Winners of the Inaugural BCI Middle East Awards announced

Press Release   •   Oct 10, 2012 09:42 BST

A special Gala Dinner and Awards sponsored by bank muscat took place in Abu Dhabi last night as an integral part of the BCM Middle East Summit to celebrate the winners of the first-ever BCI Middle East Awards.

The BCI Middle East Awards recognise the outstanding contribution of business continuity professionals and organisations living or operating in the Middle East and are an important vehicle to raising the profile of the business continuity profession and discipline in this region.

Steve Mellish, incoming Chair of the BCI Board acted as the compere for this magnificent event; individual awards were presented to the winners, where possible, by representatives from the Award Sponsors.

Industry Personality of the Year Award sponsored by bank muscat was decided by public vote, which was open to BCI Members and non-Members across the Middle East Region. Over 650 votes were cast in an enthusiastic display of support for four very strong candidates. But with a majority of over 50% of the votes, Muhammad Ghazali MBCI, a long-standing member of the BCI and a strong ambassador for both the Institute and the business continuity discipline in his native Pakistan and more recently in the Middle East, emerged as the indisputable winner.

BCM Newcomer of the Year Award sponsored by URM, Ultima Risk Management, went to Annie Marriott CBCI of PwC, who started her career with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, receiving a posting to Dubai in 2009. In 2010 she left the diplomatic life and moved to PwC where she found her niche within the Business Resilience Team. Initially in a support role, she developed her business continuity knowledge through practical experience and studying for the BCI Certificate. She now holds the role of PwC Middle East Firm Business Continuity Manager and is tasked with driving the business continuity programme in 17 offices across 12 countries including working towards full certification to ISO22301.

Business Continuity Team of the Year Award sponsored by DNV Business Assurance was awarded to Xceed, an organisation recognised as a rising star of quality, multilingual contact centres and Business Process Outsourcing services. With a total capacity of 2000 web-enabled multi channels, the winner of the Business Continuity Team of the Year manages various outsourcing programs with commercial and governmental clients worldwide, delivering superior quality and value to their clients in every aspect of the CRM cycle.

Highly commended in this category went to the Arab National Bank Business Continuity Team, who the judges agreed have made a major impact in helping advance business continuity within their bank , through raising BCM awareness, gaining management buy-in and improving interaction with business and support functions.

Business Continuity Consultant of the Year sponsored by eBRP went to Mike Balmer MBCI of MTB Consulting, who received three separate nominations for this award for his inspirational qualities and ability to work effectively with people on all levels; for his unique approach to project and consultancy work; for his compelling personality that makes him a pleasure to work with; and finally for being a world-class consultant and great ambassador for the business continuity profession.

Most Effective Recovery of the year sponsored by Adtapt went to bank muscat for the initiation of speedy and effective incident response and incident management procedures following an electrical fire that caused significant damage to one of their branches. The speed with which this incident was managed and resolved not only enabled the branch in question to be fully operational before the next business day, but also serves to emphasise the benefit of having a structured, communicated and tested Incident Response and Business Continuity capability.

Highly commended went to NCB Capital for their very effective response to flooding within their building caused by a faulty sprinkler system, which resulted in loss of power to their site.

Business Continuity Provider of the Year sponsored by PwC went to Diviseur Contracting. Not the biggest business continuity training and consulting company in the Middle East, and probably not the wealthiest in terms of income, but the judges agreed unanimously that because of the diversity of their staff, their integrity-based approach to consulting and training that they are one of the best business continuity companies in the Middle East region.

Highly commended went to Send Word Now, whose mass notification system Alert Tracer® is capable of transmitting hundreds of thousands of voice and text messages in minutes, providing a full audit trail of messages sent and received for after-action reporting and follow-up.

Public Sector Business Continuity Manager of the Year sponsored by Send Word Now went to Farook Shakir of the Rural Areas Electricity Company for being a credit to his organisation and to his newfound profession as a BC Manager. His dedication, inexhaustible energy and determination to drive forward his project for the protection of his business puts him among the best of our profession in spite of his relative inexperience. Having worked through a complete iteration of the BCI Good Practice Guide’s BCM lifecycle model he has gained a huge amount of practical and theoretical knowledge through his own study and efforts. This combination of world-class knowledge and practical experience and his pragmatic approach combined with a dogged determination make him an excellent ambassador for the BCI and the business continuity profession and a worthy candidate for Public Sector Business Continuity Manager of the Year.

Highly commended went to Muhannad Al Zadjali, who works within the Sultanate of Oman, where he leads a small team of dedicated professionals to help manage risk and, through sound Business Continuity Management, protect his organisation, the Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI).

Business Continuity Innovation of the Year sponsored by Abu Dhabi University was awarded to Avalution for their product Catalyst, which impressed the judges because of the way it captures and utilises essential BCM tools and templates, presenting them in such a way via a simple user interface and on-screen guides to make continuity planning easy and repeatable for every organization, regardless of size, industry or geography.

Highly Commended went to Sekimia for their innovative product, which maps security metrics and performance to business metrics and performance.

Business Continuity Manager of the Year sponsored by Continuity Shop is a highly coveted award that is presented only to those individuals that demonstrate considerable experience across all aspects of business continuity. The well-deserved winner of Business Continuity Manager of the Year is Nisar Ahmed Khan MBCI who said of himself:

“I have gained knowledge and experience in this field through hard work, perseverance, self-inspiration and commitment by CHOICE not chance. I have been fortunate to start BC programs from scratch and have worked in environments where best practices are relatively challenging to implement especially with respect to Business Continuity Management.”

The judges agreed with this assessment, which is also shared by his employers as illustrated by the fact that he has been recognised as an “Outstanding Employee” for the past 2 years. In addition to carrying out his day job so well, he is a loyal, committed member of the Business Continuity Institute and has been instrumental in setting up the BCI Kuwaiti Forum.

A special Gifted Grade Award, Merit Award of the Institute was presented to Mohammed Al Jenaibi of the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the Business Continuity Institute and to the business continuity industry as a whole. Merit Awards of the Institute are awarded only under very special circumstances by the BCI Board of Directors and are as such highly coveted awards, bringing with them international recognition and status.

Mohammed Al Jenaibi has played a prominent role in business continuity in the Middle East and is recognised as being a driving force behind the new UAE BCM Standard, AE/HSC 7000:2011 which came out of the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority in the UAE. Mohammed Al Jenaibi was commended for his work on leading on the development of the UAE BCM Standard, which will be published in Arabic and is destined to be a key driver in embedding BCM into the Middle East, both at government and public sector level, providing organisations with a standard and framework, together with tools and techniques, to enable organisations to comply with this national initiative.

Based in Caversham, United Kingdom, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) was established in 1994 to promote the art and science of business continuity management and to assist organizations in preparing for and surviving minor and large-scale man-made and natural disasters.  The Institute enables members to obtain guidance and support from their fellow practitioners and offers professional training and certification programmes to disseminate and validate the highest standards of competence and ethics.  It members in more than 100 countries, who are active in an estimated 3,000 organizations in private, public and third sectors.

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