WELCOME & INTRODUCTION BOB LYON BOARD CHAIRMAN, FDB.
The award is aimed at recognising business excellence organisations in the country and to encourage them to becoming world class organisations.
“The bank’s foremost assets are its employees. This award is credited to the hardworking staff from all of our 11 branches. We have a presence in almost all of the major municipalities Fiji wide and the services we provide are the same in all of these branches. This is a well-deserved commendation for the commitment of our staff.”
Mr Toganivalu was at hand to receive the award at the Sheraton hotel in Denarau with the support of senior FDB officials.
Chief Guest Mr Dewan Chand Maharaj, Mrs Maharaj, fellow members of the Board, the executive committee of the Fiji Development Bank, our generous sponsors, finalists, members of the media and invited guests:
Ni sa bula vinaka, Namaste and a very warm welcome to you all.
The concept of rewarding small businesses was formulated in 2004. This saw the inception of the FDB Small Business Awards.
A full decade later, we recognise the growth of this event into the Fiji Development Bank Small & Medium Enterprise Awards. This transition illustrates the significance of small and medium enterprises as ‘the engine of our future growth’.
SMEs are indispensable in all economies. They can be described as a driving force of business, growth, innovation, competitiveness, and are also very important employers.
According to statistics from the Reserve Bank of Fiji, there are more than 4,200 registered micro, small and medium enterprises in the country and it was estimated that the sector accounted for almost 12 percent of the country’s GDP at around $800 million. The total lending by commercial banks at the end of 2013 was $316million or above 8% of the total loan portfolio.
This evening we are here to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit. It takes a special type of individual to set an idea in motion, riding the highs and lows from humble beginnings to ultimate success.
The tenacity and determination of the small entrepreneur drives our passion for development.
The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
As a development financier, we understand that when SME entrepreneurs start their businesses, they don’t have much more than a great idea, a solid vision and steely determination. FDB’s financial facilities under SMEs ensure that these dreams become reality.
Our participants are sterling examples of the resilience and grit required to eke out a living against the odds.
To you our finalists, a hearty congratulations! The Fiji Development Bank is proud to be a chapter in your story of success.
With that ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you our chief guest this evening Mr Dewan Chand Maharaj.
Dewan, on behalf of everyone here this evening it is indeed a great pleasure to have you with us tonight.
Your success is an inspiration to any SME operating locally and sets the bench mark for our finalists here this evening.
Thank you for accepting our invitation.
Ladies and gentleman, Dewan is the founder and Managing Director of Quality Print Limited, one of Fiji’s foremost printing companies.
He is also the founder of Dewan’s Holding Ltd, a family owned commercial and residential properties investment company; and Quantum Fiji Ltd, a land development and investment company.
Originally from Draubuta in Rewa, humble beginnings are the impetus behind Dewan’s many charitable contributions. The Kidney Foundation of Fiji, Haemodialysis & Out-Patient Centre, Kidney Foundation of Fiji Diagnostic Centre, the Heart Foundation of Fiji and the Rotary Club to name a few.
His success has enabled him to travel the globe and rub shoulders with world famous icons including President Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Ban Ki Moon.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is with much pleasure that I now invite Dewan to deliver his keynote address.