM is able to financially sustain itself as an independent, not-for-profit organisation.
In his speech, Andrew Sill, BMCC Chairman and Managing Director, Country Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Malaysia commented of the Awards; “This year, it was inspiring to see many companies of various backgrounds stepping forward to nominate themselves. There was a noticeable increase in quality submissions, signifying the level of depth and a positive sense of pride placed into these nominations. The top British players in particular continue to demonstrate their stellar record of growth in Malaysia. Likewise, the Malaysian counterparts have equally demonstrated outstanding performances abroad. Collectively, all our nominating companies presented strong cases of synergies, value creation and contributions to the overall economy, doing so by capitalising on the best of UK-Malaysian expertise and certainly, all our nominees are winners in their own right.”
The BMCC congratulates our winners for excelling and progressing the business landscape of UK and Malaysia. We also commend all our nominating companies for stepping up to showcase their successes and we look forward to seeing your progresses next year. Finally, the BMCC thanks all our Sponsors, Partners, and guests for making it the memorable night it was. The BMCC Awards will return in 2020.