IslamicFinance announces the winners of the 2009 Business Awards

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On the 30th October 2009 IslamicFinance hosted the 4th IslamicFinance Business Awards at the Wanders Club in Gauteng. The Minara Chamber of Commerce was honoured to once again be part of this prestigious event.


Six inspirational role models and successful business owners have been recognised at the 4thIslamicFinance Business Awards which celebrate the contribution Muslim businesses make to the development of the South African economy and the upliftment of diverse communities.

The Minara Chamber of Commerce congratulates the winners in each category.


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1. Business Person of the Year

Mr Asgar Mahomed from Esquire Technologies (Pty) Ltd won the prestigious award for the 2009 Business Person of the Year.  This is the first year that this award has been presented to such a young pioneering business person.


Chairman of the Judging Panel and CEO of KPMG, Yunus Suleman, said: “This year we chose a winner who we believe is already a role model for others to emulate and has set a new benchmark for the competitive IT industry in which he is a market leader. The award is presented to Asgar Mohamed in recognition of the innovative marketing strategy he has developed, retailing IT consumables to wholesalers, for the substantial impact his company has made on the broader business landscape and for being the first company ever to conclude a contract with FIFA to brand IT accessories for the 2010 World Cup. Besides his unprecedented business success, he is committed to mentoring young people and emerging entrepreneurs and has continued to support small companies which were central to the initial success of his fledgling business.”

IslamicFinance is confident that Asgar will encourage others to aspire to achieve his level of success and is proud of the contribution he has made to creating employment, developing world class systems and setting exceptional service standards in his industry sector.


2.    Young Entrepreneur of the Year

This year, IslamicFinance introduced a new category exclusively for young entrepreneurs to acknowledge the role the younger generation is making in successful businesses.  The inaugural winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award is Mr Suliman Paruk from Tans-Africa Holdings (Pty) Ltd, one of the largest privately owned bus companies in the country.

Suliman heads up Tans-Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal operation, winning major tenders against fierce competition.  With legendary integrity, his strength lies in financial management and he has introduced sound corporate governance principles and innovative strategies to ensure the business remains the market leader.


3.    Business Entity of the Year "Large"

Pharmachem Pharmaceuticals was the winner in the category Large Business Entity of the Year. The award was presented to them in recognition of the substantial growth they have achieved in a highly regulated sector. The founders Mr Imtiaz (Immy) Mohamed and Mr Bashir Carrim have developed the business into a world class concern which has been approached by listed companies to distribute their products. Despite numerous challenges and the introduction of single price fixing in 2003, they did not retrench any staff, believing that their business would weather the storm and grow again.


4. Business Entity of the Year "Medium"

The winner of the 2009 Medium Business Entity Award is Darsot Food Corporation. This company has also won another prestigious award this year - the International Gold Star Award for the Best Quality product, beating178 other countries. When founder Mr Ismail Darsot returned from exile in 1993, his vision was to manufacture a range of exceptional quality canned products at an affordable price. He has created an extremely successful enterprise in a sector dominated by major multi-nationals, developing the Dürsot range into a respected household name.


5. Business Entity of the Year "Small"

Amina’s Wonder Spice won the award in the 2009 Small Business Entity of the Year category. This company started with R375.00 in a one-bedroomed flat with a secret recipe for a marinade. Since 1999 the husband and wife team of Amina and Adbul Gani Rahman have developed their product offering into a range of ready to mix, ready to use pastes which they distribute nationally to a niche market.

6. Corporate Social Investment

In the category, Corporate Social Investment of the Year, the winner was Madrassa An-Noor for the Blind which offers partially sighted people an Islamic education as well as access to a range of Islamic literature which they publish in-house in Braille.

Moulana Hassan Murchie says that their key focus is to ensure that students are qualified and are accepted into society to lead a normal life.  The school runs a Teach the Teacher initiative which offers support to teachers internationally. Their mission is to spread the light of Islam to every blind person around the world whether they are living on the mountains or on the sea shore.


We look forward to the 5th annual Business Awards in 2010 which will showcase another selection of inspirational business leaders and organisations.

The independent panel of judges encourages everyone in the community to start thinking about businesses or innovative entrepreneurs for nomination next year.

2009 Business Awards

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Congratulations to the Business Awards Finalists 2009!


Business Person of the Year

  • Mr. Asgar Mahomed
  • Mr. Mohamed Paruk
  • Mr. Mohamed Saadiq Mathews
  • Mr. Sayed Hoosen Mia
  • Mr. Suliman Mahomed
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Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Mr. Muaz Osman
  • Mr. Suliman Paruk
  • Ms. Yasmin Mohamed


Business Entity of the Year "Small"

  • Amina's Wonder Spice
  • Hanover Bakery CC
  • Jadean's Take-Aways CC

Business Entity of the Year "Medium"

  • Darsot Food Corporation
  • Takafol South Africa (PTY) LTD
  • Z & Z Foods t/a Casamia Biscuits

Business Entity of the Year "Large"

  • Esquire Technolgies (PTY) LTD
  • Tans Africa Holdings (PTY) LTD
  • Pharmachem Pharmaceuticals (PTY) LTD
  • Solly's Discount World Group
  • Springs Car Wholesalers (PTY) LTD

Corporate Social Investment

  • Islamic Helpline
  • Madressa Noor for the Blind

World Econonmic Forum on Africa

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SA to host World Economic Forum on Africa 

South Africa' will host the 19th World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town from 10-12 June, it was announced on Monday.

The annual event will this year focus on addressing the global and regional implications of the economic crisis and develop a new roadmap for Africa's future. The launch of the Africa Competitiveness Report 2009 will provide valuable insight for these discussions. Economic deliberations will be closely linked to important social and environmental issues including food security, climate change, healthcare and education.

Faced with the prospect of a prolonged economic slowdown, global leaders are assessing the health and future of their respective economies. The birth of a new era is calling for an overhaul of governance and financial systems and a return to responsible and accountable leadership.

President Jacob Zuma who has been engaged with the World Economic Forum for over a decade, participating in the Annual Meeting in Davos as well as previous Africa and Middle East regional meetings, will be the host of the event.

More than 700 political and social leaders from across Africa will be attending the event and plenary meetings.

The Minara Chamber of Commerce sees this an opportunity for the continent’s leaders to deliberate and find local solutions to the continent’s economic and social challenges.

New Cabinet Appointed

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The Minara Chamber of Commerce expresses its confidence in the election of Jacob Zuma as the 4th democratically elected President of South Africa and his newly appointed cabinet.

The choice of the cabinet appointees reflects the President’s commitment to service delivery and implementation of policy. The incoming Minister of Trade & Investment, Minister of Finance and the Minister of Planning appointees are well chosen and will  increase business and investor confidence.

Whilst President Zuma has expanded the number of ministries as part of his strategy to overhaul government delivery, we urge the President to be mindful that bureaucracy is not is extended and that our country does not become unduly burdened by the costs of such bureaucracy.

The Minara Chamber of Commerce congratulates all members of the Cabinet and wishes them success in their respective posts. We are certain that under President Zuma the co-operation between government and business will continue to strengthen.

Although we would have been elated, Ebrahim Patel, President of the Minara Chamber of Commerce is not the newly appointed Minister of Economic Plannin.


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Amid 900 influential persons who gathered at a gala dinner in Durban on Wednesday 15 April 2009, in the presence of ANC president Jacob Zuma, the Minara Chamber of Commerce gave recognition to individuals who have contributed positively to the South African and Muslim society in all walks of life.
”The Muslim community has contributed tremendously to the development of South Africa. We are an integral and important part of this rainbow nation and we must continue in our efforts. This evening was to highlight the importance of the Muslim Community and to celebrate its success,” said president of the Chamber, Ebrahim Patel.

The Recognition Awards were presented to 40 Muslim individuals from around the country in the categories of Business, Academics, Professional Excellence, Contribution to Society, Media and Philanthropy.
“It is important for us to recognize and honor those who have done great service to our community. These are the unsung heroes who work without need for fame but whose work does not go unnoticed,” said Solly Suleman, Vice President of the Chamber.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Professor Fatima Meer and the Leadership Award was presented to Dr Zweli Mkhize, MEC for Economic Affairs and Development.
The Gala Dinner coincided with the 10th Anniversary of the Chamber. Senior national and provincial officials attended the event, including Minister of National Intelligence Dr Siyabonga Cele, e’Thekweni Mayor Obed Mlaba, Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo, City Manager Mike Sutcliffe, Chief Whip Fawzia Peer.
"We are especially honoured that Mr Zuma was able to attend the event and that he presented some of the recipents with their awards. This was the ideal opportunity to showcase the Muslim contribution in building our nation," said Mr Patel.
Full List of Recipients

Durban - Head office

Tel: 0312081898 /031811 1898(Neotel)


Address: 32 West Riding Row, GMH Centre, Office: 4, Sherwood

Gauteng – Branch

Tel: 011656 0466


Address: 6 Western Service Road, Wendywood, Sandton

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