Fifteen of the UAE’s entrepreneurs and business leaders were named awardees of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2015 at a glittering gala at Shangri-La, Dubai. Over 200 attendees were present at the by-invitation only event, comprising of industry leaders, leading entrepreneurs, dignitaries and the who’s who of the business world, including, Mr Talmiz Ahmad, Former Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE, Lt. Gen. Sudhir Sharma, Member of the Advisory Board of Enterprise Asia, and Dato’ William Ng, President of Enterprise Asia.

The Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards, or APEA, is a regional recognition program organized by Enterprise Asia, the region’s foremost association and think-tank for entrepreneurship. The Awards are presented to a handful of entrepreneurs across Asia and the Pacific each year, with award ceremonies held in over 12 countries every year.

The Awards is often compared to the Olympics for the stringent entry criteria and highly competitive judging parameters. Nominations into the Awards itself is by invitation, either by past and current awardees, a supporting trade association or the awards committee of Enterprise Asia. Nominees are then subjected to a series of rigourous tests, including financial verification by an appointed audit firm and a compulsory physical site audit and interview, culminating in a secret balloting process by Enterprise Asia’s awards committee.

Awardees are expected to be torch-bearers of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial leadership in their respective countries, and adhere to a strict standard of personal and business ethics.

“We can say with certainty that the recipients of the APEA are like none others. Not only do they have to prove their entrepreneurial skills and experience in one of the toughest contests in the world, they also subject themselves to a pledge to uphold the highest standards of entrepreneurship, which includes allegiance to the two founding pillars of Enterprise Asia, namely Investment in People and Responsible Entrepreneurship”, says Dato’ William Ng, President of Enterprise Asia.

The final 15 were announced by Enterprise Asia at the grand awards ceremony in Dubai, where all winners were presented with their trophies and certificates by President of Enterprise Asia, Dato’ William Ng and Member of the Advisory Board of Enterprise Asia, Lt. Gen. Sudhir Sharma. Mr Bassam Dahman, Partner at RSM Dahman, the Official Verification Partner for the APEA 2015 UAE, was also present at the Event in support of the drive for entrepreneurship development in this region.

The APEA 2015 is now inaugurated in the UAE, expanding the current reaches of the Awards into neighbouring regions. Many of the markets in the Middle East are integral to the livelihood of Asia and the Pacific, and just as importantly, the entrepreneurs behind these businesses are the cogs of the machine. Through this recognition programme Enterprise Asia hopes to encourage and stimulate economic growth throughout these regions.

Mr Ng explained, “The APEA is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship. Beyond recognising the efforts of these entrepreneurs, we hope to encourage them to continue taking their businesses to the next level, and in the process, providing more job opportunities to the people of the UAE, and help to drive the economy forward”.

The highlight of the night was the truly deserving recipient of the APEA Special Category: Mr Rizwan Sajan, Founder and Chairman of the Danube Group receiving the Special Achievement Award.


Special Achievement Award

Rizwan Sajan, Founder & Chairman Danube Group

Outstanding Category

Nicole Rodrigues, Proprietor & Managing Director Diva Group of Companies

Faisal Memon, Founder & CEO Illusions Online

Ved Chhabra, Chairman & Managing Director Inter Ocean Ship Repairs LLC

Nazeer Ahmad Zakaria, Managing Director Naz Fashions LLC

Meera Kaul, Founder & Chairperson Optimus Computer Trading LLC

Dr Sundar Menon, Chairman & Managing Director Sun Group International

Mahesh Shahdadpuri, Founder & CEO TASC Outsourcing

Ramesh S. Ramakrishnan, Chairman Transworld Group

Nisreen Shocair, President Virgin Megastore

Most Promising Category

Hemant Kambli, CEO Dhofar Global Tr. Co. LLC

Khalid Basaeed, General Manager FEATHERS UAE

Mona Ataya, CEO & Founder

Vishaal Shah, CEO & Founder Panache International FZ LLC

Fatima Al Shirawi, Founder The Gracious F

APEA 2015 UAE_SME & Entrepreneurship Magazine Official Release_May Issue


Recently Published

Key Takeaway: André Breton’s “Manifesto of Surrealism” in 1928 sparked an art movement known for creating bizarre hybrids of words and images, often generated through chance. This approach was believed to stimulate the unconscious mind to cultivate new insights. Surrealist artists like Max Ernst used techniques like decalcomania and the “exquisite corpse” to create unique […]

Top Picks

Key Takeaway: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman sparked controversy by referencing the 2013 movie “Her” to highlight the novelty of ChatGPT’s latest iteration. Actor Scarlett Johansson accused the company of improperly using her voice after she spurned their offer to make her the voice of ChatGPT’s new virtual assistant. This highlights the “sci-fi feedback loop,” which […]


I highly recommend reading the McKinsey Global Institute’s new report, “Reskilling China: Transforming The World’s Largest Workforce Into Lifelong Learners”, which focuses on the country’s biggest employment challenge, re-training its workforce and the adoption of practices such as lifelong learning to address the growing digital transformation of its productive fabric. How to transform the country […]

Join our Newsletter

Get our monthly recap with the latest news, articles and resources.


Welcome to Empirics

We are glad you have decided to join our mission of gathering the collective knowledge of Asia!
Join Empirics