Q&A with Syed Ahmed, CEO of SAVORTEX, about his time on the Tuck residential programme

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At the end of November, one of  the runners-up of the MSDUK 2017 Innovation Challenge, award winning entrepreneur, Syed Ahmed, Managing Director of SAVORTEX was at the Ivy Leagues’ Tuck School of Business in Dartmouth in the US, attending the week long residential – “Building High Performing Minority Business” programme, having been offered a full scholarship worth $10k by EY.

Tuck’s minority business education programmes help owners adjust their strategy, refine their operations, and build their enterprises to scale.

The “Building a High-Performing Minority Business” programme focuses on strategy implementation to drive results, leverage the value chain, and improve the bottom line. The programme is designed for owners of diverse businesses who are committed to advancing their business capabilities. A curriculum mixing strategy and operations helps these owners leverage the value chain to their full advantage. Participants also explore financial statements in order to get a better understanding of how they can improve cash flow and increase profits.

Over the last two years, 10 ethnic minority business-owners from the UK have attended this fully-funded residential at Tuck and earlier in September this year, MSDUK delivered a weekend residential programme here in the UK, delivered jointly by Tuck School of Business & Aston Business School, that was attended by 16 entrepreneurs from the UK and South Africa.

The MSDUK team reached out to Syed on the last day of the programme and asked him to share his thoughts and experience at Tuck. Here is a quick 60 seconds interview with Syed:

 

 

syed ahmed at tuck school of business

 

Syed, please tell us briefly about your business and how you secured this scholarship to attend the week-long residential at the Tuck School of Business?

SAVORTEX is an award winning British, IoT (internet of things) hand drying technology manufacturer and we have just launched our latest innovation. Built on Intel® ATOM technology, the adDryer uses just 1/3rd of the energy compared to traditional dryers, and monitors dryer usage and washroom footfall in real-time, then wirelessly reporting the data to the web for analytics, alerting cleaners to washroom inspections based on actual footfall.

Further, the adDryer shows a full motion advert in response to users drying their hands; it creates advertising revenue per dry for the washroom owner (and us) by allowing (and empowering) local businesses and media agencies to advertise to its users on a one-to-one basis.

The scholarship to attend the week-long residential – “Building a high performing minority business” at Ivy Leagues’ Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth was offered to me by EY after becoming one of the top three innovators at the MSDUK 2017 Innovation Challenge.

The biggest challenge for any entrepreneur attending this programme is being away from the business for at least a week. Having completed this programme, do you think it was time well spent and why?

Fortunately, we have a great team at SAVORTEX, so even though I missed them, they just got on with it! The Tuck BHPB programme is necessary for all entrepreneurs who want to scale up! So absolutely worth every minute.

Three top learnings from the programme?

1. Strategy
2. Financial planning
3. Scaling up!

What impact has attending this programme made on you as an individual and on your business?

I’m sure the impact will be high i.e. SAVORTEX will now scale up rapidly and realise its full ambition; it means everything!

Any thoughts / messages for entrepreneurs in the MSDUK network about this programme?

I recommend if anyone has the opportunity to attend the Tuck BHPB programme they should grab it with both hands!


 

To find out more about the 2018 programme, click here

To find out more information about the 2019 programme, please contact Priya Arora

 

Meet the newest Suppliers of 2018

Throughout 2018, MSDUK were proud and delighted to add 12 more suppliers to our ever expanding network. These businesses hail from a range of different industries and will be able to offer new, innovative ways of doing business with other suppliers and corporate organisations and drive up competition.

We look forward to welcoming them to our business and networking events in the New Year and providing them with access to new business opportunities.

 

evokeu Limited

evokeu

www.evokeu.com

Industry: Advertising, PR, Sales and marketing

PROFILE: evokeu provides design, development and online marketing services for small and medium sized businesses. evokeu is a design, development and online marketing company committed to helping small and medium sized businesses grow. By taking a collaborative approach, evokeu has experience of working in partnership with business leaders, consultants, and entrepreneurs for over 15 years. The company provides a broad range of flexible online and offline services, at budgets which suit the needs of all businesses and organisations. evokeu supports its clients by taking away technical headaches and keeping it simple – enabling them to focus on what they do best.

Filtered

filtered

https://learn.filtered.com/home

Industry:  Training

Filtered is an online platform that makes learners more productive by understanding their skills requirements and recommending learning content that will best build those skills. Think Netflix for learning.

Innovify

innovify

www.innovify.com

Industry:  IT PROFILE: Innovify is a digital innovation & product management company offering a wide range of expertise, Innovify has become a valued partner to its clients by going beyond the typical scope of application development. Providing a full range digital service with sector specialists using an Agile & Lean philosophy; Innovify not only builds products but grows and transforms businesses as well.

NHZ Global

nhz global

www.nhzglobal.co.uk

Industry:  IT

PROFILE: We are a company based in U.K . We have huge experience and many satisfied clients. We provide one stop solution from Custom Software development, to hosting to website Design, development to iPhone application and Android applications to seo and social media marketing. * Resource Outsourcing * Custom software development * Dynamic and interactive website development * Web applications

Startsmart Consulting

startsmart-logo-large

www.startsmartltd.com

Industry:  IT

PROFILE: We help organisations adopt Cloud Computing. At our very core we have the goal of delivering solutions to enable technological and business transformation.  We understand that the efficiency, performance and cost-effectiveness of public cloud means that it is an invaluable business enabler in any business or digital transformation. Many companies fall into the trap of treating cloud technologies like they would a traditional on-premise environment and fail to change their business and IT processes to suit. This in turn can lead to the loss of the promised benefits of cloud technologies.

 SWIFT FS

swift fs

www.swift-fs.co.uk

Industry:  Facilities Management

PROFILE: Swift FS services include: * Security Services – Manned SIA licensed guards who are backed by mobile patrols units * Commercial Cleaning – After Builders and Sparkle Cleaners, Caretakers * Traffic Marshals * Reception and Concierge Services – Front office staff, building concierge and security, meet and greet staff * Maintenance Support – Building and Hard Services Maintenance * Access Control Systems – Fingerprint/Face recognition/Iris scanners/Card/PIN/Barriers/Turnstiles

Transputec Ltd

Transputec-Logo-website

www.transputec.com

Industry:  IT

PROFILE: Transputec provides IT Services and Solutions to leading organisations around the globe. We help you succeed in the digital era. Our ‘yes’ attitude and 30 years’ international experience gives you an end-to-end IT service to support you on your digital journey.

Web Epoch

cropped-WebEpoch_Logo_big

www.web-epoch.com

Industry:  IT

PROFILE: Web-Epoch brings over twenty years’ experience delivering bespoke business applications, data-integration and e-commerce solutions. Our knowledge helps you plan, design and build your technology systems. Our vision and knowledge gives you access to new technologies that improve your business.

zsah Ltd

zsah-MTS-logo

www.zsah.net

Industry:  IT

PROFILE: Established in 2002, zsah provides managed cloud and IT services. Our service offerings add value to your existing functions or complement your IT operations, where and when you want. Our Service offerings include; Private, Multi and Hybrid Cloud, Application Hosting, Managed services, Managed Hosting and DR. Together with our robust, reliable infrastructure, our people can support, develop and manage your technology needs so you can do what you do best. This combination of personal service, experience, and strong architecture is rare, and having it yields potent capabilities, maintained and developed for you. With the kind of partners, experience and ethics that characterise zsah, we enjoy exceptionally high loyalty, satisfaction and retention rates from our customers.

Linguist Point

LINGUIST POINT

www.linguistpoint.co.uk

Industry: Business Services / Consultancy

PROFILE: Linguist Point Ltd is an agency that covers around 300 languages and it has been established with the aim of providing interpreting and translation services to both public and the private sector.  We are a company that relies on delivering great results and there is no measure clearer than the quality of the service we provide. Below are the services we provide: * Face to face interpreting * Telephonic-interpreting * Conference Interpreting * Certificate translation

 Xalient Holdings

XALIENT

www.xalient.com

Industry:  IT

PROFILE: Behaviour & culture transformation in large complex organisations using People Analytics, Psychology, & Agile Methodology.
We create ground up behaviour & culture change for global brand names with record-breaking ROI and international awards for transformation, innovation, & leadership development.

Tao Leadership

tao leadership

https://teamtao.co.uk

Industry:  Business Services/ Consultancy

PROFILE: We are an independent consultancy and a Managed Services Provider.  Xalient has specialist expertise in Network and Security transformations as well as Unified Communications and Contact Centres. We support companies as they migrate applications to the cloud, to leverage SD-WAN and other disruptive WAN/security technologies that are more relevant today, especially as reliance on internet connectivity is on the increase. Our customers include Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, Keurig Dr Pepper, WPP, Warner Music Group, Skanska etc. Our financial services customers are Santander (unified communications, provided via BT) and Guardian Financial Services.

Toy inventor Assim Ishaque to gift toys to deserving kids this Christmas

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An award winning toy inventor from Nottingham, plans to gift his toys to deserving children that might not otherwise get a wonderful gift this Christmas.

‘Whilst the Christmas season is full of joy and happiness, for some people, this really a tough time,’ said Assim Ishaque, 46,  Inventor of these tactile pixel art bricks that he originally invented for his own children in Nottingham.

‘I’ve seen how much happiness Simbrix brings and want spread a little cheer in the season of giving’

Simbrix is a pixel art brick toy for children and adults, non gender biased creativity toy, that is fun, distracting, relaxing and an alternative to consoles, tablets and computer games.

Simbrix has opened nominations for children, from 6 years old, that have shown courage, been caring for an ill family member, or whose family maybe going through difficult times.

The child might just brighten everyone’s day or needs cheering up and would enjoy being creative with Simbrix’s pixel art beads.

Nominations can come from family, friends, teachers, carers or someone that really know the child and their situation.  Simbrix is funding the whole thing. The short application is at http://www.simbrix.com/giveagift

Our moto is ‘Connect and Wow’, said Jarrid, 25, Creative Director of Simbrix, who started with company as an apprentice two years ago.

‘This is about recognising deserving children and sharing, which for me is one of the true meanings of Christmas’.

‘I don’t work for Santa’ said Assim, ‘but hope he approves of what we are trying to do’.


For more information about Simbrix, visit their official website: https://www.simbrix.com or watch a video explanation here: https://youtu.be/Xom90VdeSns

You can also find more information about the project with the #SimbrixGiveaGift hashtag.

 

MSDUK: 2018 in Numbers

2018 has been an outstanding year and here are the numbers to prove it! Before we flip the calendar to 2019, let’s have a look at our 2018 stats.

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Gibbs Hybrid’s Gavin Stead compares project management to Spotify for a Gartner audience

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Taking the keynote stage at October’s Gartner IT Sourcing Summit, Gavin Stead, Head of Programme Services at Gibbs Hybrid, explained how Spotify – or Netflix or Zipcar – is similar to our Project Management as a Service (PMaaS) offering.

Why? Just as with Spotify you can pick more or less any tune you could ever want without having shelves full of CDs or vinyl, PMaaS allows your business to have top quality, fully qualified project management available exactly when you want it – and not when you don’t. With a scarcity of project manager talent, and the resulting high cost, companies have the choice of seconding existing staff or having an underemployed project manager waiting for her next assignment. Just like all those vinyl records waiting to be played. PMaaS, Gavin explained to the packed audience, gives you all of the skills at a lot lower cost.

For more information, please visit: www.bit.ly/PMAAS

——

article written by Gibbs Hybrid

www.gibbshybrid.com

Dynamyk Yoga teaches Innocent Drinks staff about mindfulness for Wellbeing Week wellness session

dynamyk and innocent logos

Michelle Fanus, founder of start-up wellness business Dynamyk Yoga was invited to speak to the staff at Innocent Drinks about the importance of wellbeing and maintaining a healthy work life balance.

The 1-hour session, which was a part of Innocent Drinks’ staff Wellbeing Week, took place on Wednesday 3rd October at the Fruit Tower head office in London. Topics included “Switching off and Zoning out”, “Self-Care and ‘Me’ time” and “How to say ‘no’ nicely”; although Innocent already have weekly in-house yoga classes in place, they invited Michelle to share some advice on how a busy professional should manage their time.

As a serial entrepreneur and 18-year yogi, Michelle rose to the challenge and presented an exciting, energetic speaking slot on time management, self-care, sleep improvement, mindfulness, meditation and, of course, tips on how to get the most out of their next yoga class.

Before-Bed-Yoga-Sequence

In other news, Dynamyk Yoga have announced plans for their first 5-day yoga retreat, scheduled to take place in May next year.

The retreat, which is open to everyone especially those new to yoga, will be held in Tuscany, commencing on Monday 29th April, ending on Friday 3rd May 2019. Prices start at £650 pp for a double occupancy room, 3 meals per day, 6 yoga classes, a wine tasting evening and an excursion to San Gimignano. Flights are extra and will be from London to Pisa.


See www.dynamykyoga.com or get in touch by emailing breath@dynamykyoga.com if you’d like some wellbeing tips or a yoga teacher for weekly yoga at your premises, or for information about the retreat.

Iconic Event Management deliver successful Business Opportunity Day at MSDUK Conference 2018

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Presented with the challenge to provide new and exciting event innovations for the Business Opportunity Day; whilst using the event space to its full potential, Iconic  set about the brief using our creativity whilst firmly keeping both the exhibitor and delegate experience at the forefront of our thinking.

The delivery consisted of us creating event zones throughout the event space in order for the MSDUK business exhibitors to present their products & services; opportunities to meet the buyer; lounge area for delegates to relax / network; and creating an innovative silent seminar workshop area, providing both the presenters and seminar workshop audiences with interaction without distraction, through the use of headphones.

 

What our client thought…

 

“It was a pleasure working with Roger for our 2018 Business Opportunity Day. His innovative ideas particularly the silent workshop zone, enabled us to take this year’s event to the next level and elevate our delegates’ experience who attended on the day.”

Harriet Sullivan, Events Manager, MSDUK

 

For your innovative conference or exhibition ideas for your next event or simply to view our latest brochure to see what event services we provide, contact Iconic – 0800 689 4306 / info@iconiceventmanagement.com

 

 

GREEN PARK CELEBRATES ETHNIC MINORITY LEADERSHIP WITH TOP 100 BAME LEADERS INDEX

Green Park, the executive diversity recruitment specialists, has released its third annual Top 100 BAME Leaders in Business Index to celebrate the professional achievements of Britain’s ethnic minority leadership community and their commitment to delivering positive change.

This year’s Index includes leaders from across the UK private, public and third sectors, highlighting the importance that ethnic minority role models have in helping to inspire the next generation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) leaders.

It is designed to highlight the talent, experience and expertise of ethnic minority leaders who are still currently chronically under-represented at board level in both private, public and third sector organisations.

Green Park applies a strict selection criterion to identify 800 ethnic minority individuals that comprise the talent pool from which the Top 100 will be selected, with the majority occupying director, executive and non-executive positions.  To establish the final shortlist for the Top 100 BAME Leaders in Business Index, Green Park applies a propriety scoring methodology judged by an independent panel of experts, which identifies candidates’ professional achievements and commitment to delivering positive change.

The expert judging panel includes Ken Olisa OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Restoration Partners; Karen Blackett OBE, Chairwoman of Mediacom Plc; Natasha Adams, Chief People Officer at Tesco; David Tyler, Chairman at J. Sainsbury Plc; and Amee Chande, Non-Executive Director of BBA Aviation Plc.

Raj Tulsiani, CEO of Green Park, said:  “If we are to truly change attitudes to diversity and inclusion in senior leadership across the public, private and third sectors we need to highlight that there are already talented candidates doing incredible work. The problem is that there are not enough of these leaders. We need action to ensure BAME talent in the leadership pipeline can break through the glass ceilings that remain in many organisations. Organisations also need governance structures that will appeal to the widest possible talent pool and to ensure an inclusive environment to prevent a talent drain.”

Download index

 


 

About Green Park

Since its inception in 2006, Green Park has become one of Europe’s most trusted suppliers of executive search, senior interim management and diversity and leadership development consultancy across the Private, Public and Third sectors. An award winning supplier, Green Park has consistently featured at the top of the recruitment industry league tables, most recently named in Recruiter as No. 1 in the Hot 10 Public Sector Providers, No. 1 in the Productivity Hot 20 & No. 2 in the Recruiter Hot 100.

At Green Park we are passionate advocates of the power of diversity as a source of competitive advantage, setting a benchmark for innovation and commitment to consistently attract diverse groups of appointable candidates.  In 2012 we were appointed founding members of the National Equality Standard, representing the only recruitment firm on the founding board. We also host the Diversity Recruitment Institute for Value and Excellence (DRIVE) dedicated to sharing global best practices in D&I made relevant through research and toolkits useful in a UK context.

 

MSDUK CEO TO BE FEATURED IN DIVERSITY PORTRAITS EXHIBITON

DIVERSITY PORTFOLIO

MSDUK CEO Mayank Shah will be one of 125 business leaders to be featured in a diversity exhibition. The Diversity Works’, project examines the ‘diversity proposition’ through a series of portraits and perspectives featuring; business and thought leaders, managers and agents of change.

Over a period of 3 years more than 125 business leaders, managers and agents of change, including, Sir Nicholas Serota, Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, Inga Beale DBE, John Bercow MP, Lord Browne, Vanessa Kingori MBE and Gok Wan were photographed and interviewed by Shahid Bashir. (www.diversityworks.co)

The project examines the value of rethinking leadership and culture to develop people, processes and systems that are inclusive and facilitate difference in the broadest sense of the word. It asks…

– How is diversity actually perceived and experienced within the context of work?
– What is the positive core of diversity and how does it relate to the positive core of an organisation?
– What are the negative stereotypes that are dismissively associated with diversity?
– What are the conditions under which diversity and inclusion can flourish in organisations?

The portraits have been taken in a particular style moving away from the happy, smiley corporate portraits we are all used to seeing. Instead, they incorporate a contemporary black and white, deadpan format as contributors are asked to draw on their lived experience and reflect on a specific moment in their lives when they were excluded and felt left.

As a business psychologist and lens-based artist, Shahid takes the white cube concept into large corporate spaces to get people to slow down, pause and ponder on their own lived experience. Creating a strong interactive element to his photographic installations, they are engagement pieces with multiple layers of meaning that facilitate self-reflection, reveal fresh perspectives and start new conversations. The aim…, is to encourage people to open up to new possibilities, to experience new ways of being and playing at work.

In his personal work, Shahid playfully interrogates the idea of the authentic self, examining the interplay between external forces and internal narratives and how this dynamic drives behaviour. His approach is informed by his roots in positive psychology and appreciative inquiry which is embedded in his practice. He is currently creating new works translating his approach to wider contexts, which can be seen at, www.shahidbashir.co.uk

Flushable and biodegradable sanitary products take MSDUK Innovation Challenge title

 

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L-R Helena Hutton, Cummins; Aaron Koshy and Olivia Ahn, Co-Founders of Polipop; Ava Vidal, MSDUK Awards Dinner host

A start-up business that makes the world’s first safely-flushable and biodegradable sanitary products has been crowned as the winner of the MSDUK Innovation Challenge, sponsored by Cummins.

Polipop received the accolade at a glittering awards ceremony in Birmingham on 26th September as part of a two-day conference celebrating supply chain diversity – MSDUK 2018.

Over 600 delegates, 200 entrepreneurs, 100 buyers, 60 exhibitors, 40 global brands and 50 supplier diversity leaders attended the event, whilst a select panel of investors and supply chain experts heard pitches from 12 exciting new businesses aiming impress them with their innovative ideas and win the MSDUK Innovation Challenge.

This year’s prizes include scholarships worth $10,000 to the prestigious Ivy League Tuck School of Business in the USA sponsored by EY and Accenture, funding opportunities, a place on Accenture’s Development programme and mentoring pitch workshops with international motivational speaker David McQueen.

Polipop have developed pads that break apart down any toilet within minutes. They are 100% biodegradable and body-safe, are plant-based and contain zero parabens or perfumes.

Olivia Ahn, Co-Founder at Polipop said;

‘We are thrilled to have won and to now be able to go to Tuck Business School next year along with RAB Microfludics and Twipes. This prize is unique amongst innovation challenges, in that the business course based in New Hampshire will enable us to not only further the start-up but also to explore the American approach to entrepreneurship.

‘’Being a London-based start-up, we have worked with many British and European mentors and advisers. We look forward to exploring the American market and audience whilst in America, and of course, putting into practice what we learn at Tuck Business School.

‘’Working with the other finalists throughout the innovation challenge showed us the calibre, talent and passion in the teams behind the start-ups. It was inspiring to learn from each other and to be announced as the winner was an incredible honour.’’

Mayank Shah, CEO of MSDUK said:

“Innovation through diversity is set to power the UK economy over the next decade and this was the mantra behind this year’s Conference and Awards. For over 10 years, MSDUK have been dedicated to improving diversity in entrepreneurship and driving inclusive procurement.

‘’We believe that supplier diversity is an economic and moral imperative. Innovation comes from a diversity of perspectives, so when we limit who can contribute, we in turn limit what problems we can solve. The calibre of the finalists this year was incredibly high and I am sure we will be hearing about all of them in the very near future but for the judges this year, Polipop was the outstanding business, along with the runners up, RAB Microfludics and Twipes.’’

This year’s finalists in full were:

– Polipop. The first safely-flushable and biodegradable sanitary products

– Twipes, which manufactures the world’s only truly flushable wipes

– RAB-Microfluidics, the company which downscales whole laboratory protocols onto a glass microchip

– ThingTtrax, which specialises in Internet of Things manufacturing machines and brings disconnected machines online

– Hello Daisy Life, which provides set top boxes and networks for the elderly

– The Cheeky Panda, which connects carbon neutral, ultra-sensitive healthy bamboo tissue products

– Medixus, a company which connects healthcare workers across Africa

– Zingr, which provides financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked in developing countries;

– Audiowings, the specialist in smart headphones for workouts

– Envirup, a company which provides insulated sidings systems for difficult-to-insulate homes

– Mother Nature’s making refreshing drinks that are inspired by flavours from a diverse range of cultures

 

press release by: http://www.pressforattention.com/