The winners of the Stars of Business Leadership Awards 2019, the latest edition of one of the Arab region’s most credible and prestigious awards for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), were revealed during a grand awarding ceremony held last March 6, 2019 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai. The high-profile event was attended by VIPs, government dignitaries, senior representatives from the public and private sectors, and C-suite executives.
Georgina O’Hara, Co-founder, CPI Business/SME Beyond Borders, said: “We are proud to present this year the leading SMEs and their successes. It was a great response from the industry, and we thank them for their consistent efforts to follow this passion, to keep driving ahead and find new ways to innovative, to lead and motivate an entire team forward towards success. The Stars of Business Awards has been known for its credibility as well as careful and objective selection of winners, which is not easy task in a complex range of businesses that are performing their best within their respective fields. Nonetheless, we have chosen which we feel are continuously defining the SME sector and bringing in new developments to this field.”
“It is incredible to celebrate the success of SMEs in the Middle East, particularly the UAE. At Cigna, we really recognise the importance of the SME community and it’s no secret that SMEs are the lifeblood of the UAE economy. As SMEs grow, so do their employee expectations. That’s where Cigna comes in with our global expertise and the local knowledge, we can provide SMEs with health and wellness solutions to help them have the most inspired teams that generate great results.” – Richard Rilstone, Director – Sales and Client Management – MENA region, Cigna Insurance Middle East.
Winners for this year’s awards are the result of an intensive and rigorous judging process, with every nomination closely scrutinized by an independent, neutral, and transparent jury. The Stars of Business Leadership Awards 2019 recognized the best of the best across 10 categories. Each category featured five nominees. The award categories for this year and their respective winners include;
- Family Business Leader Category: Ananya Narayan, Managing Director, Hunter Foods Limited FZCO
- Leader Shaping the Future Award: Farooq Wasil, Global Head Affordable Schools, GEMS Education
- Youth Leadership award of the Year: Baraa Ahmed, CEO, Zeopi
- Digital Disruptor of the Year: Sebastian Stefan, CEO, LoadMe
- Stars of Business Leadership Award 2019 (Male): Michael Lahyani, CEO & Founder, propertyfinder.ae
- Star of Business Leadership Award 2019 (Female): Kamelia Allow, Founder, My Business Consulting DMCC
- SME Influencer of the Year: Omar Al-Haza’a, Founder & CEO, Franchise Arabia
- Social Entrepreneurship Leader of the Year: Dana Liparts, Co-founder & Partner, Ecocoast Holdings Limited
- Stars of Business Leadership Award – Overall Excellence: Ashish Panjabi, COO, Jacky’s Business Solutions LLC
- Special Recognition Award – Nidal Abou Zaki, Managing Director, Orient Planet Group
Since its inception more than 13 years ago, the Stars of Business Leadership Awards has been recognizing companies in the region with phenomenal growth stories, exceptional achievements, and top market positioning.
The 2019 edition was hosted in partnership with Exclusive Insurance Partner Cigna Insurance Middle East; Official Freezone Partner Dubai South; Official Airline Partner Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi; and Exclusive Car Partner Toyota. The event’s strategic partners were Hawkamah and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts, while its supporting partners included Happenize, Kahswani Law Firm, OPG – Orient Planet Group, and Plantshop.ae.
The awarding ceremony was followed by networking opportunities and light entertainment arranged by the event’s organizers.