Best Leadership Development Business Leader 2023 (East of England): Nigel Hughes

The further we step into the digital age, the more we start to disconnect from one another. It becomes far easier to approach certain methods of development through technological means, as opposed to face to face. Whilst this may be convenient for most, it starts to strip away our ability to connect with one another on a more holistic level. Enter Nigel Hughes, multi-award-winning CEO of Outstanding.Global, who has set his sights on reminding us how beautiful being human really is.

Based in a small cottage in the East of England, Outstanding.Global has been at the forefront of encouraging big changes in the aspiring leaders of tomorrow. By adopting a holistic approach towards leadership development, the company managed to break down the process into its fundamental pieces, and adapt these pieces into an uplifting, empowering form of tutelage that’s wholly focused on preparing clients for the next steps in their career. As a result, it’s fostered an all-encompassing experience through open-hearted leadership programmes, through which people of all backgrounds, races, and genders can become the best versions of themselves.

Outstanding.Global doesn’t believe in solutions to which individuals are expected to adapt – instead, it seeks to reinvent itself in order to suit the client. It ventures into every level of self, and utilises the modules that it’s developed to create a tangible scenario that’s fully catered to individual needs. Whether this is a female client looking to break the glass ceiling, or someone simply struggling to amplify their own voice, Outstanding.Global deploys an experience that dares individuals to be bold. This, in turn, promotes a very humanised approach towards leadership development, a counter to the rise of technology.

It’s thanks to Nigel’s ingenious leadership development strategy that Outstanding.Global has been able to touch the lives of so many throughout its four-year lifespan. He’s been at the forefront of overseeing each individual method that the collective takes towards assisting its clients, all to ensure a holistic approach through ‘bringing inspiration from life, business, and The Arts’. As such, Outstanding.Global has managed to encourage clients to make the transition from past to present, in the hopes that they can go on to create their own future using the skills that Outstanding.Global has equipped them with. Nigel places a resounding faith in every individual he meets, tirelessly working to encourage them to be ‘the master of their creativity, and to become outstanding’.

However, Nigel’s dedication to his clients is just the beginning. In addition to his relentless pursuit of holistic teaching on a global scale, he has gone above and beyond to represent exactly what a leader should look like. One that, before the conversation of environmental and rainforest protection became a hot topic, was already taking action to build the foundations of change. One that, through daring to trust his dream despite the challenges faced, has overcome language barriers, cultural clashes, and the divide between nature and capitalism, has fostered brilliance again and again on a monumental scale. Nigel’s story is one that’s filled to the brim with resilience, which has allowed him to transfer his skills and experience to those around him.

Nigel is a strong believer in the notion that leadership is everywhere, no matter who you are. Anyone can lead at any given moment, but sometimes a little assistance may be necessary in order to truly refine what it means to become a leader. Nigel created Outstanding.Global for those who need a little guidance in their leadership development journey to excel in a loving and uplifting environment. All of us have an inner leader, and Outstanding.Global is at the ready to help each person uncover their true potential in the most holistic way possible.

Of course, it wasn’t an easy process to get Outstanding.Global to the point that it finds itself in today. It was born from Nigel’s adventures with his husband Ric, travelling to Papua New Guinea in search of primary rainforest. Here, their belief in global kinship helped forge lifelong bonds with the people of the East Sepik. Together, they fought to protect the virgin rainforest and their friendship ultimately led to the founding of Green Light Trust. This Environmental Education Charity was the first big step that Nigel took towards recognising that he had the ability to make a difference for the better, and it’s this epiphany that laid the groundwork for Outstanding.Global’s inception.

It was due to this period of Nigel’s life that he was able to determine each element of leadership with which Outstanding.Global operates today. His experiences and learnings have acted as a cornerstone for his practices, throughout which he not only conquered sustainable operations when founding a new HQ for Green Light Trust, but managed to win The Foundry the RIBA East 2006 Innovation and Sustainability Reward as a direct result of his carbon-neutral approach towards building. Nigel has always been dedicated towards achieving the best for people and the planet as a harmonious unit, and this is clearly showcased throughout his wealth of experience in making our world a better place.

Following over 30 years of working within both corporate and NGO sectors, Nigel quickly came to understand his own definition of a leader. His principles have since been explored, tested, challenged, and reinforced along his personal journey, and the result is what we see today in Outstanding.Global. Thanks to his guidance, the collective has managed to strike the perfect balance between effectiveness, humanisation, and versatility. Though times and markets may be changing, Nigel is committed to ensuring that Outstanding.Global remains true to what it believes in, all whilst delivering on its promise of exceptional leadership development.

Nigel Hughes truly is a remarkable individual. His unwavering love for being the best version of himself, all whilst assisting others in discovering their potential, is simply astounding to witness in practice. He utilises all of his best qualities to help forge the leaders of tomorrow. He listens, understands, and goes above and beyond for both people and the planet alike. Refusing to back down from a challenge, he’s found himself in a staggeringly influential position, where his kind-hearted values are able to truly shine through the people that he supports. We’re very proud to present Nigel with this award title, and we’re beyond excited to see how his unbreakable moral compass continues to invite brilliance into the world.

For business enquiries, contact Nigel Hughes from Outstanding.Global on their website – https://www.outstanding.global/

portrait of man of sitting and smiling
Nigel Hughes
man in suit and glasses smiling

A Britenet-work of Success

Efficiency within companies and businesses alike has always been essential. And yet, with the direction in which our technological sphere is heading, the demand for streamlined automation, digitisation, and data usage services is ever increasing. For the past 17 years, Britenet has been providing such services. Equipped with a specialised team, spearheaded by its brilliant CEO Michal Borny, Britenet has placed itself at the forefront of innovation. Below, we venture into how Michal’s accomplishments have earned him the title of Most Influential CEO 2023 – Poland (Software Development).

Forged from a union between former competitors, Britenet came to be in 2006 with one key mission in mind – to create something that would have a positive impact on the lives of a variety of people. Now heralded as one of Poland’s leading IT providers, Britenet embodies what 17 years of hard work and dedication can accomplish, despite its humble beginnings. What was once a small business operating from the attic of a block of flats in Warsaw has evolved into the catalyst for multinational companies to revolutionise their respective industries. Britenet’s guidance has garnered an impressive network of brilliance – one that is geared towards encouraging the flourishing of its clients and their customers alike.

As expected of an incredibly skilled CEO, Michal has played a crucial role in securing the success of both Britenet and its operations. He’s responsible for implementing development strategies in an effective and concise manner, all whilst overseeing all operations in order to ensure that they’re functioning in conjunction with his ambitious vision. By combining the role of pioneer with the attitude of a visionary, Michal has managed to prepare for every eventuality. This serves to secure a sense of stability within Britenet, allowing it to deliver assurance to any who involve themselves with this spectacular organisation. Be it clients or employees, Michal guarantees continual support as a result of his attitude towards his role.

At its core, Britenet is a company that seeks to bring growth to businesses across the world through a tight focus on innovation and support. By implementing and developing IT systems for its clients, it’s able to not only make their lives easier, but has the power to streamline the processes for its clients’ customers too. Michal sees Britenet as a companion to its clients, bringing them all of the necessary developments to help their collectives flourish in new and exciting ways. All the while, Britenet will be there to assist and support any who require it. The result is a cohesive development and growth strategy born from an ingenious digitisation process. Michal has always had Britenet’s intended impact in mind, and has never once faltered in ensuring that it meets his exceedingly high expectations.

But how has Michal managed to expertly navigate the inner workings of multiple industries? By learning from a range of sectors, Michal has expertly moulded Britenet into a unique entity that has a variety of uses, no matter the client. This, combined with an implementation of emerging solutions within the IT industry, grants Michal the unique opportunity to utilise Britenet as a means to encourage continual growth within its clients. Whether it’s tackling the finance, banking, education, energy, or insurance sectors, Britenet displays an unrelenting determination to deliver on its promise of greatness.

Of course, no organisation is able to shine without the tireless work of its internal collective, and nobody is more aware of this than Michal. As such, he’s constantly seeking new ways to enhance the inner workings of Britenet. Any growth is gradual, and is never implemented without the input of the staff that make up the organisation. Michal’s approach is wholly unique, encouraging involvement from directors, managers, leaders, and a variety of other employees alike to pave the best possible pathway towards the organisation’s success. This, combined with a union of responsibility and personalisation, puts Michal in a position to guide his team, whilst actively involving himself in their continued growth alongside Britenet.

Following an extensive 17 years of being a part of the market, Britenet has coalesced a vast network of clients across the globe, each representing numerous industries. Whether it’s placed its focus on establishing competence centres for large multination companies from Israel, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, or approaching software development from an angle that companies have not yet previously experienced, Britenet has achieved excellence again and again under Michal’s guidance. In more current times, however, Britenet has initiated major collaborations with Kornit Digital and AerCap, among others. This truly showcases the versatility that Michal has tirelessly worked to cultivate within Britenet.

As a direct result of its unrelenting flexibility, Britenet is able to deploy an individual approach that truly focuses on the specific needs of its clients. Whether this focuses on their goals, work standards, or expectations, Michal has prioritised developing the means for Britenet to deliver comprehensive support and services that make cooperation a natural part of the process. Despite the growth that Britenet has faced over the years, it has never once lost this quality, allowing it to differentiate itself from the competition. Michal has reinforced Britenet’s individuality again and again, making it a go-to for clients who are looking for a more personal solution to their needs.

So far, Britenet has been an overwhelming success within the Polish IT market, so much so that it’s taking confident strides to firmly insert itself into international markets. Of course, despite these ambitious plans for the future, Michal has never lost sight of what Britenet was always meant to be – a trusted provider of IT solutions that doesn’t just support its customers, but the entire society in the surrounding digital world. By bringing together some of Poland’s most experienced industry specialists and guiding them towards the greatest versions of themselves, Michal has lifted Britenet to new heights, and we’re sure that it’ll continue to thrive under his watch.

The future looks incredibly bright for Britenet. Michal’s genius continues to lend itself to the organisation’s success, placing it in a position to tackle any challenges that may come its way. Through his incredible insight and ability to predict various outcomes, Michal has granted Britenet the chance to excel again and again. As such, it seems only fitting to award him with the title of Most Influential CEO 2023 – Poland (Software Development). Michal Borny stands as an example of what can be accomplished, no matter how small your organisation may start. So long as you can see yourself succeeding, you will.

For business enquiries, contact Malgorzata Garnek from Britenet on their website – https://en.britenet.eu/

Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) - Asad Kamal

Pakistani Success Story, GIDS – The Shining Star

Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) is Pakistan’s leading state-owned defence conglomerate, operating under the patronage of Joint Staff Headquarters and dealing in the export of defence and technological products. Led by CEO, Asad Kamal, we are celebrating his extraordinary work in transforming an underperforming business unit into a profit-making entity, making GIDS the biggest brand out of Pakistan and South East Asia. He is our team’s pick for the Award of Most Dynamic CEO 2023 from the Defence Industry of Asia. We discover how he has taken both his career and GIDS to the exceptional heights they are reaching today.

This brilliant CEO is no stranger to an accolade, with Asad Kamal also being recently praised as among the Top 100 Best Performing CEOs of Pakistan by CEO Club Pakistan, the country’s premier business group which draws hundreds of business leaders across the region – No feat to be taken lightly.

Having been associated with the defence industry for the last 24 years, Asad has diverse multinational experience of defence exports in more than 20 countries across four continents, giving him a fair amount of understanding of different cultures, procurement habits, and chain of command. He holds an MBA degree with a specialisation in marketing, and has organised and coordinated more than 150 international events and tradeshows across the globe.

While Asad doesn’t deny how his role in leadership can be challenging, he believes it is a process of learning and evolution, as he tells us, “We learn, we grow, and we eventually evolve towards our better selves. As CEO, I believe that timing is everything. As leader, timing becomes decisive in life while encountering different situations. ‘Define priorities, make smart trade-offs, and embrace the actions!’ I practice to break through the inertia to keep the organisation going on business continuity. At the same time, I try to align my team’s focus to keep the momentum going in line with the organisational goals.”

As CEO of GIDS – as well as Chief Salesman and Chief Brand Manager – Asad’s prime objective remains as transformation – Transformation of a company struggling with consistently churning revenues and its board members slowly losing faith in the cause. Asad recalls, “My first job was to win the hearts and minds of my management and bring their faith back. Then inspire my team and push the system to slowly incite change – Easier said than done! It was a strategic battle at two fronts, outward and inward. Exhaustive and challenging, but rewarding eventually.”

He goes on to explain what transforming the organisation involved. “So, I had to go back to the drawing board and do major alterations to the company DNA: some by changing mindset and some by doing complete business process re-engineering. Finally, I had to trust my team to do their best and bring this dream to reality. I am happy that what unfolded subsequently for us made everyone proud. However, my job is far from done; there is a lot to achieve yet.”

“I consider myself as an instrument of change and that is my biggest value and contribution to the company.”

Today, GIDS has more than three decades of experience behind it in developing indigenous defence technologies and solutions, now boasting more than 150 products in its portfolio, from cruise missiles to small pyros. In addition to having expanded its customer base across 20 countries, GIDS has in the last six years established a global brand name and one of the most vibrant and professional defence sales companies in the region – and it’s all thanks to the visionary leadership of Asad Kamal.

Further, we ask Asad to give us more of an insight into how GIDS remains steadfast specifically as a Pakistani weapons company against big industry giants across the globe. “Well, it’s a bit of strategy and a bit of resilience combined. Pakistan has made a lot of technological prowess in the last few decades when it comes to indigenous defence protection. Given our inherent geopolitical challenges, our nation has put a lot of resource, human capital, and faith into defence production. However, when it comes to sales, we have to pick our competition and the battlefield wisely; we have our own niche, and that is the cost benefit and value that we offer to our clients. We go to great lengths to understand what our customer wants, as we make the solution ‘easy on the pocket’ with ‘no strings attached’.”

Even as a pure government entity, luckily, GIDS operates with a lot of operational/ business autonomy given by its management. Asad states, “I always feel proud to claim that GIDS is our local success story, where young professionals contribute in doing their humble best every day for the nation.”

“I feel an organisation is like a tree; it will only grow and bear fruit once the people who work for it grow and prosper along with it.”

Indeed, as part of the work GIDS does, Asad is keen to highlight the crucial role his staff play, believing they are the company’s greatest asset. He places great importance on developing their skills and knowledge, which in return increases the company’s stature and profits. GIDS is an organisation manned by professionals at all management levels, and that has allowed it to evolve, grow, and make a difference.

Asad goes on to say, “A CEO must always be switching between what I call different altitudes and frequencies – tasks of different levels of abstraction and specificity. At the highest altitude, you’re asking the big questions, like “What is the company’s mission and strategy?”, “Do people understand and believe in these aims?”, “Are decisions consistent with them?” At the lowest altitude, you’re looking at on-the-ground operations and tactical manoeuvring. Mainly, though, I prefer to work at a middle-to-high altitude. I’m fascinated with long-term strategic alternatives. I’m not a daydreamer, but I like to reflect on and talk about realistic options and strategies, forcing myself out of my comfort zone. In business, inspiration and experience often leads to wisdom and success, so every day is a new day for me to learn to do what is in the best interest of my country and organisation both.”

Now, Asad reflects on how the last two years have been very busy for Global Industrial & Defence Solutions, as it has reorganised itself to introduce a completely new line of products for the world. Thus, the next 12 months are going to see the manifestation of the company’s new product strategy – Bigger systems like cruise missiles, long range drones, and artillery weapons will become its flagship products, which means an entirely new segment of customers. The team is extremely excited and motivated to embrace all that is to come in the near future – and we at Acquisition International are looking forward to seeing it all unfold.

Company: Global Industrial & Defence Solutions

Contact: Mr. Asad Kamal

Website: www.gids.com.pk

Address: GIDS Building, Complex-II, Chaklala Garrison – Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Telephone: +92 51 92800 61 / 62

Sonia Amoroso

Empowering Women With Confidence Through Transformative Skincare

One of Australia’s leading cosmetic houses, Self Care Corporation boasts a portfolio of powerful brands, including the top selling phenomenon freezeframe. Founder and CEO Sonia Amoroso  has recently been honoured with the award for Most Influential CEO 2023 – Australia (Beauty Care). With an EY Entrepreneur of the Year award already under her belt,  we decided this was the perfect time to take a closer look at this dynamic entrepreneur and how her brands are changing lives for the better.

Sonia Amoroso is the founder and CEO of the Self Care Corporation, a business dedicated to  empowering women with the confidence to live their best lives through scientifically backed skin, beauty and oral care treatments. Its award winning freezeframe brand provides alternatives to aesthetic surgeries and salon treatments that customers can use in the comfort of their own home, whilst clean beauty brand KEEP IT SIMPLE SKIN makes clinically effective, simplified skincare for sensitive skin and bodies. The portfolio also includes oral health brand alfree, which provides flavour free toothpaste to people with allergies and sensitivities. Sonia has a passion for solving problems by making clinical strength skin treatments accessible to all women.  This is skincare made for women – by women who truly understand how life changing a little extra confidence can be.

Sonia’s passion is driven by the desire to help women feel better about themselves. She says that perceived imperfections or blemishes can sometimes cripple a woman’s self-confidence, so she is dedicated to finding solutions for women’s most frustrating beauty issues. Sometimes, the issue can seem insurmountable. Sonia recalls a letter from a customer who was undergoing radiation treatment for cancer and lost not only her hair, but her eyelashes too.. She explained that she began using the freezeframe LASH PRESCRIPTION when she was at an all time low, but thanks to the product she soon found her lashes growing back faster than she thought possible. This gave her a new found confidence to face the world, and her treatment. Sonia explains that this customer, and every other woman who feels less than the goddess they are, are the reason for the company’s existence, and constitute its true mission.

All of the company’s innovations are clinically proven to address targeted problems. That is why, at face value, it has a very unique product range. It includes treatments for specific signs of ageing on the face and eyes, pigmentation issues, body products designed to enhance the figure, alternatives to injectable treatments, and even products to help grow eyelashes and plump lips. Sonia is active in product development, in addition to still performing all the tasks one would traditionally expect from a person with CEO responsibilities in an organisation. She is the driving force behind the company’s NPD and also works as the Creative Director, taking a very hands-on approach to creating the firm’s marketing campaigns, right down to writing the copy for advertising and product packaging.

A walking testimony to the efficacy of her products, Sonia is very much the face of the brand, and will regularly appear in advertorials and speak at both media and industry events. She champions the company’s core values of respect, customer care and its commitment to providing women with transformative, accessible solutions to their beauty problems. This is something that has been consistent right from the start when she established the company in 2008. The goal has always been to provide women with professional results that are achievable within the privacy of their own homes. This focus on results, and the unique problems it aims to solve, have been the cornerstone of Self Care Corp’s success. Sonia strongly feels it is also the reason more than 1 million women choose to use freezeframe in their skin care regimes.

“Established in 2008 by award-winning entrepreneur Sonia Amoroso, Self Care have fast become the recognised leaders in the development, distribution and marketing of high tech and clinical beauty products in Australia. Famous for building sales generating brands in record time, Sonia has been responsible for some of the most successful brands and advertising campaigns in Australian history. The Self Care portfolio is proving to be no exception.”

As a leader, Sonia prioritises embodying the values, behaviours and work ethics she expects from her team. She tries to create an environment where staff feel like a part of something big and important. Sonia is particularly passionate about staff caring for customers, as well as for each other. She thinks it is essential to encourage a conscious culture of kindness, respect and accountability. The way she describes this is as a culture of empathy and excellence, where everyone is held to high standards, not just in their tasks, but in how they treat one another.

Of course, life is often filled with challenges, but recently Sonia has been faced with what amounted to the biggest of business problems she’s ever encountered in her 25-year long career in personal care. Following the tremendous growth of the company throughout Australia, leading to it becoming the foremost skincare brand (with numerous category leaders in its portfolio such as Australia’s number 1 selling eye cream for 4 years running) it was hit with the devastating impact of its freezeframe brand being counterfeited. The company had to navigate the awful effect of the counterfeit product entering the market in both China and Australia. Fortunately, the perpetrators were caught quickly, and legal proceedings shut them down.  

Litigation is never an ideal situation to be in, but unfortunately it was a necessary evil under the circumstances. One of the culprits escaped to China, where he had the nerve to continue conducting the illegal activity. Thankfully, the Chinese Police were supportive and were able to conduct raids that finally drew the proceedings to a welcome close. Prosecution swiftly followed by a prison sentence was delivered to the offender in China, but the legal proceedings are still continuing in Australia. Sonia is hopeful that justice will prevail soon, and that the legal system will clamp down on this repellent infringement of intellectual property rights. It was the biggest counterfeiting case ever seen in Australia, and although this is hardly the standout example of what the company wants to be known for, the manner in which Sonia fought for her rights, and defended the essential safety needs of her customers, certainly is something to be greatly admired. This awful and considerable challenge was the worst thing she has faced in 25 years of business within the personal care realm, and all done while she was diligently working to build and grow her brand.

On a brighter note, Sonia has some very exciting news to share regarding the future 12 months. She tells us she has imminent plans to launch the freezeframe brand in the UK, which she considers to be a market culturally very similar to Australia, with shared values and a strong bond between the nations. Initially there will be a UK e-commerce site, but freezeframe will also be looking for retail partners to help it achieve its goal of empowering the women of the UK with the tools and confidence they need to feel happy and confident in their own skin. It is her intention to continue developing more life changing products, both in the personal care industry and through involvement in her other creative passion – film. Remember the name, because Sonia Amoroso is already about to embark on her second movie project! The first was when she came onboard as Executive Producer on the Australian movie Penguin Bloom. As with personal care, her central mission here is one of female empowerment, and so she looks forward to championing many more meaningful projects in the future.

For further information, please contact Sonia Amoroso or visit http://www.freeze-frame.uk/

Kent Athlone Pharma Group

Responding to the Ever-Changing Needs in Healthcare with Consistent Access to Medicines

Following the turmoil of the global pandemic, and the current economic climate the pharmaceutical industry has had to find new ways to respond to the needs of healthcare. One such company is Kent Athlone Pharma Group, so we wanted to interview its CEO, Terry Petersen, to find out more.

To begin, please could you give us an overview of Kent Athlone Pharma Group?

Kent Athlone Pharma Group is a Specialty, European Pharmaceutical Company with offices and production sites in the UK and Ireland. The company has a broad portfolio of Value-Added Medicines, and for example is already one of the largest suppliers of Hospital Injectables, and antibiotics to the NHS, in the UK.

Likewise, we have a very successful service business within the Group, which provides a valuable service to NHS organisations as one of the leading providers of over-labelling services in the UK.

The company has a long heritage dating back to 1986, supporting/collaborating with customers in the UK, Ireland, and Internationally through a network of partners across Europe, and around the globe.

Could you tell us more about how you started with Kent Athlone Pharma Group, and how your past experience guided you to making such a difference to the team?

I joined the company as CEO, in July 2022, to work with an established, & experienced team, to help lead, and facilitate the ongoing rapid growth of the business, as we seek to service our customers and support patients in the UK, Europe, and beyond.

In terms of my professional background, I have spent the last 20+ years shaping and leading pharmaceutical businesses in Europe (Largely for Global Multi-Nationals), and I was very pleased to join Kent Athlone Pharma Group, because I could see the future potential to grow the business, with an excellent current portfolio of products, a strong product pipeline, and a committed team.

How do you approach your business strategy?

On joining the company 12 months ago, we took the time to speak/meet with every single employee, to understand their perspective in terms of what was working and what we needed to focus on improving. We identified a number of key areas including company culture, product portfolio, medium-term Company Strategy, and operational excellence.

We also spent time analysing our business, and our company processes to identify where we really needed to focus, to transition the business from a “Good” to a “Great” Company in the next few years.

What challenges have you faced, or think you will face, due to the nature of your industry?

Like any company in the recent economic climate, we have had to manage a number of challenges on an ongoing basis. For example, we face the ongoing challenges of global medicine shortages, substantial increases in cost of goods, and the low margins for some Value-Added Medicines in many countries.

And of course, it is taken as a given that we will operate at all times with the appropriate levels of compliance in line with our regulatory obligations, and our Corporate Social Responsibility as a manufacturer and employer in the UK and Ireland.

What do you value in your team and how does Kent Athlone Pharma Group cultivate a rich environment for personal and professional growth?

Over the last 12 months, one thing that has always impressed me, has been the level of commitment from our team, the desire to get it right for our customers every day, and the level of collaboration across every function across the business. We have a great team which I am very proud of.

Within Kent Athlone Pharma Group, we call this the “One Team” culture, and it is something we have really focussed on and invested in bringing to life in everything that we do.

We have taken the time to re-define our company values, and they guide our approach in everything that we do:  Honesty, Teamwork, Diversity, Commitment, Agility, and Leadership.

When we are recruiting in addition to the right experience, we also think very carefully about if the cultural fit is there for both parties. This is a fast-moving, action-orientated, hands-on culture where “smart, goal-orientated, precise, driven, do’ers” thrive.  It is not for the faint-hearted, but it is a stimulating environment for the right people, who enjoy learning/collaborating, where individuals are provided with genuine autonomy to drive the business forwards and take pride in making a difference every day.

We proactively invest in frequent and engaging communication/events with the whole team, so everyone is kept informed, all of the time, and has the opportunity to share their views openly, make suggestions for improvement and ask questions freely.

The biggest investment that we make every year as a business is in our people.

To finish, what are your plans for the future?

Our 5-year growth strategy is focussed on five pillars:

  • Expand the Product Portfolio: Through pro-active Business Development, Partnering and New Product Development. Our focus going forwards will be differentiated Value Added Medicines, in 5 core therapy areas: Anti-Infectives, Pain, Ophthalmology, Oncology, Hospital Injectables.
  • Effectively launch and commercialise: Working closely with our partners, and regulatory bodies to launch products on time, and then effectively promoting/distributing these products to achieve commercial expectations.
  • Expand the presence Internationally: Of our product range either via direct distribution or partnering.
  • Improve Operational Excellence: Effectively managing our supply chain, and business functions via streamlined, integrated and automated applications, systems and processes.
  • Build and maintain a High Performance Culture: That attracts, retains, develops and engages a high calibre, diverse team.

In summary the future outlook for Kent Athlone Pharma Group looks strong. We have a clear Growth Strategy, a Great Team a positive Company Culture, and the ambition to do everything we can to get it right for our customers, partners and the patients we serve, every day.

We appreciate hearing from Terry as he secures the title of Most Influential Pharmaceutical Products Development & Supply CEO 2023 – UK from CEO Monthly.


For further information, please contact Terry Peterson or visit https://www.kentpharm.co.uk/

Mature businessmen standing while looking on the plane in airport

Unique Travel Experiences at the Best Prices

Driven by desire to help customers embark on truly lifechanging journeys, Travelwings.com is a Dubai-based Online Travel Company (OTC) that delivers some of the best vacation experiences in the world, offering packages that cater to any budget and desire. Established in 2016, the company is headed by Albert Fernando, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, who has recently been named Most Influential CEO 2023 – Dubai (Travel). Here, we discuss his experience and leadership style.

Travel is not just a break from our exhausting daily lives, instead it is an experience that stays with us forever. Travelwings.com believes that the desire to travel is synonymous with the urge to experience, which is why it strives to deliver tailored vacation packages through expert knowledge and unparalleled customer service. The company is dedicated to providing customers with the opportunity to create memories that they will always cherish.

Headquartered in Dubai, Travelwings.com is a technologically innovative online travel portal that makes it easy for travellers to book their holidays for the best possible price. The company is making waves in the travel domain, offering holidaymakers a seamless experience, from booking to vacation. By making travellers’ dreams come true, the company aims to become the world’s most admired and trusted OTC.

As a people-first business, the priority at Travelwings.com is always the happiness of its travellers as well as the wellbeing of its staff. This has truly been at the heart of the business since it was founded by Albert Fernando, who was inspired by his love for travel to create a comprehensive platform through which people can book their entire travel experience, from flights and hotels to cruises and activities.

Having worked in travel since he was 17, when he began his career helping customers book their holidays over the phone, Albert has grown into an experienced and successful leader in the industry. Today, he boasts a proven track record of specific expertise, including travel management, business development, operations management, profit and loss management, travel technology, and more.

Over the years, Albert has built Travelwings.com into a highly successful company, catering to holidaymakers in over 32 countries across the world. The company has especially become prevalent in emerging markets where it is the only OTC in 19+ of these 32 countries in which it operates. To do this, he has crafted a business that is equipped with the best talent in every department. Albert believes that a company cannot be successfully run by one person alone, so he strives to hire people who possess specialised skills and experience in their fields, filling the gaps in his capabilities.

In his leadership, Albert has primarily focused on providing his team members with a vision to achieve, then giving them the freedom to make logical decisions to bring it to life. He understands that people make mistakes, so he does not frown upon them. Instead, he believes that mistakes are beneficial for the learning process, allowing staff and leaders to gain experience and better themselves. For this reason, when things go wrong, Albert is always there to provide support and help in any way he can to get the situation back under control.

Through his outstanding methods of leadership, Albert enables his staff to deliver the best booking experience to travellers with innovative technology and excellent customer service. For this reason, Travelwings.com has amassed an impressive 4.3-star rating on Trustpilot, with numerous reviews praising the excellent, patient, and professional customer service as well as the stress-free booking process they received. Many reviews state that they did not experience any issues when booking with Travelwings.com. The few who have faced challenges tend to express satisfaction with the way in which the company’s team assisted them in an effective and efficient manner.

As a result of the leading tourism brand he has created, which provides customers with competitively priced holiday packages, flights, hotels, and more, Albert Fernando has been awarded travel’s Most Influential CEO in the Most Influential CEO Awards 2023. We congratulate Albert on this achievement and look forward to seeing how Travelwings.com continues to grow.

For business enquiries, contact Albert Fernando from Travelwings.com on their website – travelwings.com

Albert Fernando
Charming little white village of Mijas. Spain

Find Your Dream Home in the Costa del Sol

GRUPO DVOS Developments S.L.U is the most comprehensive provider of homes in the Costa del Sol, whether clients want to buy, sell, rent, build or invest. As recently announced winner of Most Influential CEO 2023 – Costa Del Sol (Real Estate), we thought it might be a good time to catch up and find out a little more.

Koen De Vos is the founder, owner, and CEO of Grupo Dvos, a fully integrated service company that offers the most competitive property solutions in Costa del Sol. He sees his main functions as being to set a vision and implement the strategic direction of the company.  As it deals primarily with exclusive properties, including refurbishment, real estate, and property management solutions, Koen’s primary task involves defining the long-term objectives for the company, and planning how it will achieve its goals. His area of expertise is strategic decision making and project management. This involves supervising and coordinating the development of real estate projects, and ensuring that deadlines and budgets are met.

Koen explains that in essence, Grupo Dvos is far more than just a real estate development company, it is a creator of spaces where dreams come to life. Consequently, its values and goals align to create a brighter and more sustainable future, one exceptional development at a time. He elaborates that in fact Grupo Dvos owes its overall success to the harmonious positioning of its values, goals, and actions. As it continues to push boundaries and strive for excellence, it is driven by a passion to create extraordinary and inspiring spaces that uplift people, and stand the test of time. As a company, Koen feels that the team at Grupo Dvos embrace challenges together, guided by its vision to shape a better future for generations to come.


“At Grupo Dvos, we are proud to offer you a selection of the most exclusive properties for sale and rent in Marbella and La Costa del Sol. They are carefully chosen to meet the highest standards of quality, design and location. When you choose one of our exclusive properties, you are not only buying or renting a home, but also a lifestyle.”


In terms of his leadership style, Koen feels as though it is something that is built up over time, with no particular key influences guiding him, just a keen sense of learning from experience, and solving mistakes. He is eager to learn from all opportunities presented, whether that be from his own team members, clients, or business partners. He feels that an ability to understand the context of information is important, as is giving yourself time, and being able to reinvent yourself.

Grupo Dvos has 4 distinct and important business units within its arsenal. These are exclusive properties, refurbishment, real estate, and property management. It also needs to be able to operate successfully in conjunction with its different types of clients, and foster collaborative cooperations with other real estate agencies. It is well aware that on the Costa del Sol there is a lot of competition to contend with, but it is safe in the knowledge that it can offer something different, and help its clients in the most optimal of ways by providing a 360-degree service. It likes to think that by doing this, supporting its clients in every area possible, it supplies the magic ingredient that helps to make clients’ dreams come true. The human touch, and the personalised attention is an integral part of the Grupo Dvos service, and builds a trust with clients that puts it a step above its competitors in the Costa del Sol or Marbella.


“Prime locations, highest possible construction quality and outstanding architecture are requirements for our developments and carefully selected exclusive listings.”


The people at Grupo Dvos are an essential part of the company’s success, and play a fundamental role in the business. They are the driving force and the beating heart of the company, and bring their talent, experience and passion to bear at every stage of the real estate projects, development constructions, or refurbishment services. The close-knit team at Grupo Dvos will carefully listen to clients’ needs, and strive not only to meet them but to exceed their expectations every time. Its intention is to ensure that each real estate development is a reflection of the client’s dreams and aspirations.

The internal culture at Grupo Dvos is something that can be summed up as dynamic, collaborative, and driven by innovation. At the core of its culture is the company’s values, which guide every aspect of its operations and interactions. It fosters an environment that encourages open communication, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to excellence. The key aspects for this are collaboration and innovation, but in addition, continuous learning and development is also an integral factor. The company is aware it operates within a very competitive market, but it has the ambition to expand its services further still, as it looks to attract international customers.

As Costa del Sol is a very multicultural and international area of Spain, the company’s main objective has become to attract clients from all over the world. It is satisfied such clients will be able to find superb investment opportunities, and that with the help of Grupo Dvos, they’ll be in safe and reliable hands to do so. Furthermore, Grupo Dvos is committed to leading the industry in sustainable construction, and promoting eco-friendly and conscious lifestyle designs for its clients. It embraces solar technology, and optimises the materials it uses, always aspiring to build greener, more resilient communities. This contributes to the well-being of both its clients, and the environment at large.

Award winning Koen ascribes his success in business to the care he takes, and the effort he puts in.  He feels as though when it comes to business, you always have to be attentive to the needs of the market and to your customers. The trust of clients is fundamental for any company to succeed, and keep growing, and it certainly seems to be working for Grupo Dvos. This captivating company is standing ready to help its clients’ achieve their Spanish property dreams with a dedication and passion for the industry that is palpable.

For business enquiries, contact Koen De Vos from GRUPO DVOS Developments S.L.U via their website – www.grupodvos.com

group photo of people posing and smiling

Shonela Grabowski: Changing the Perspective on Sales

Based in Krefeld, Germany, Salesation Consulting GmbH delivers holistic sales strategies and solutions to clients with the aim of helping them digitise and scale their companies. The firm was founded by Shonela Grabowski, who has recently won Most Influential Management Consulting CEO in this year’s Most Influential CEO Awards.

Salesation is an international company that has two pillars, the first being its agency component and the second being its pure consultancy element. Its overall mission is to introduce scalable processes into businesses, helping clients across multiple locations to become number one in their industry in terms of digital sales and marketing.

Many companies lose a significant amount of money every year simply because their sales department is not equipped with the structure, skills, and tools they need to reach their full potential.

Salesation & Partner provides clients with its modernised knowledge of sales structures and scaling, enabling them to set their business up to succeed in the years to come. It delivers online or onsite consulting services to help with things like templates and scripts, performance measurement through regular technical sales structure, strategic sales development, and sales execution as required. It can be seen as an experienced and knowledgeable external CSO (Chief Sales Officer) who will successfully lead their sales team into the future.

One of the many factors that make Salesation unique is the incredibly fast and efficient way in which its solutions produce results. The firm exclusively supports one to one consulting to enhance the benefits of its services. For example, it offers a “sales bootcamp” that involves two to three days of intense training. This programme is equivalent to six months of consulting with any other firm. Because of this, the company is creating a new market for effective, short-term consulting solutions in sales.

Salesation’s team of experts help clients build a sales force that not only succeeds but also exceeds their expectations. Its primary focus is to set goals with clients to determine how they imagine their sales team and what they expect to achieve. The firm then works closely with them to advise them and encourage them to aim high.

Working with PLCs (Public Limited Companies), Franchises and companies with multiple branch offices in a multitude of industries, Salesation understands that every company has its own goals and needs. For this reason, it offers tailor-made solutions that encompass the entire spectrum of sales development. Whether a client needs the whole package or just a part of it, Salesation is well-equipped to help.

Specialising in the field of scalable solutions, Salesation builds on individual concepts that can be applied in every subsidiary. The company is dedicated to moving away from the common market strategies for acquisition, building, and expansion that have been overused in the last decades. They combine new- and old school strategies.

To Salesation, marketing is not just a means to an end. Instead, it is a useful tool that can be leveraged to turn dreams into reality. By helping clients to implement their innovative ideas, the company enables them to bring their visions to life whilst incorporating their own personal touch. In this, Salesation is changing the way people think about sales.

Shonela Grabowski founded the company in January 2022 with this goal in mind. Since then, Salesation has become the fastest growing international consulting company with a focus on sales.

To drive her business to these heights, Shonela has led with extreme ownership, which refers to the idea that leaders must own everything in their world. This means that she takes on responsibility for her team’s failures and setbacks as well as anything else that even remotely affects the company’s achievement of its missions. She then makes it her priority to put things right and ensure that the problem doesn’t occur again.

“I have noticed that leaders tend to blame everyone and every circumstance around them, except themselves and their own actions. That’s a battle that needs to be understood and fought every day,” Shonela explains. “One’s own ego has to be in check and held back to be able to flourish and grow. Every day I reflect on what I can do to improve and get better because I am responsible for each and every action.”

Shonela instils this philosophy in Salesation’s internal culture to ensure that everyone takes responsibility for their actions. She also puts a strong emphasis on customer service, encouraging her staff to put the client and their business above anything else.

In hiring, Shonela aims to recruit top talent who will utilise their skills to enable Salesation to reach its goals and missions but also their own goals. She comments, “We only go for A-players who are better in their fields than I am. This way we only attract high performers. All staff complement each other in their areas and strengths.”

Operating in the ever-evolving industry of sales, Shonela understands that Salesation can never stand still and settle into its comfort zone. She is constantly innovating to improve the solutions she provides to her customers. In the future, she is building an international branch office, expanding into several new countries, and implementing this sales mentality all over the world.

In addition, later this year, Salesation is planning to host a winter sales bootcamp that will take place in an exclusive chalet in the French Alps. The company plans to offer businesses the chance to attend for free through its social media, enabling startups and young founders to access support with their sales development. Shonela adds, “All our founders started young, so it is a matter of the heart for us to support young founders who may not yet have the financial means. We are also planning a fundraising run for Young Founders in 2024.”

As a result of her dedication to her clients and the work Salesation does, Shonela has been awarded Most Influential Management Consulting CEO in this year’s Most Influential CEO Awards. We congratulate her on this commendable achievement and wish her the best of luck in the coming years as she works to build Salesation into an international powerhouse.

For business enquiries, contact Shonela Grabowski from Salesation Consulting GmbH via their website – https://www.salesationundpartner.com/

Shonela Grabowski
Shonela Grabowski
man posing for camera

Leading By Example

With over 140 years of brand heritage, Lactalis Canada produces nutritious and great-tasting dairy products to enrich and nurture the lives of Canadians. Recently, its President and CEO, Mark Taylor, has been recognised in the Most Influential CEO Awards 2023. Here we take a closer look to learn more about the company and Mark’s leadership approach.

The food we consume has a direct impact on our health and wellbeing. Therefore, consuming products of high quality is important to reap the benefits of nutrients that can improve our efficiency and well-being. That is where Lactalis Canada comes in, throughout the years it has not lost sight of its purpose which is “To Enrich and Nurture the Lives of Canadians.”

Lactalis Canada works with Canada’s major grocery retailers, independent grocers, customers in the food service, and further food processing sector. It has strong relationships with its customer base and Lactalis Canada takes the time to understand their needs and works to align with them. Thanks to their common goal of meeting the needs of Canadian consumers, they are able to deliver products that people not only enjoy but go back to time and time again. A company that truly cares about its consumers is one you can trust.

Since 2018, Mark Taylor has been the leader behind Lactalis Canada’s iconic brands – Cracker Barrel, Black Diamond, Astro, Lactantia, Beatrice, Galbani, and many more. He has over 30 years of experience in CPG, with a speciality in the dairy category through leadership roles across the supply chains, from farm to consumer.

Prior to relocating to Canada, Mark was Group Managing Director Lactalis UK and Ireland from 2015 to 2018. Additionally, he served as Chair of the Board of Directors of UK-based Muddy Boots Software Limited and was also a board member of Zenith International Consulting in the UK focused on M&A and international business.

Mark has played a crucial role in driving Lactalis Canada’s growth and implanted changes that have led to significant success within the brands. In 2019, Mark led the CDN $1.62 billion acquisition of Kraft Heinz’s natural cheese business which is the biggest of its kind in Canadian dairy history. This was then followed by the acquisition of Ultima Foods Inc. from Agropur and, in 2021, the Kraft Heinz Grated cheese business in Canada. Mark shares, “Today, Lactalis Canada is the third largest country by turnover in Lactalis Group, third-largest branded CPG manufacturer in Canada and has been consistently named on Forbes’ list of Canada’s Best Employers.”

As a Board Director for the Dairy Processors Association of Canada, Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada, and chair of The Grocery Foundation’s Donation Committee, Mark is a prominent figure in the industry. On top of this, in 2023, he was appointed as a cabinet member of the largest youth mental health movement in Canada, The Feel Out Loud with Kids Help Phone Campaign. Making a positive impact on causes he believes in is something he makes time for, no matter how busy he may be.

Mark’s hard work over the years has paid off, and his extensive experience is a reflection of his commitment. He has recently been honoured with the title of Most Influential CEO 2023 – Toronto. Throughout his journey to his current position, he has faced many challenges, but overcoming this has provided him with the knowledge that he implements into his leadership role.

When dealing with problems, whether personal or professional Mark believes they are always easier to solve when they are shared. He highlights, “Having a great team around you is therefore essential. I have been lucky to have worked and be working with great people. This is a privilege I do not take lightly and like any relationship requires a personal investment to make sure it flourishes.” At Lactalis Canada, he prioritises his team and believes they are the company’s biggest asset. “Helping people to understand why they are important and how they contribute to the higher-level goals of the organization by nurturing, supporting, and serving them is not an option for modern leaders; it’s an imperative.”

Lactalis Canada is currently in a transformative period and the support from the team makes this a possibility – they are who work behind the scenes to help bring everything together. With over 4,000 team members Lactalis Canada believes each of them has an important voice and role within the organisation. Mark prioritises open communication with his team, and it allows him to build a more dynamic flexible, and responsive business where people feel they belong. Alongside this, he shares responsibility and knowledge while mentoring and coaching his employees to support their growth and development towards reaching their full potential.

The ability to understand different perspectives is an important aspect of leading a company towards success. Mark sees his role as a leader as working for his employees, this enables him to consider each individual and work to create an environment where all can succeed. By aligning with people and their goals, both professional and personal, it enables him to lead Lactalis Canada accordingly. The individual success of his team is what drives the collective wins he has been able to accomplish since joining the company in 2018. A business is “an ecosystem not an autocracy”, adds Mark.

Being open to change and evolution is the key to staying on top of the company you run and lead forward. This is why Mark is open to honest and constructive feedback from his team as it reveals opportunities to improve. For this to take place you must first work to build a foundation where respect and trust are present regardless. Hard conversations always lead to incredibly rewarding destinations, especially when you’ve got a fantastic group of individuals alongside you. Mark concludes, “I look forward to continuing to serve in a capacity where I can make a positive impact in my position.”

We look forward to seeing Lactalis Canada grow as Mark continues to lead it towards success.

For business contact Mark Taylor from Lactalis Canada via their website – https://www.lactalis.ca/

men in suit smiling

Leading Inspiring Brands to Success

Munich-based company nonplusultra’s team of experts enable success for commercial enterprises across all channels, turning clients’ visions into measurable results. The company has been awarded the title of Most Influential CEO 2023 – Germany (Retail Acceleration), in the light of which we decided to take a closer look.

The German company nonplusultra exists primarily to enable tech-brands to scale up to European retail levels. It operates within a proven framework of growth and cutting-edge technology, building the right strategy to address the vital retail touchpoints of tomorrow. Its high-flying team secure executional excellence to turn clients’ company visions into measurable, results-driven successes. Its services include market entry; strategic growth management; retail activation; business intelligence; marketplaces and eTail.

The company’s 2 founders and co-CEOs, Benjamin Gehring and Florian Hutterer, act as key team members and drivers of nonplusultra’s core values. These are services it bears in mind when recruiting new team members, and hiring/firing staff. It lives by the following values, kicking off with taking the lead – as it is a proactive company that owns its business. It also believes that data builds opinion – by which it means its arguments are based on observations, not assumptions. The third value is go where the pain is – by which it means it actively faces challenges in order to keep growing. Next up is the assertion that trust forms loyalty – as it believes acting with care helps to build long-lasting partnerships. The final value is to spread good vibes – because the company thinks it is important that each individual does not take him / herself too seriously.

Benjamin explained to us that aside from an internship, he has never worked for a company other than nonplusultra. This means that he has very much relied on creating his own leadership style, often by observing and acting on the best practices of customers, suppliers, business partners and well-known authors. In Benjamin’s opinion, there are infinite ways to adapt and learn leadership skills. For instance, the company was requiring of very different leadership when there were only 3 people, as opposed to 15. Currently nonplusultra has over 50 persons working, but Benjamin is under no illusions that his leadership style might have to change on the way to growing to 100 people.

Benjamin and Florian recently wrote down their personal leadership principles so that they might share this useful information with senior management. The points they wanted to impart were as follows: leaders eat last; a juncture inspired by British-born American author Simon Sinek. It means that it is essential to listen to everyone in the room and let them fully share their opinions without jumping in. It is better not to jump ahead, but to speak last. The second point Benjamin and Florian emphasize is to deliver immediate feedback. This was inspired by another best-selling author, Kim Scott, and follows her counsel not to wait until the next quarterly review, or yearly feedback meeting to give either positive or negative feedback. Do it straight away.

The next guidance Benjamin and Florian felt it was important to impart was to walk the talk. By this they mean be the change you want to see. This time, they were influenced by entrepreneur and CEO Frank Slootman, and clarify by explaining that if you want your team to perform, you need to show how performance is done. This does not mean that you need to be the best salesperson in the sales team, but you need to show how it is done, create the right strategies and ensure that everyone is in the right position and enabled to be their best. It is the same with football coaches, the best football coaches have not always been the best football players themselves, but they can walk the talk.

“We want our leaders to be coaches, not problem solvers.”

A further important goal for nonplusultra is to become THE one-stop-shop for tech-brands to unlock European omnichannel retail. It offers services such as market entry, business development, outsourced key account management, e Tail management, channel marketing, field sales and marketing, merchandising, promotion, retail analytics and retail as a service. And the unique part of this service portfolio is that there is currently no one in Europe who offers everything under one roof. This is the aim for nonplusultra. Clients mostly arrive at nonplusultra through word of mouth, or perhaps via trade shows like CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in Las Vegas, or IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) in Berlin. As the most data driven company in the consumer electronics fields, it tracks every single sale from retailers, as well as stock, sales out allowances, trainings as well as marketing and POS spendings. This enables it to analyse the ROI (return on investment) for its customers on macro level, on country level, or even down to micro level at the stores.

As a retail growth agency specialising in omni-channel solutions, and focused on consumer electronic retail, nonplusultra has identified and continues to anticipate several industry-based challenges. By investing strategically in the sector, it aims to address these challenges and ensure efficient and sustainable scaling for consumer electronic brands in Europe. Some of the specific challenges it is currently facing, and expects to encounter in the near future, include the following: increasing competition; as the retail and eTail landscape is a highly competitive world, with numerous players vying for market share, nonplusultra continuously monitors and analyses the competitive landscape to identify emerging trends, and stay ahead of the competition. Shifting consumer behaviour; as consumer preferences and behaviours evolve rapidly, driven by advancements in technology and changes in shopping habits. The company needs to adapt and anticipate such shifts to be able to provide personalised and seamless experiences across various channels. Digital transformation; as the retail industry is undergoing a significant digital transformation, with online sales and e-commerce platforms playing an increasingly important role, nonplusultra needs to stay up to date with the latest digital technologies, optimise online presence, and leverage data-driven insights to drive growth for consumer electronic brands.

In addition, the supply chain and logistics requires efficiency, and especially broadline distribution management. This is critical in the retail industry when dealing with consumer electronics, and nonplusultra strives to optimise the logistics and distribution processes to ensure timely and cost-effective delivery of products across Europe. Finally, there is the challenge of regulatory compliance; with retail operations being subject to various regulations and compliance requirements, it needs to stay up to date with evolving rules such as data protection and consumer rights. It is essential to mitigate legal risks for nonplusultra to maintain trust with its clients and their customers. By addressing all these challenges, the company aims to position itself as a leading retail growth agency in Europe, helping consumer electronic brands navigate the complexities of the industry and achieve long-term, efficient scaling through its omni-channel approach.

The future is bright for award winning nonplusultra, who have recently been acquired by international brand experience agency Avantgarde Group. This brings immense benefits to the company, enabling it to expand into new markets outside Europe. It is also a strategic collaboration, showing just how far Benjamin Gehring and Florian Hutterer have gone in building a company that not only creates value for international consumer electronic brands, but also generates a healthy revenue, and attracts the attention of a well-known marketing group. It’s onwards and upwards now for this terrific company.

For business enquiries, contact Benjamin Gehring from nonplusultra Sales GmbH via their website – www.nonplusultra.eu

building on corner of road

Building a Better World Through Sustainable Architecture

Designing innovative spaces that deliver unique user experiences, Aesthetic Designs Uganda Ltd. is an architectural design firm that strives to deliver cost-effectiveness and sustainability. The firm is a part of the Aesthetic Group, which designs sustainable housing developments across India, the UK, and now Uganda. The group is led by experienced architect Ar. Huzaifa Chahwala, Chief Executive Officer, who has been awarded Most Influential Sustainable Housing CEO of the Year 2023.

As humans, we spend a significant amount of our time inside built spaces, particularly at home and in our places of work. It has been shown that building design and architecture can have huge effects on our psychological wellbeing, health, and productivity, ultimately impacting our quality of life.

Since 1990, Aesthetic Designs has consistently delivered successful and innovative designs, showcasing its immense expertise in project planning, designing, construction documentation, bidding, and administration. It focuses on creating experiential spaces for humans that provide a balance of creativity, functionality, cost effectiveness, materiality, aesthetics, and sustainability. Using form-mass optimisation, Aesthetic Designs truly delivers great user experiences.

Initially, the firm was established in Mumbai by Principal Architect Ar. Juzer Chahwala, who obtained his master’s degree in urban design at the University of Oklahoma before embarking on his architectural career, practicing across the globe. Over the years, he has worked on a range of distinctive and successful projects, building an extensive and loyal client base through his hard work, reliability, and high-quality designs.

In 2008, Aesthetic Designs inaugurated its London office. Later, in 2020, it established its Ugandan branch. Since 2016, the Aesthetic Group has been headed by CEO Ar. Huzaifa Chahwala, who completed his master’s degree in Sustainable Tall Buildings at the University of Nottingham, before he went on to practice architecture across the world in Mumbai, London, Dubai, and Uganda.

Today, Aesthetic Designs has over 110 years of collective experience designing and developing quality, sustainable architectural solutions across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The firm believes that development should meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It aims to build a truly sustainable future for everyone, creating spaces that do not only benefit today but also tomorrow.

According to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are a set of integrated and interrelated goals that call for action from all countries. Their purpose is to drive humanity to end poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality, and boost economic growth, all while tackling climate change and preserving the Earth’s oceans and forests. The idea is that if all countries aim to accomplish these goals, humanity can achieve peace and prosperity by 2030.

In its projects, Aesthetic Designs caters to 10 out of the 17 SDGs. To do this, it uses a number of strategies throughout the design process. Firstly, it ensures form-mass optimisation, which is the process of optimising the building’s shape and mass to reduce energy consumption, increase natural ventilation, and improve indoor environment quality.

Secondly, Aesthetic Designs uses daylighting strategies for energy saving, which involves maximising the amount of natural light that gets into a building to minimise energy use. Natural light is also beneficial for the wellbeing and productivity of occupants. Furthermore, Aesthetic Designs incorporates renewable energy systems such as solar, wind, and geothermal systems to reduce the building’s carbon footprint and increase energy independence.

Thirdly, the firm implements systems to efficiently manage and recycle water, reduce potable water consumption, and mitigate the impact of stormwater runoff. It also uses sustainable construction methods such as prefabrication, molar construction, and green roofs to reduce water waste and increase efficiency during the construction process.

Additionally, by sustainably sourcing materials that are environmentally responsible, socially conscious, and economically viable, Aesthetic Designs reduces the impact of its buildings on the environment. The firm also ensures convenient access to public transportation at its properties, reducing occupants’ carbon footprint and promoting sustainable transportation.

Lastly, Aesthetic Designs strives to use new sustainable technology to support social and environmental sustainability, including clean energy, sustainable cities, and responsible consumption and production.

Aesthetic Designs believes that regularly reporting and communicating with stakeholders on its progress towards these goals is crucial, demonstrating its commitment to the environment. Through this, the firm claims full responsibility and accountability for taking the necessary actions to contribute towards the SDGs.

In the last 30 years, Aesthetic Group has collectively designed and constructed over 10 million square feet of projects. Most recently, it has invested in its Ugandan branch, Aesthetic Designs Uganda, which has been involved in the design of numerous projects over the last three years.

For example, it has recently worked on the design of Habitat 854, a mixed-use building that will consist of residential units, a supermarket, and a co-working space. As with its other projects, Habitat 854 was designed to be a truly sustainable building, not just a greenwashed property, focusing on climate, culture, and costs. Although currently under construction, the building will undoubtedly redefine the housing market in Kampala, Uganda, offering a unique, sustainable residential community designed to enhance the quality of life of its residents. The firm continues to design similar projects in Uganda, contributing towards a better future by providing more sustainable housing.

Since he stepped into the role of CEO in 2016, Huzaifa Chahwala has successfully led Aesthetic Group in its pursuit to design a number of outstanding sustainable housing projects that will have a positive impact on the environment for generations to come. In addition to this, he has guided the group through its recent expansion into Uganda and its successful completion of many more projects there. As a result, he has been awarded Most Influential Sustainable Housing CEO of the Year, Uganda, in the Most Influential CEO Awards 2023. We congratulate him on this achievement and look forward to seeing what he goes on to accomplish with the support of his team.

For business enquiries, contact Huzaifa Chahwala from Aesthetic Designs Uganda LTD on their website –  https://aestheticdesigns.in/

Factory CEO or manager in business suit and hardhat standing in production hall and checking results of his company.

Most Influential Shed Manufacturing & Sales CEO 2023

Best Sheds and Stone Homes (Best Sheds) is a market-leading Australian company that manufactures and sells high-quality steel sheds and garages, delivering customers the best possible value for money. The company has grown considerably since its formation in 2012 and is now headed by CEO, Thomas Chacko, an innovative, experienced, and hardworking leader. As a result of his impressive accomplishments within Best Sheds, Thomas has won Most Influential Shed Manufacturing and Sales CEO in the Most Influential CEO Awards 2023. Here, we speak to Thomas to discover more about the success of the business.

With combined experience equal to over 150 years, Best Sheds and Stone Homes is an Australian family business owned by Dennis McFadden and it is one of the world’s largest independent manufacturers and sellers of steel sheds and garages. Most of the shed components are locally manufactured in Port Kembla, Australia, and are sold in a kit form, directly to the customer with a 20-year warranty. With no middleman, Best Sheds is able to sell its products at competitive prices, so customers can trust that they will be paying the lowest possible price for the best quality shed.

Since its establishment in 2012, Best Sheds has achieved organic growth, with its revenue and earnings increasing steadily year-on-year. As the leading manufacturer of sheds in Australia operating a direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales model, Best Sheds has captured the market share from competitors who largely generate sales through intermediary arrangements. This has been supported by the company’s promotional pricing strategy, which involves consistently pricing products at over 20% lower than competing brands.

Delivering both quality and value to customers across Australia, Best Sheds aims to become the number one shed company in the world. To achieve this goal, the company must be headed by a driven leader who is not afraid to tackle the challenge of maintaining profitability while continuing to offer enticing, competitively priced products.

In 2018, Thomas Chacko joined the company as CFO and, after just six months in the role, was appointed CEO of the business. With over 25 years of experience including  prominent  Australian brands such as BlueScope Steel, Downer EDI, Fletcher Buildings, and Viadux – Reece, Thomas is well versed in the challenges of leadership, having worked in various managerial positions throughout his career. He is known for his ability to align teams with a business strategy and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to increase market share and profitability.

Born in a remote village in South India, Thomas lost his father at the age of 8. He believes working through this extremely challenging experience so early in his life made him the resilient and determined person he is today. After migrating to Australia from India in 1999, Thomas worked in various accounting roles while achieving tertiary and professional qualifications such as his MBM and CPA. Throughout his career, Thomas has always been dedicated to working with integrity and excellence. Thomas says on the topic, “I enjoy my work and contribute to the best of my ability. I have always aimed to be a happy, productive, and valuable member of any team I work for.”

When he was appointed the CEO of Best Sheds, Thomas was thrilled to take on the exciting new responsibilities that came with the role. “As Chief Executive, I lead all operations and strategic direction, with full responsibility for bottom line factors, including setting up safety systems and processes, developing and implementing long-term and short-term strategic plans, driving market share growth, increasing productivity, reducing waste, and developing IT infrastructure,” Thomas explains. “I also provide cross functional management support of the manufacturing, sales, commercial, finance, and IT departments. As well as this, I oversee the company’s 100 employees and am responsible for the revenue of the entire Best Sheds and Stone Homes group.” The three key portfolios in the business (Sales, Logistics, and Manufacturing) are run by visionary and driven family members (Graham, Michael, and Steve), making the decision-making process within the business smooth and efficient.

Thomas is proud to be responsible for the continuous development of the business and has contributed towards its increasing success in many ways. For example, he has been successful in working with the COO, Steve in improving manufacturing efficiency at Best Sheds through the development of skills matrices and the introduction of new technologies. The company now utilises a lean manufacturing method of production, which is designed to reduce the time taken to produce items and increase supply chain efficiency. Additionally, the manufacturing plant is now largely automated, reducing waste and further heightening efficiency.

In order to reduce expenditure, Thomas has led procurement strategies with the director of logistics, Michael, aiming to reduce the procurement costs of materials and efficiency in transport fleet. The company purchases steel through multiple local distributors that source a percentage of materials through cost-effective Asian imports. This strategy benefits customers because it enables Best Sheds to offer significant discounts, leading to increased market share and boosting profitability.

Thomas strongly believes that mid-level managers are the key drivers to achieving business goals. Effective leadership at all levels is important for the success of the whole company, which is why recruitment of middle management is crucial. New hires for these positions must be reliable, possess the correct skillset, and display commitment to the position. Thomas comments, “All middle managers are expected to develop desired leadership behaviours that align with the company’s vision and values. The 360-degree feedback process then helps them understand the extent to which their own behaviour matches the desired behaviour.”

Aiming to develop a team that tightly aligns with the organisational objective, Thomas utilises his skills to foster an environment for both business and individual success in the workplace. To create a productive workforce, employees at Best Sheds are paid based on their performance. This increases employee retention, motivates staff to work hard, and makes them feel that their efforts are rewarded. With quality leadership and high performance at all levels of the business, Best Sheds’ efficiency and productivity as a team is reflected in its revenue. Thomas adds, “As a CEO of the business, I work for every section in the business by providing resources, business intelligence, and regular feedback to ensure all sections of the business succeed.”

In terms of boosting sales and revenue, Thomas is experienced in brand equity and personality building. He works with the passionate and visionary sales director, Graham; engineering partner, Venn Engineering; and marketing partner, Barking Dog Marketing to identify and develop marketing strategies which effectively promote the brand to the intended customer base. Throughout his career, he has mastered various strategies to ensure cost-effective digital and traditional marketing techniques, which he has utilised to expand the reach of Best Sheds’ brand.

Furthermore, Thomas is passionate about customer service and works to ensure a smooth experience for anyone who purchases from Best Sheds. To do this, he has collaboratively worked with the sales leadership team to introduce various new technologies to enhance the customer experience, for example a user-friendly online shed designing tool. He also understands the importance of maintaining an easy-to-use website, which is the company’s main source of sales.

In his personal life, Thomas is a church-going Catholic who is frequently involved in community initiatives. He is the director of his local Lions Club, an organisation dedicated to serving the community. Thomas strongly believes his discipline, honesty, faith, and belief have made him resilient and capable of facing challenges in all aspects of his life. Supported by his beloved family, he always strives to be a better person, which positively impacts his leadership in the workplace.

As a result of Thomas’ dedication to Best Sheds and Stone Homes, the company is currently thriving, experiencing rapid growth as revenues continue to increase. For this reason, Thomas Chacko has won Most Influential Shed Manufacturing & Sales CEO in the Most Influential CEO Awards 2023. With a genuine passion for leadership, Thomas will no doubt lead Best Sheds to achieve its goal of becoming the number one shed company in the world. Moving forwards, he strives to facilitate the further geographical expansion of the company, continuously working to boost its productivity, efficiency, and sales.

For business enquiries, contact Thomas Chacko from Best Sheds & Stone Homes via their website – www.bestsheds.com.au

Thomas Chacko