ONLINE payment service WiPay, won the TSTT-sponsored award for Business Technology at the Champions of Business Awards held by the TT Chamber of Industry of Commerce on Thursday at NAPA, Port of Spain.
WiPay CEO Aldwyn Wayne, accompanied by his business partner identified only as Christophe, thanked all who helped his firm, including two banks who had bucked the trend of banks not wanting to get into “risky e-business.”
In a previously-recorded video message, Wayne said he now services Massy Stores and the TT Judiciary. Other business tech nominees were Keystone Designs (Shuphub) an online retail site and online ticket-booking service Sun Tixx Caribbean Ltd.
The Internationally-Known, TT-Owned award, sponsored by FCB, went to sole nominee SM Jaleel, whose chief operating officer Anna Mohammed hinted at further expansion beyond the firm’s factories in places like South Africa and Saudi Arabia. “The world is our market place. We are limited only be our imagination.”
Ernst and Young sponsored three categories. Start Up Entrepreneur award went to Vandana Mangroo’s Hello Green, a firm aiming to switch the use of Styrofoam to a biodegradable material, edging out car wash owner Vickash Chankar’s Vicksol Caribbean Limited.
The Emerging Entrepreneur award went to Nolana Lynch’s Eco-Truffles Limited, a spa and line of natural beauty products. Other nominees were Jason Lindsay’s Ful Circle Animation Limited and Jody Small’s Slimdown 360 Limited. Michelle Sohan’s Bakery Treatz won Small to Medium Entrepreneur award, edging out Allana and Logan Steuart’s line, Bertie’s Pepper Sauce.
Inducted into the chamber’s hall of fame were DACHIN CEO Derek Chin who runs Movie Towne and the late Sydney Philips, former CEO of Guardian Life of the Caribbean Limited.
Talking to reporters afterwards, Chamber head Gabriel Faria justified the awards function by saying it is meant to encourage individuals in a challenging environment of business entrepreneurship.
Canada-based Peter van der Gracht gave the feature address titled Innovation and Digital Disruption who encouraged would-be entrepreneurs to take a chance early in life when they were already at the bottom. “You’ve got to knock on a lot of doors, get a little money and get going.” He urged, “encourage more and more people to be bold and fresh and innovative. Entrepreneurs are very important for society.”