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Ms Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer of MORS Group, shares her views on the ACES Awards.
How were the overall entries for the Awards this year?
With over 110 nominations, it has been a tough evaluation process for the audit team and jury panel. Many companies across the region have stepped up their corporate responsibility (CR) efforts.
The focus of the Awards has been heavy on corporate responsibility this year, and the minimum turnover benchmark has been raised to US$10 million. Southeast Asia housed the most number of nominees, and less than 5 per cent came from Eastern Asia; we hope to see increased nominations from this region next year.
What are the juries looking for in a winner?
Beyond quantitative turnover, juries expect to see evidence of a sustainable operation. This includes a spirit of entrepreneurship, process and system to manage various operations, and corporate responsibility.
Though less quantifiable, the site audit process allows our expert team to recognise the presence of a conscious culture - a culture that allows an organisation to fulfil its higher purpose.
How can industry peers foster a closer relationship post the awards?
Each country presents unique sets of problems, and this is a point for collaboration.
For instance, companies with high attrition rate could take examples from companies in the Philippines as they have in place some of the best HR policies.
Enterprises in China and Korea could learn how Japan copes with an ageing society.
Exchanging best practice is the quickest way.
How can winners benefit from the ACES platform or MORS Group's services?
In a few key areas: companies seeking M&A opportunities, venture capitalists seeking to invest in start-ups, and on the CR front, companies seeking to improve on sustainability reporting or needing assistance in formalising CR practices.
Working closely with Synergio, we have full resources in-house to facilitate these operations.
Could you share the direction for MORS Group, going forward?
We want to encourage more enterprises to start adopting CR and to make it an integral part of their business operations.
If every corporate entity were to take responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of the ecosphere within a one kilometre radius of their businesses, and scale the radius linear to profit lines and sustenance, we would each be instrumental in preserving our region and spur greater openings.
That is the place to start.