Leading the Future of Entrepreneurship Part I of II

Set to revolutionise the global scene , the illustrious Furniture Leadership Awards makes a celestial comeback , once again raising the bar in celebration of industry excellence. FFE talks to noted innovators of the trade on what it means to be exceptional .

By Michael Buckley

Coinciding with Furniture & Furnishing Export International’s (FFE) 10th anniversary festivities, the most anticipated event in the global furniture industry calendar returns once again for another prestigious and celebratory season. Re-inventing the face and future of this exciting business arena, 2013 ushers in the esteemed Furniture Leadership Awards 2012/2013 with the theme, ‘Leading the Future of Furniture Entrepreneurship’.

A fitting credo indeed for such a time as this, the initiative is aimed at recognising industry excellence whilst honouring outstanding companies and individuals across the local and international furniture landscape; inspiring, motivating and creating effective role models for other like-minded entrepreneurs in the fraternity across Malaysia and beyond; and promoting winning furniture and related companies to the global markets.

This year, the Furniture Leadership Awards night commences on March 07, 2013 at the Sri Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur and will be graced with the presence of the cream de la crème of the furniture and furnishing industry; trade veterans and experts, business heads and high-level professionals of the field, with more than 300 distinguished guests are slated to attend.

The brainchild of Dr. Casey Loo, the magazine’s publisher and editor-in-chief, the awards programme which saw inception in 2008 is currently in its fifth installation. It is organised by regional publishing house, APS Media Group and endorsed by the Malaysian Furniture Promotion Council (MFPC), Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) and Malaysia Furniture Entrepreneur Association (MFEA) while supported by the Council of Asian Furniture Associations (CAFA) as well as the International Alliance of Furnishing Publications (IAFP).

Furthermore, the programme is backed by leading worldwide trade publications including Office & Contract International (OCi), The Home Living (Japan), Gagu Guide (Korea), Furniture Today (North America), Moebelmarkt (Europe) and Gulf Interiors (the Middle East) among others. The pride-rock of the trade, the show comprises two primary components: the Malaysian Furniture Leadership Awards and International Furniture Leadership Awards.

Evaluated by an independent international panel made up of industry authorities, management strategists and renowned academicians, the judging criteria are based on five key fundamentals namely
• leadership and management strategies
• marketing and branding
• human capital and development
• business processes and operational standards
• financial health and wealth management

The 2012/2013 categories for the first wing of the awards programme (the Malaysian Furniture Leadership Awards) are:
• Brand Excellence
• Rising Brand
• Service Excellence
• Product Excellence
• Outstanding Leadership
• Corporate Social Responsibility
• Rising Star
• Best Overall
• Outstanding Partner

Meanwhile, the second component (the International Furniture Leadership Awards) entails the following three main categories:
• Brand Excellence
• Product Excellence
• Management Excellence

The expectation for this latest edition is to welcome to the ring more participants from Malaysia and the region to partake in a challenge which will serve as a battle amongst worthy competitors. To recognise the significance of the strengths and achievements of each successful business, all recipients of the FLA accolade will reflect the select few who deservingly walked away as champions who worked hard and smart to earn their stripes.

In line with this grand affair, Furniture & Furnishing Export International catches up with several participating brands who let us in on the secrets to their success, the power of daring to be different, the elements which drive them to excel, and how their products and services are designed to exceed expectations, create delighted customers and generate repeat business. Here’s what they had to say…