A Filipina CEO based in Dubai has won the ‘Entrepreneur of the year Award’ in the Gulf Capital SME Awards 2020, one of the most prestigious award-giving bodies for entrepreneurs and business leaders in the region.Dr. Karen Remo, the CEO and Co-Founder of New Perspective Media (NPM) Group, a leading 360-degree media, marketing and communications agency, and the Publisher of The Filipino Times—the biggest free newspaper in the UAE and the largest digital platform for Filipinos in the region—bagged the recognition during the award ceremony that took place on December 9 at the Address Downtown Hotel Dubai.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognises the most inspiring, dynamic and driven leader who has shown the ability to overcome challenges to grow a successful business through passion, commitment, innovation, market knowledge, innovation and inspiring and motivating their team.
Judges praised Dr. Karen’s ability to make her existing team members critical to the success of her company, as well as her ability to pivot and overcome the challenges she faced.
Expressing her deepest gratitude for receiving the award, Dr. Karen said: “I am truly grateful for this award as it gives a significant confirmation to NPM team’s capabilities, dedication and hard work in providing high quality services to our clients and customers. Furthermore, I cannot imagine this being possible without the continuous trust of our clients. Thank you so much for believing in our commitment to bring the best services into the world of media, marketing and communication. I would also like to thank the UAE Government for its initiatives that provide utmost support for SMEs, allowing them to achieve global competitiveness.”
She added that the award further showcases Filipino prowess in business and entrepreneurship, saying: “This award also raises the Philippine flag high in the international business landscape—proving that Filipino anywhere in the world can achieve milestones beyond imaginations, even amidst tough crises and challenges.”
The 9th edition of the awards, which celebrates the region’s most resilient and innovative businesses building the foundation for a diverse economy thriving with unique value propositions delivered through improved processes and technology, received double the number of entries this year from 152 unique companies to more than 300 entries from companies in the GCC region. Of which, 122 companies have been shortlisted across 17 categories.
Dr Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital — one of the largest alternative asset management firms in the Middle East and founding partner of the awards — said: “This year, businesses of all sizes were challenged amid the global health crisis. However, we are seeing SMEs navigate through the New Normal by innovating and adapting their business models to survive and prosper in today’s environment. The calibre of entries that we received for this year’s awards is impressive and the strong growth and traction of these SMEs is a testament to their resilience and innovation.”
Meanwhile, Richard Thompson, MEED editorial director, said: “While many companies have found it tough going in 2020, few have faced greater challenges than those operating in the SME sector. Small businesses are the lifeblood of any economy, and the Gulf Capital SME Awards celebrates the resilience and the drive of entrepreneurs and small companies. This year, more than ever, we are delighted to celebrate the best achievements of small and medium-sized businesses in the UAE, who are vital to the long-term success of the region.”
A seasoned media, marketing and communication strategist and socio-civic advocate, Dr Karen has been the voice of a number of governments, corporate institutions and socio-economic causes.
She co-founded and manages NPM Group, a leading 360-degree media, marketing and communications agency based in Dubai, with four offices in Middle East and Asia Pacific.
She has successfully connected various investors, partners, and visitors to governments, and has helped more than 1,000 brands reach their target customers through content-driven integrated marketing communications.
Dr. Karen is also the Managing Editor of 999 Magazine; the official publication of the Ministry of Interior, which NPM publishes on behalf of the Ministry; and the Publisher of The Filipino Times. The news website receives 4 million visitors per month, registering 20 million impressions and is being read in 236 countries, as per Google analytics.
NPM Group is also the organiser of Philippine Property & Investment Exhibition, the largest, longest-running property and investment expo in the Middle East.
The Gulf Capital SME Awards recognises SMEs who invest in their employees’ growth, those with excellent customer strategies, and the visionary entrepreneurs leading them.
According to the UAE Ministry of Economy, the SMEs sector represents more than 94 per cent of the total number of companies operating in the country and provides jobs for more than 86 per cent of the private sector’s workforce. In Dubai alone, SMEs make up nearly 95 per cent of all companies, employing 42 per cent of the workforce and contributing around 40 per cent to Dubai’s GDP.