Sunday Tribune

Placing humanity at the core of business

- Staff Reporter

“When corporate culture takes its cue from its leadership it plays out its reputation performanc­e, its profit and the perception of its corporate brand,” says Brenda Kali, the managing director of Conscious Companies SA at the awards held over the weekend.

The finalists were showcased and the winners were announced.

The finalists were: IQ Business, Turner and Townsend, Strate, Thomson Reuters, Belogotex Floor Coverings, Joe Public. In the NGO, NPC and NPO category they are: Imvula Empowermen­t Fund, Afrika Tikkun and the Smile Foundation and PETCO.

The leaders of the winning companies headed the company to create a conscious business environmen­t and to prosper, perform and persue profits while placing a premium on people, community, culture and the environmen­t beyond the bottomline.

The winner of the companies category is Strate and the NGO, NPO and NPC category is Afrika Tikkun and the Smile Foundation.

Strate: Monica Singer, the chief executive of Strate, a technology company that serves the financial markets, is a rare breed of individual. Adversity had shaped her to embody the conscious strands of creating business value through human value beyond the bottom line.

“The world sometimes does not cope with transparen­cy, honesty and love,” she says, displaying a unique femininity in a male dominated environmen­t. In 1996 she understood the need of the market to execute efficient financial digital solutions and successful­ly disrupted it moving away from historic manually intensive paper driven processes to offer efficient, digital systems as a Central Securities Depository. As a result South Africa is ranked among the best economies in the world for its financial market developmen­t and tops the regulation of its exchanges. Trade volumes now exceed 350000 from 4000. Through Singer’s vision the company has become a national asset, internatio­nally recognised as a Financial Market Infrastruc­ture (FMI) trusted to use state-of-the-art technology.

Afrika Tikkun and Smile Foundation: Marc Lubner, the chief executive of Afrika Tikkun and founder of the Smile Foundation is the recipient of several awards that include the Distinguis­hed Service to Society Award. Under the stewardshi­p of Lubner, the company has made an indelible difference in society and young people by breaking the cycle of poverty, crime and abuse. Afrika Tikkun Investment Trust, (ATI), ensures that all profits are routed to fund the hundreds of learners in dire need of assistance. The number of programme beneficiar­ies dramatical­ly increased from 1 200 to almost 20 000 with the annual spend increasing from R20million to R60million.

“I intend to live a life of purpose. Lubner says. “We have a responsibi­lity to live out Nelson Mandela’s values in our everyday lives.

The Smile Foundation treats children with facial abnormalit­ies and offers a comprehens­ive healthcare solution for children with facial conditions. Partnering with key academic hospitals in the country, corrective surgery is made possible for children who would otherwise be deprived of the gift of a smile.

It has been a four-month process where the call for nomination­s initiated a flood of entries. This inaugural event celebrated the winners as beacons of consciousn­ess for their contributi­on to businesss and society in South Africa.

“Giving life to King 4 for companies to take accountabi­lity,” says Michael Judin, one of the guests at the Conscious Companies Awards.

The winners received a trip to India to do a mindfulnes­s meditation course and a handcrafte­d and forged steel and copper sculpture by renowned artist Paola Warrender.

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