Here’s some not so trivial trivia about the SME Advisor Stars of Business Awards, presented by ADCB.

Did you know that we got close to 3,500 AUDITED nominations?!

Yup…and that’s not just talk. Those are cold, hard, facts. That makes this the largest voluntary SME participation for an SME event in the region!!!!

Methodology by Morison Menon

To help us find the best of the best, we had the expert strategic advice of Morison Menon, who painstakingly reviewed each and every one of those nominations before we handed them over to our judging panel. Click here to understand Morison Menon’s ratings methodology for the awards.

The judging panel

The credit also goes to our judging panel for their immense patience and persistence in helping us find the chosen ones. The panel of industry experts judging the SME Advisor Stars of Business Awards included:

Dr. Ashraf Ali Mahate, Head of Export Market Intelligence, Dubai Export Development Corporation (EDC), an agency of the Dubai Department of Economic Development: Dr. Mahate is also the Vice Chair of the Economic Policy Committee with the Dubai Economic Department. He has written a number of journal articles, chapters in books and edited books in the areas of economics, finance and banking and has provided extensive consultancy services to various organisations in these sectors. He has been the director of a number of companies including a venture capital company and a private equity fund.

Prashant K. Gulati, also known as PK, President, TiE Dubai: PK is a serial entrepreneur, international business executive and mentor. With more than a decade of responsible management experience in several companies of international repute, PK has extreme in‐depth knowledge as a senior Telecommunications, Media and IT professional. He has been a
consultant, designer and promoter of various ventures in the Middle East and India with
some of the major state of the art projects of the region.

Rahul Dhadphale, Regional Director of the London Business School in the Middle East: Before his permanent move to the Middle East, Rahul was an Account Director with the Centre for Management Development at London Business School.  His region of focus for the School was the Gulf and broader Middle East and he was responsible for client relationship development and management in the region. Prior to London Business School he was a Director at Strategic Response Consulting Ltd – a niche consulting practice specialising in the area of implementing customer/ market focused strategy.

Nilanjan Ray, Sr. Vice President Head, SME Banking, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank: Nilanjan Ray currently heads the SME business in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB). ADCB is the second largest bank in Abu Dhabi promoted by govt. owned entities. Prior to joining ADCB in October 2007, Nilanjan had worked in ICICI Bank, Bahrain as Vice President – Corporate & Commercial Banking. Prior to his assignments in GCC, Nilanjan was heading Asset Products & Credit for ICICI bank, Business Banking (SME) in India.

Dominic De Sousa, Publisher, CPI: In his life, he has been many things: an advertising salesman, a shop manager, a biochemist, an animal rescuer, a professional singer, a publisher. We don’t know how those work together but, somehow, with the help of great staff (like us) and greater opportunities, he has created and run what is the most vibrant and exciting publishing house in the region.'

Ketaki Banga

Ten years of content creation, strategising and managing the big picture. I write across various subjects and media including print, online, documentaries, television, advertising and marketing-communication. Currently, as the editor of SME Advisor Middle East – a magazine for small and medium enterprises – I handle print, online initiatives, magazine events and business development. Prior to this, I worked with ZK McCann Tanzania, handling brand strategy and campaigns in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi for clients such as Celtel (telecom), CRDB (bank), TANESCO (electricity), TTCL (telecom), PSI (Population Services International—an NGO), TCC (Tanzania Cigarette Company), TBL (Tanzania Breweries Limited), Mwananchi and The Citizen newspapers, Coke, Gapco (petrol), Hitachi, and more. In India, besides working with various publications, I was also a lead content developer with Tata Interactive Systems, an e-learning company that caters to top international clients. My job involved understanding instructional design fundamentals to design and develop educational and training content ranging across K-12, university, corporate and government lines of businesses.