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Embracing Changes

As a Chinese proverb says, “In every crisis, there is an opportunity.”

There is no better saying to depict the diversified and sustainable development the city has undergone in the past five years, harbouring a business environment with more and more emphasis on integrity, professionalism, creativity, innovations, and corporate social responsibility. Amid the city’s continuous transformation to a world-class tourism centre and a regional services platform between Mainland China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, one element remains steadfast: the Business Awards of Macau.

As the first-of-its-kind event launched in the territory since 2013, the Business Awards of Macau has been committed to reward and celebrate the exceptional achievements of local firms, institutions and entrepreneurs, as well as their outstanding contributions to turn the city into a better place. It has become a major annual award programme in the calendar of the local business community, a platform in which both multinational corporations and local firms that often slip under the radar have the same chances to be recognised and valued for their astounding aspirations.

While the determination of honouring business talents, change-makers, and organisations remains unaltered throughout the years, the event has thrived and grown together with the city’s development in accommodation with more dynamic scenes of local businesses. The number of award categories rose from nine in the debut edition to 11 in the 2017 edition, including: Leading by Example, Entrepreneur, Young Entrepreneur, New Talent, Most Valuable Brand, Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Performance, Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs), Non-Profit Organisation and Grand Merit.

The Business Awards of Macau has been committed to reward and celebrate the exceptional achievements of local firms, institutions and entrepreneurs, as well as their outstanding contributions to turn the city into a better place.

From acknowledging individuals and companies showcasing examples of strong leadership in the market to commending parties for their innovative products or ideas to highlighting the tremendous accomplishments of non-profit organisations, the Business Awards has shed lights on more than 100 talents from all walks of life and entities across various industries over the past five years. This esteemed list of awardees and winners is compiled on heels of a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation process by the distinguished and independent panel of judges, comprising 30 scholars, businessmen and industry veterans from a wide range of sectors with an extensive knowledge of their respective segments this year.

The winners of the 2017 Business Awards of Macau were unveiled and honoured on 24th November 2017 at the Awards Gala Dinner held in the Grand Ballroom at Grand Lisboa Macau, which is the Ceremony Partner of the event together with gaming operator Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, S.A. (SJM).

In the wake of the latest exhilarating development of the territory—from its ‘smart city’ ambitions to its designation as ‘Creative City of Gastronomy’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)—the Business Awards of Macau is committed to offering opportunities for talents, companies and organisations to enhance their visibility and to spread their wings in the local and regional markets—and even on the international stage. The testimonies and stories behind the award programme this year, once again, underscore the significance of the Business Awards in shaping a brighter vision for the city.

Shout-outs to Novelty

With an abundance of resources, Macau has nurtured many startups with novel business ideas over the years, such as cultural creative firms and key opinion leaders, or better known by its acronyms KOLs, in the online world. But what they require is more exposure to expand their business scale—and the Business Awards has heeded to their calls.

The award programme is “recognition of our achievement in the areas of content business,” says Lok Chi Huo, co-founder and CEO of Manner Production, producing viral videos, especially among youngsters, on social media platforms for entertainment and promotion. “The Business Awards of Macau also motivates us to dream big and … encourage [us] to do something meaningful and what we really love and enjoy,” he adds.

So does Macau Speedking Technology Ltd, a Macau agency of a leading smart locker system in the mainland, which believes the event could enhance the public awareness on them. “We get the chance to share our ideas, passions, and objectives with the whole Macau business community, which increases our company’s popularity,” it remarks. “Our team spirit has increased through this Awards competition, and we get a new insight for our company’s operation.”

“Attempt is always the way to success” is one of the mottos of Like Entertainment Ltd, a creative entertainment firm that has been established for nearly five years. “We feel immense gratitude to the Business Awards of Macau for providing us a platform to learn from outstanding enterprises and organisations in Macau… and also thank for everyone who supports and [has faith in] the cultural business development in Macau,” the company stresses.

With an abundance of resources, Macau has nurtured many startups with novel business ideas over the years, such as cultural creative firms and key opinion leaders, or better known by its acronyms KOLs, in the online world. But what they require is more exposure to expand their business scale—and the Business Awards has heeded to their calls.

Well-respected multinational corporations, such as DHL Express Macau, are also encouraged by the Awards in catering more customised services and products to satisfy their esteemed clients. “We are proud that DHL Express Macau has won this prestigious award recognising outstanding business that deliver excellent services to customers and the community,” says the company, which has launched new ODD (on-demand delivery) services in the city this year.

Spotlights on Local Firms

The local companies, in particular SMEs that are usually kept out of public eye, are given a platform to shine. Harry Lai, CEO and Executive Director of Lai Si Construction (HK) Co., Ltd, a local construction firm with nearly 40 years of experience, praises the award initiative that rewards enterprises and individuals, regardless of their size or their positions within the companies and industries. “The Awards also serves as a widespread platform for the public to know more about local businesses and people in town, feeling the vitality and beauty of the city,” he adds. “[It] demonstrates that local enterprises can contribute in facilitating the development strategy of ‘going out’ in both local and national levels.”

“SMEs are the cornerstone of the economy of Macau, requiring assistance from different parties to accommodate to the rapidly-evolving market,” says Stanley Au, chairman of Macau-based lender Delta-Asia Financial Group. “I believe the Business Awards of Macau will allow more people to know and understand outstanding companies in Macau, facilitate their development, and inject new momentum to the society and the economy.”

Macau Central Technology Ltd, a firm focusing on online promotions for local SMEs, adds the event helps “our staffs to be motivated, our investors to value our work, and our customers to value our branding.” In addition to greater visibility for local companies, the initiative provides a chance for them to look for business partners. “The Business Awards of Macau is a good opportunity for us to meet top-level representatives from different sectors in Macau and to explore more business cooperation locally and worldwide,” says Leo Wong, founder and CEO of iGift Co Ltd, a local garment firm.

Talents Cultivation

Amid a low unemployment rate in the city, it is of paramount importance for enterprises to retain staff and facilitate their upward mobility. “From the Company’s perspective, the Business Awards of Macau has been established for five years and is one of the most mature associations that supports the local business community; it aligns with the Company’s mission to cultivate local talents,” says Kent Chow, Director of Human Resource of Grand Lapa Macau, adding the award programme has “power to influence and develop the local community”.

“The Business Awards of Macau is a priceless mark of excellence for ‘me’, ‘Big Four’ and especially my most valuable ‘team’,” says Albert Chuck, chairman of Big Four Development Group Ltd, a company specialising in consulting and engineering solutions. “[It is] a priceless opportunity for my clients, team and future business connections to see how good ‘Big Four’ really are,” he adds.

“The prestigious award is such an encouragement and recognition for the effort the whole team has put into,” remarks O’Che 1867, a local jewellery firm with a history of more than a century. The company adds the Awards serves as “a driving force for the brand to move forward in the years to come” when it attempts to re-shape its brand image and establish a presence in the Internet world.

Gaming solution service provider SG Gaming concedes such recognition “provides confidence to our customers and staffs” and “motivates our staff to achieve higher”, while luxury retailer Louis Vuitton Macau Company Limited notes: “It’s a good initiative for us to… motivate and encourage our people.”

A key to the upward mobility of talents is education, an area underscored by the Awards. Towinal Mak, founder of Hard Work Education Centre, pinpoints their quality education services are supported by industry veterans and professionals, including university professors and schoolteachers. Another local education services firm AES Education Group believes the team morale and thus the performance of the entire company will be enhanced, if each staff fulfils their own obligations.

“Being recognized along all peers across Macau, not just the gaming industry, the award would build a professional management image that could inject more positive energies to the team,” Nathan Carle, Vice President of Slot Operations of gaming operator MGM Grand Paradise Ltd, summarises.

Top-notch Performance

Besides advocating creativity and innovations, this year’s programme continuously aspires local players to attain higher goals in their operations. “We appreciate that this initiative is acknowledged and respected by our stakeholders, including customers, investors, bankers and officials, as well as our dedicated employees, over 90 percent of whom are local to Macau,” gaming operator SJM says. “SJM is honoured to be associated with the Business Awards of Macau and to be recognised among those who contribute to the Macau economy and community.”

A key to the upward mobility of talents is education, an area underscored by the Awards.

One of the leaders in the local liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) market, Shall Gas (LPG) Macau Limited, pinpoints it has kept raising its service standards to uphold its ‘customer first’ core value. “We are deeply honoured and greatly encouraged [by the Awards] to continuously demonstrate prominent service and performance to our end customers,” it adds.

“Our company always strives to be a valuable member of the Macau business community,” explains PokerStars Macau, adding “strive for excellence”, “focus on the customer” and “show passion” are some of the values they aspire to. “In living these goals…, we feel proud to develop our business in such a strong community as Macau.”

Aspiring Values

Facing the drastic growth in the city since the handover in 1999, local business players have been held accountable for promoting better changes in the society, an aspect that the Awards also pays attention to. “We understand that corporate sustainability is an ever-evolving journey and is a vital part of building a solid foundation for the long-term development of a company, which helps [the company] to be one of the most trusted and most value-added companies,” says Shun Tak Holdings (Macau) Ltd. “We feel honoured to be granted this esteemed award in Macau in recognition of our contributions, but the credit must go to our team.”

Local bank, Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU), in celebration of its 115th anniversary this year, also attaches great importance to corporate social responsibility, namely volunteer works and donations. “Through community visits and interactions, for example, we have a precious opportunity to better understand how the underprivileged should be given equal rights and respect, and send our love and care to the minorities in practice,” Pedro Cardoso, CEO of the lender, stresses. “BNU is committed to fulfil our corporate social responsibilities and contribute to the community continually.”

Environmental protection is a key aspect for top-performing companies, too. “To further promote GEG’s sustainability vision and principles in the market, GEG has recognised the initiative [to] work with the Business Awards of Macau as a powerful vehicle [that] helps to drive the growth of sustainability, a powerful communications channel and also a persuasive means of pushing for pro-social changes,” explains local resort developer Galaxy Entertainment Group.

While it takes tremendous work to keep business operations environmentally friendly, it is even more challenging to run as a green firm in the city. Kwan On Environment Engineering Co., Ltd admits it is “so difficult to run an environmental business in Macau nowadays,” but recognition like the Business Awards of Macau keeps them motivated.

Social Welfare

Not only businesses and entrepreneurs are hailed in this year’s Awards, but also non-profit organisations or entities for their relentless commitments to the society. Founded since 2015, the Macau International Carnival Association has cultivated talents in fields of tourism, culture, and arts to “build a recognised brand by sending good vibes to Macau residents and tourists through this platform.”

Rotary Club of Macau believes everyone could serve the society, regardless of their personal backgrounds, as long as they share a same objective. “Being related to an initiative like the Business Awards of Macau, it will further [encourage] our Club and members… to do more good to the community both locally and internationally,” it adds.

The event also plays a major role in enhancing the awareness of non-profit organisations. Fuhong Society of Macau, an organisation for the disabled that also runs social enterprises, in particular applauds for the media coverage and the business attention the Awards gets. “Fuhong wants to introduce our rehabilitation works and the hard work of our people with disabilities to more people from different sectors and also the media,” it notes.

Upholding its spirits “Help the Needed, Serve the Community”, Hope International Volunteer Group says it is in need of the recognition to “promote our volunteer group to the public [and] to influence more people to join the volunteer services.” Another similar group, Macao Borderless Youth Association, hopes to use the Awards as “the best affirmation” for the time and efforts its volunteers have put into the association.
Amid the aftermath of Typhoon Hato, devastating the territory for days earlier this year, many individuals and companies have come out to help rebuilding the city, embodying the best values of humanity. One of them is Loreto Mijares Jr, a Filipino in the city who helped saving lives from flooding when the storm hit the territory—and his gallantry has not gone unnoticed by this year’s event. “When one gives his best effort and always pursues excellence in the performance of his chosen endeavour, success is assured and ultimately [one] will be rewarded with top recognition,” he says.

The 2017 Business Awards of Macau were organised by De Ficção Multimedia Projects—the publisher of Macau Business, Business Intelligence, Essential Macau and Macau News Agency—and co-organised by the Charity Association of Macau Business Readers. The Awards ceremony was planned and produced by Signature Events.

Featured photo: GCS .

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