The President of the Republic of Fiji, His Excellency Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, commended the Fiji National University’s (FNU) National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC) for sustaining the Fiji Business Excellence Awards (FBEA) for 22 years.
The Head of State made the statement while officiating as the chief guest at the Fiji Business Excellence Awards ceremony held at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva last Friday.
He said Business Excellence is an essential tool for organisations to strengthen their capabilities and processes, and companies can adopt the Business Excellence framework assessment tools to identify strengths and areas for improvement and then act on those through a systemic approach to improve business performance.
“The Fiji Business Excellence framework and criteria play an important role in strengthening Fiji’s competitiveness on a global level, which is of paramount importance in remaining relevant in an ever-changing business landscape,” said President Katonivere.
“It has assisted many Fijian organisations in improving their organisational processes, capabilities, and results, which can be benchmarked against the best practises of leading global organisations in their respective sectors. The Business Excellence framework helps companies address critical organisational needs related to long-term success and sustainability by strengthening business fundamentals such as leadership, strategic planning, management analysis, and knowledge management, workforce focus, customer and operation focus,” he said.
“I wish to congratulate the National Training and Productivity Centre on its 22 years of achievement on the ‘Sustainability of Business Excellence programme’ in the country. Only Singapore has achieved such a milestone, and it gives me great pride to acknowledge that Fiji is only the second country to achieve such a feat.”
The President commended NTPC for its being innovative and reviewing its strategy and approach for the 2021 Fiji Business Excellence Awards Process by implementing a Virtual Evaluation process for the first time. The 2020 FBEA was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“It would be rather remiss of me not to commend the work of the Award Secretariat under the leadership of Professor Wilkinson and the management of the Awards programme by Dr Isimeli Tagicakiverata and his team. Similarly, I wish to commend the hard work and commitment of the Panel of Review members for their efforts and guidance in ensuring the integrity, neutrality, and competency of the awards are upheld and preserved. To the evaluators who continue to make valuable contributions to the Fiji Business Excellence Awards, well done and keep it up.”
Eleven organisations walked away with the awards in the 22nd Fiji Business Excellence Award in the different categories.
The President’s Award category, which is the highest award in the FBEA, was won by Future Farms Pte Limited and the iTaukei Land Trust Board.
CRP Industries Pte Ltd and Roofing & Profiles (Fiji) Pte Ltd won the Commitment to Business Excellence Award, while five organisations included Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, Manubhai Industries Ltd, Ajax Spurway Fasteners PTE Limited, Sugar Cane Growers Fund, and R.C. Manubhai and Co. Pte. Ltd, received awards in the Achievement in Business Excellence category.
The Office of the Auditor-General and Post Fiji Pte Limited scooped awards in the Fiji Business Excellence Prize category.
Dr Isimeli Tagicakiverata, Director NTPC, congratulated all the winners and encouraged all organisations to continue to strive for excellence in the future.
“We congratulate all organisations that have participated this year, and we recognise their journey, and sacrifice and determination to reach this point. I would also like to remind all award winning organisations, that after tonight’s celebration, they must not remain complacent with whatever they have achieved but continue to aspire for higher levels in the future,” he said.
“I encourage all organisations represented here to strive towards achieving the President’s Award, which is the mark of a World Class organisation. The greatest challenge is sustainability. Getting to this high level is hard, but maintaining it at this level is even harder,” he said.
“To date, only seven organisations have been recipients of the President’s Award. All are from the private sector, namely Vodafone Fiji Ltd; Sheraton Fiji Resort; DHL Express (Fiji) Ltd; Energy Fiji Ltd; Air Terminal Services; Future Farms Limited and Jack’s of Fiji. Vodafone has set the benchmark as the only organisation to have been recognised at the Presidents’ level five times. So yes, it is possible to maintain it at the top. ”
The FBEA is based on the Malcolm Baldrige Business Excellence framework. To date, more than 400 professionals have been trained as evaluators, and more than 270 awards have been presented over the years.
Meanwhile, Minister for Infrastructure and Meteorological Services and Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Jone Usamate received the prestigious Asian Productivity Organisation’s Regional Award. Honorable Usamate was recognized for his substantial contribution to the productivity movement in the Asia-Pacific region. With his extensive experience in productivity, he has worked at NTPC from 2000 to 2010, formerly known as Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji (TPAF), and the Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations from 2012 to 2018. During his time at NTPC, he has been NPO Head and APO Alternate Director for Fiji. He is a pioneer of Fiji’s first National Employment Policy in 2017, and he also introduced the Fiji Quality Awards, which later became the Fiji Business Excellence Awards in 1997 through TPAF.