Westford Awards 2023 – Honouring excellence in business, individuals and beyond


Published: Mon 27 Mar 2023, 12:40 PM

Last updated: Mon 27 Mar 2023, 1:15 PM

Westford Awards 2023, the first of its kind, an award ceremony hosted by a business school to honour excellence in businesses and beyond was held on March 19 at the Mina Al Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Westford Awards 2023 is an initiative of Westford University College that gathered 50-plus business leaders to celebrate their achievements and success at the event.

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Westford Awards is a pioneering initiative by Westford University College where the awards are based on pure merit and decided by an internal jury of industry experts and academicians along with student surveys. Hosted by Virgin Radio’s RJ Maz Hakim, the gathering was opened by the welcome remarks of Hanil Haridas, co-founder and CEO of Westford University College and was followed by the distribution of Awards from various categories such as:

Business Excellence is the first category to reward significant businesses from various industries in the UAE demonstrating notable contributions towards innovation and growth. Several companies across various industries were awarded in this category. Companies such as Burjeel Holdings, Saudi German Hospital and Aster won the Business Excellence award in Healthcare, DHL and Henkel Middle East, won the award for excellence in supply chain and logistics, Etihad airways for excellence in Aviation, Danube Group in construction, PayTabs in Fintech, ADECCO Middle East in HR solutions, MPQ Travel and Tourism for excellence in tourism, Augustus Media for Digital Sector, Filli Café for Excellence in F and B, Michael Cinco for excellence in Fashion, Premiere Composite Technologies in Design, Babyshop - Landmark group for its excellence in Retail, Dan Bolton creative management agency - business excellence in creatives and entertainment and Kanoo Group for its excellence as a diversified conglomerate.

Business Impact, the second category awarded and celebrated the additional effort put forth by organisations and people to create an engaging trip for their stakeholders. It also awarded the varied initiatives an organisation takes to deliver an effective impact in the industry and society. Dubai Airports and Bounce Inc. were awarded for their business impact in creating a dynamic customer experience, EKAR and Yougotagift, were recognised for their impact as in innovative start-up, Fine Hygienic Holding and The Giving Movement were recognised for their impact in sustainability, ID Fresh Foods was awarded for its business impact through innovative products and Dgrade for its impact through sustainable products.

Social Impact, the third category, honoured organisations for their effect on people and communities as a result of their actions, activities and initiatives. Under this category companies such as Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), Dubai Cares, FAZZA – The National Program for Behavioral Rewards, and ESAAD- Dubai Police won for their distinctive contribution to the society.

The fourth category — Service Excellency honoured individuals who are moulding the UAE’s future and inspiring future generations. People recognised under this category were Ahmad Haffar as an influencer, Hollie Murphy and Ayesha Khan for their humanitarian efforts, Jessica Smith for her efforts towards people of determination, Matteo Boffa, Justas Pikelis, Athbi Alenezi and Judit Toth for their excellence as an entrepreneur.

The leadership Impact category celebrated the Leaders of Impact who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in the organisations by building agile and responsive teams to embrace change, culture, and innovation. The awards were given to Ashik Hasim of Precise Communications, Saeed Sharaf, CEO of Esports Middle East, Rema Menon Vellat, director and managing director of Counselling Point, Mayank Patel country head of ADECCO Middle East, Hussein Wehbe, CEO at Plug Mena, Alisha Moopen, deputy managing director of Aster DM, Ian Guy Copperthwaite, chief human resource officer, of Saudi German Hospitals, Amadou Diallo, CEO of DHL, James Lafferty, CEO of Fine Hygienic Holdings, Ahmed Al Zarooni, director of DamanNational Health Insurance, Andrew Stotter Brooks, VP of Learning and development at Etihad, Anis Sajan, vice-chairman at Danube Group and Leena ASAD, president at ICF.

Westford Awards also had a special category – Best Brands, which was finalised by survey results of over 1,000 individuals from the student community at Westford University College. The Brands recognised under this category are – Emirates, Emaar, Etisalat, Majid Al Futtaim, Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Lulu Group, Noon, Talatbat, and Al Futtaim Group.

All the awardees received their trophies and certificate of recognition for their remarkable contributions and success as business and business leaders in their respective fields and were awarded by the partners of the Westford Education Group and external academic dignitaries of the Liverpool John Moores University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Canterbury Christ Church University and UCAM, Murcia, Spain. The event ended with the closing speech by Westford University’s dean Zawahir Siddique congratulating everyone on their momentous achievements and success.

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