Professionals form an important part of the business community and hence they deserve recognition and support says Kalamazoo Group Director Odelia D’Souza.
She said an increasing number of women of Indian origin have been making their mark as accountants, architects, doctors, engineers, interior decorators, lawyers.
“I am happy that the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards (IBA) has a category to honour successful men and women who render professional services.
“I understand that many women are participating in the Awards Scheme,” she said.
The Kalamazoo Group is the sponsor of the Best Professional Services Business Award of IBA 2010.
In many ways, the Award is a reflection of the Group’s operating philosophy and corporate objectives. The latter includes pursuing excellence in all activities, surpassing customer expectations, fostering teamwork and promoting good employer-employee relationship, motivation and career development.
Companies that create and maintain a congenial environment for growth are also those that foster professionalism.
Ms D’Souza said quality professionals were critical to the success of any organisation, more so to a commercial entity in a competitive environment.
“From customer relations, sales personnel and administration and accounts staff to those involved in production and supply chain management, everyone should not only be of high professional calibre but also be committed to quality.
“In addition, a host of other professionals contribute to the success of a business. It is therefore appropriate that they are recognised and rewarded,’ she said.
She also hoped that women would compete for the Best Professional Services Business Award. New Zealand has a lot to offer to women who have the desire to succeed and it is not true that they have little or no place in business.
She said Indian women have been involved in a variety of commercial activities for several decades. Apart from being partners or managers in the ubiquitous superettes and convenience stores, they are now major stakeholders in commercial ventures that call for tough and fast decisions.
Experts said competition by itself is not a bad thing.
“It motivates organisations to be alert, constantly update products and services and keep pace with the evolving trends in the market. But the cutthroat variety breeds unhealthy practices, unsubstantiated claims and unwarranted moves. Survival would also depend on professionals who render their services with commitment and dedication, “they said.
Professionals and entrepreneurs like Ms D’Souza are a source of inspiration for women who aspire to be successful businesspersons.
Despite no previous experience in business (she was a teacher), Ms D’Souza is today an expert in all aspects of management, dividing responsibilities with her husband Steve D’Souza, in running the Kalamazoo Group.
The Group incorporates the Christchurch based Wyatt & Wilson and as of August 2, Auckland based Wickliffe Limited. The Group also owns a large printing and publishing house in Bangalore, India.
As sole owners of the Group, Odelia and Steve bring synergy, understanding and partnership ideals to promote customer satisfaction.
“The Best Businesswoman of the Year is an important and exciting category and I hope women entrepreneurs in our community will participate,” Ms D’Souza said.
As a departure from other categories, participants in the Best Businesswoman of the Year Award could file their entries directly or be nominated by a company or an individual, provided they meet the criteria.
This could be in addition to entering three other categories.
TV3, which is a part of the Media Works Group, is the sponsor of this Award.
This Award recognised an outstanding woman who has had a significant impact on the success of a business. As per the Rules of IBA 2010, the person nominated to the category or entering on her own, need not be the owner of the business but be an important member and role-player in the organisation.
We will carry an interview with Media Works Group Managing Director Sussan Turner in an ensuing edition.
Read more about Odelia D’Souza in People in Business (Businesslink) on Page 10 and our Editorial, It is time to bridge the gender gap on Page 14.
Our Sponsors & Awards
The National Bank of New Zealand (Title Sponsor)
Best Small Business and Supreme Business of the Year
East Tamaki Healthcare: Best Large Business
WAML Group & Teledata Informatics: Best Medium Business
Stamford Plaza Hotel: Best Business Innovation
Patton Limited: Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Millennium Group: Best Restaurant Business
Kalamazoo Group: Best Professional Services Business
Supreme Sikh Council: Best Retailer Business
Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin: Best Exporter to India Business
Radio Tarana: Best Marketing Excellence
TV 3 (Media Works Ltd): Best Businesswoman of the Year
Our Panel of Judges
Chad Wilkie, Executive Director, Ignition Partner Limited (Convenor)
Adrian Dixon, Business Consultant
Chip Dawson, Managing Director, International Business Management Ltd
Dr Claire McGowan, Managing Director, Commercialisation Advisers Ltd
David Hawkins, Associate Professor, Unitec School of Design
Nevil Gibson, Editor-in-Chief, The National Business Review
Steve Corbett, Chief Executive, e-Centre Ltd, Massey University
Tim Livingstone, Senior Partner, UHY Haines Norton, Chartered Accountants
Tony Bacon, Sector and Partner Manager, Vodafone NZ
Vijaya Vaidyanath, Chief Executive, Waitakere City Council
Photo : 1. Odelia D’Souza 2. Sussan Turner