British Business Awards October 2017

Judges on the spot

Experts look for excellence in BBA’s 10th year

With excitement rising ahead of the 2017 British Business Awards (BBA), so too is the pressure on our esteemed panel of judges. And, as this year marks the 10th anniversary of the red-carpet gala, the judges’ role is particularly special.

Each year since the inception of the ceremony, nominations have shown the wealth of success and innovation in UK–Japan-related business, making it a tough challenge for our experts to declare the winners. This year is set to be no different.

Held at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo on 2 November, this year’s BBA will not only be the highlight in the UK–Japan calendar, but also a unique celebration of the role that the BBA has played in championing and strengthening bilateral relations.

To mark the occasion, the BCCJ asked this year’s judges about taking on the task, the role of the BBA and how nominees can make an impact. We asked each judge:

  1. Why did you agree to be a judge?
  2. How will you assess nominees’ excellence and innovation?
  3. What industry experience will you draw from?
  4. Why is the British Business Awards important?
  5. How do you feel about being part of the British Business Awards on its 10th anniversary?

Philippe Fauchet OBE
Chairman and representative director
GlaxoSmithKline K.K.

  1. As representative of last year’s winner of the Company of the Year award, it is a role expected from me, which I do with pleasure.
  2. Excellence and innovation should be assessed in the context of the past 12 to 18 months’ activities, which means there should be some tangible results or facts to support the nominations. They should also appear as components of the corporate or company culture. And they should be part of a strategy or vision that will be pursued in the coming years.
  3. I have accumulated general management experience in the life sciences sector over more than 20 years, and spent more than 20 years in Asia, mostly in Japan.
  4. It is a valuable yearly checkpoint for stakeholders involved in exchange between Japan and the UK that allows us to recognise the passion, energy and successes of those contributing to relations between the two countries, and encourages them to do more in that direction.
  5. As an Executive Committee member of the BCCJ, I am extremely motivated by the event. Over the years, standards have been pushed higher and higher to match the expectations of the larger and larger audience, and I feel that the 10th anniversary will be a Grand Cru!

Lady Barbara Judge CBE
The Institute of Directors

  1. I do anything I can do to promote the UK and Japan, so I was honoured to accept the role. I love to see interaction and reciprocal investment between the two countries.
  2. I will look for entrants with an entrepreneurial spirit and creativity.
  3. I have served on the board of LIXIL Group Corporation and as an advisor to Itochu Corporation and the Tokyo Electric Power Company.
  4. It’s an important event in promoting British business in Japan.
  5. I’m very proud to be representing the UK and Japan as a UK business ambassador at the BBA. The two countries have formed strong, supportive relationships, which I would like to see expand so that each country feels that the other is the preferred trading partner.

Astrid Klein
Klein Dytham architecture

  1. The BBA acknowledge hard work, but also show others in the community that they should think about applying for an award. It creates a nice healthy competition that makes people try to do better every single year—I want to encourage that.
  2. I will judge the entrants on simple things: How does it help the community at large? How does it make lives better? How will it affect me? What’s the point of difference? I will think about the pros and cons of the value that is being offered.
  3. My work is all about being nimble and open to change. I design buildings that address today’s needs and are appropriate for the market, while considering the needs of the audience as well as the operator. Clients come to us because we are truthful, consistent and offer something a little different.
  4. Winning a BBA can give firms and individuals such a boost, which brings leverage for them to go on to achieve even greater things.
  5. I’m flattered to be involved, though this being the 10th anniversary, I’m feeling the pressure!

Bill Sweeney
Chief executive officer
British Olympic Association

  1. The British Olympic Association would like to be seen as actively involved with the BCCJ and associated British business interests in Japan as we develop our plans and preparations in the build-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  2. By the content of their submissions and how different and impactful they are.
  3. Senior managerial experience in leading global sports brands in Asia, Europe and the United States.
  4. It’s important to be actively engaged in initiatives that recognise and reward innovative thinking.
  5. Very happy.

Esther Williams
Head of trade
British Embassy Tokyo

  1. Supporting the BCCJ and British business in Japan is an important part of our work. And it sounded like fun to see more of what sort of excellent work British firms are doing!
  2. By looking at the outcomes they have achieved and how they achieved them.
  3. Ten years working with some of the most innovative UK firms, both in Japan and South Asia.
  4. Because it’s really important to reward success and celebrate the success of partnerships between the UK and Japan, and the awards can encourage other firms that they can succeed.
  5. I’m really happy to be part of the BBA this year. It’s an important event, and one that continues to grow every year.