It’s an immense honour for us to unveil the luminaries who have won and been shortlisted for the Business Leader Awards 2023, presented by Business Awards UK. This year’s line-up of honourees is a magnificent testament to the rich tapestry of leadership skills, innovation, and commitment that is shaping the modern business landscape across multiple sectors.
Meet Your Business Leader Champions
The accolade for Best Business Leader in Marketing & Advertising was brilliantly captured by Argento. Far from being just another marketing agency, Argento specialises in scaling Affiliate Marketing Channels. They skillfully navigate the global internet marketplace to connect brands with future customers, turning overlooked opportunities in affiliate marketing into key performance avenues. Their commitment to excellence is a model for the sector.
Digital Pioneers in Fashion
Not far behind in digital prowess, Bodi Me Ltd. walked away with the Best Business Leader in Digital Transformation award. Pioneering in clothing size and fit optimisation since 2014, they’ve harnessed their technology and research to solve the garment industry’s fit and sustainability problems. Their touch-free body measurement technology, Size-Me, integrates seamlessly with e-commerce platforms, offering fast and accurate size recommendations. By doing so, they not only enhance customer satisfaction but also contribute to more sustainable business practices. Their win is a nod to their innovative solutions that have set a new standard in digital transformation within the apparel sector.
Family and Manufacturing Excellence
Family values and business acumen harmoniously combined in Dani Organic Foods Limited, our Best Family Business Leader of the year. Founded by brothers Amar and Anand Dani in 2006, the company has evolved from a humble start-up to a global provider of dried raw ingredients, trading in over 14 countries. With a strong focus on sustainability, ethical sourcing, and innovation, they’ve earned their Fair Trade certification and continue to set industry standards. Their integrated supply chain ensures 100% organic, GMO-Free products reach consumers worldwide. Committed to social responsibility, the company also focuses on education and better living conditions for its network of farmers, truly embodying a business model that goes from “field to fork.”
In the manufacturing sector, the name that stood out was Gillies & Mackay, bagging the Best Business Leader in Manufacturing award. A family-run business with over 30 years in the industry, they are anything but your average shed makers. Founded by John Mackay and Grant Gillies in 1989, the duo brought together a unique blend of academic horticulture knowledge and real-world lumbering experience. Their commitment to quality craftsmanship has made them a go-to choice for those seeking more than just a regular shed. Now managed by Cara Mackay, the company aims to build upon the hard-earned reputation of its founders by focusing on creating truly amazing spaces. Their product is a reflection of them; honest, hardworking, and reliable.
Technology and Creativity
Technology was another sector that saw an unparalleled leader in Scientific Management International Ltd. They were crowned as the Best Business Leader in Technology, and it’s easy to see why. Specialising in creating the ‘central nervous systems’ for platforms operating in hostile environments—ranging from naval ships to renewable power generation—SMI’s bespoke cable harness systems and connectors are the epitome of reliability and performance. With over 10,000 installations and zero failures, their ‘fit and forget’ approach minimises maintenance and maximises effectiveness. Their status as the preferred supplier to the Royal Navy and their continuous approval from the UK’s Ministry of Defence for 27 years underline their unmatched expertise and integrity in technology solutions.
Creativity found its champion in ShellShock Designs, who won the Best Business Leader in Creative. Specialising in luxurious mother of pearl mosaic tiles, semi-precious stone tiles, and other opulent interior products, ShellShock Designs is not just about aesthetics but also about sustainability. Their commitment to eco-friendly practices is evident as they farm their own freshwater mother of pearl, contributing to up to 75,000 sq metres per year. With a dedicated Environmental Task-force, the company continuously seeks ways to reduce their carbon footprint while maintaining high-quality products. Used in exclusive residences and high-end commercial spaces globally, their products are a true blend of creativity and conscientious business practices.
Coaching and Innovation
When it comes to guidance and mentorship, The Small Business Handbook received the Best Business Leader in Coaching award. Founded by Olivia, a self-made 6-figure business owner and former Etsy seller, the company is on a mission to empower female-owned small product-based businesses globally. Starting with just a laptop and a dream, Olivia knows the struggles of launching a business, and she brings this lived experience into her coaching. The Small Business Handbook offers a range of services from free content and expert consultations to innovative guides and masterclasses. Olivia’s commitment to changing the status quo ensures that small businesses get the recognition and profitability they deserve, all without breaking the bank.
The Most Innovative Business Leader award was fittingly bestowed upon Trustmark Roofing and Building Limited, a company founded on ethical practices and top-notch craftsmanship. With over 30 years of experience in roofing, company directors Robert Findley and Christopher Dodds have seen it all, including the less-than-stellar practices of some larger companies in the industry. Committed to doing things differently, Trustmark Roofing offers quality services in the North East by employing time-served tradesmen at fair prices. From flat roofs to EDPM Rubber roofs, loft conversions to extensions, their comprehensive range of services is executed to the highest standards, ensuring customer satisfaction and compliance with building regulations and planning permission.
Financial Mastery Through Tech Innovation
In the financial sector, the standout performer was Twenty7tec, securing the Best Business Leader in Finance award. Not just a leader in mortgage technology, Twenty7tec has expanded its influence across wealth and protection advice, becoming a key B2B fintech player in the UK. With a client-centric approach, they’ve partnered with over 17,000 advisers who use their platform daily to provide efficient and customized financial advice. Their belief in user-friendly technology has set new benchmarks for financial governance, making them an ideal model for others in the industry to follow.
Honouring the Finalists
The strength of this year’s awards also lies in the calibre of its finalists. Companies like ActionCOACH Bristol, Champions PLC UK, and EducateMe Global proved their mettle in categories ranging from business leadership to training and education. Their robust contributions were awe-inspiring and present a stiff competition to the winners.
Moreover, dual nominations for companies like Gillies and Mackay and Scientific Management International Ltd underscore the multifaceted excellence these enterprises offer. Other noteworthy finalists include MAK25 London Limited, Podobrace India Pvt Ltd, Sapience Communications, Foundation, and THRIVE, each of whom brought unique flair and innovation to the table.
Celebrating Individual Excellence
It’s also essential to give a nod to the individuals who stood out in their respective fields. Nav Ahmed of Arden University won the Best Business Leader in Training & Education, exemplifying the importance of educational leadership in today’s competitive landscape.
The coveted title of UK Business Leader of the Year 2023 went to Giovanni Soffietto of BMABA, a testament to his leadership and vision. Born into an impoverished family, Giovanni found discipline and resilience through martial arts. These skills would prove invaluable when he founded BMABA in 2012 with just £20 in start-up capital. Juggling multiple roles while working a day job, he transformed BMABA into one of the UK’s premier martial arts organizations. Today, besides overseeing an award-winning service, Giovanni’s Fighting Chance Foundation addresses social issues like childhood poverty and knife crime. His unwavering dedication to community impact and transformative leadership rightly earned him this prestigious award.
Adit Pipalva of INFINITE SQUARE LIMITED was honoured as the International Business Leader of the Year 2023, highlighting the global impact of his leadership.
Moreover, the future of business leadership looks promising with young talents like Sophie Elsworthy of InsightX Limited, who won the Best Young Business Leader (Under 35).
Last but not least, Elham Gobran of Twisted Mirror (Comedy App Ltd) secured the Best Business Leader in Social Media, a nod to the increasing importance of social media in business strategy.
Each of these business leaders, both the winners and the finalists, serves as a shining example of the indomitable spirit, innovation, and entrepreneurial flair that are the hallmarks of the UK’s business environment. We look forward to their continued growth and contributions in the years to come.
In closing, these awards are more than just a recognition; they are a beacon that illuminates the path for aspiring business leaders, giving them a glimpse into the qualities that are revered and rewarded in today’s competitive business landscape. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists. Your achievements are not just milestones in your respective careers but are landmarks in the journey of modern business leadership. Cheers to you all!