Malta Business Review Issue 8

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Issue 8 – April 2015

cover story LEaDIng In ThE 21st CEnTuRy Serving diverse industries locally and internationally p.06

feature

taLKING PoINt

focus

feature

Investing in Prevention p.16

The Internationalisation of Maltese SMEs p.36

What is the future of Tax Rulings p.40

Expertise in Every Discipline p.54


TODAY’S DECISION IS TOMORROW’S LEGACY. Lasting success goes beyond numbers and percentages. At HSBC we have a unique global perspective, which allows us to see the extraordinary impact that today’s business decisions can have in the future. That’s why we focus on building long-term partnerships with our clients, so that we can help them move forward in the right way. www.hsbc.com.mt/commercialbanking

IT’S NEVER JUST BUSINESS

Approved and issued by HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c.,116, Archbishop Street, Valletta VLT1444.



Issue 8 – April 2015

cover story LEaDIng In ThE 21st CEnTuRy Serving diverse industries locally and internationally p.06

06

feature

taLKING PoINt

focus

feature

Investing in Prevention p.16

The Internationalisation of Maltese SMEs p.36

What is the future of Tax Rulings p.40

Expertise in Every Discipline p.54

PubLisher MBR Publications Limited editor Martin Vella

MBR Publications Limited

teChniCaL advisor Marcelle D’Argy Smith

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saLes direCtor Margaret Brincat sAlEs ExECuTIVE Charlotte Munro ArT & DEsIGn Jessica Camilleri advertising Call: 9940 6743 or 9926 0163; Email: margaret@mbrpublications.net or charlotte@mbrpublications.net

Cover story

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Ben Hur was a record-breaking winner of 11 Oscars. This epic masterpiece stars Charlton Heston in the title role of a rebellious Israelite Jew featuring one of the most famous action sequences of all time -- the breathtaking chariot race.

Disclaimer All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by copyright may be reproduced or copied and reproduction in whole or part is strictly prohibited without written permission of the publisher. All content material available on this publication is duly protected by Maltese and International Law. No person, organisation, other publisher or online web content manager should rely, or on any way act upon any part of the contents of this publication, whether that information is sourced from the website, magazine or related product without first obtaining the publisher’s consent. The opinions expressed in the Malta Business Review are those of the authors or contributors, and are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.

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VAluInG THE WorkforCE An in-depth interview with Doreen Cutrona, offers valuable information and insight into the leadership in a man’s world

offICEs 41B, Wayne, Triq il-Herba, Birkirkara, BKR 2322

“You were the magician, Messala. When my ship was sunk, I saved the Consul’s life.”- Judah Ben-Hur

THE IMPorTAnCE of CHArACTEr Charmaine Mercieca provides inspiration to women on how to promote attainable ideals in order to sell products and services

Print ProduCtion Printit

quoTE of THE MonTH

investing in Prevention An exclusive Dr. Charmaine Gauci, Director of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate from the Ministry of Energy and Health

sPeCiaL thanks BOV; Eurostat; FIMBank; HSBC; ISL; LGA; MTA; NSO

“By what magic do you bear the name of a Consul of Rome?” - Messala

Leading in the 21st Century

We interview Joe Aquilina, Simon Calleja Urry and Adrian Coleiro, who describe how and why ISL has evolved to become a leading international driver in the software industry

sPECIAl fEATurE: lEADInG WoMEn

Contributors Alix Abela; Francesca Borghi; Joseph C. Camilleri; George Carol; Marisa Cassar; Walter Cutajar; Jean Paul Demajo; David J. Dingli; David Farrugia; Chris Hudson; Werner E. Jung; Patrick J. O’Brien; Raimondo G-F CF Valetta Cordina dei Medici; Astrid Veld

teLePhone +356 2149 7814

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taLking Point

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ryAnAIr, GoPHEr of ITs oWn Pr1 Our resident award winning journalist Patrick J O’Brien writes about Michael O’Leary’s biggest PR gaffe and why he wants the public to like him

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THE InTErnATIonAlIsATIon of MAlTEsE sMEs – PArT 2: THE MoTIVATIon for GroWTH Part 2 in a series of special articles that will cover the various aspects of SME internationalisation by David J Dingli

our goLd Partners


CONTENTS foCus

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WHAT Is THE fuTurE of TAx rulInGs In A TAx TrAnsPArEnT WorlD Walter Cutajar, Managing Director of Avanzia Taxand Ltd, tells us why Lux Leaks’ disclosures attracted international attention and comment about tax avoidance schemes in Luxembourg and elsewhere

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A VIEW froM THE MounTAIns: What unites us Werner E Jung queries how a language which shares features of two completely different language groups be categorised

fEATurE: sAfETy & sECurITy

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To noTIfy or ‘To forGET’ Joseph C. Camilleri discusses the importance of a H&S Project Supervisor and its implications

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ExPErTIsE In EVEry DIsCIPlInE Dr. Maria Cassar, Lab Manager and Forensic Scientist with MLS Bio DNA Ltd, explains the importance of specialised and versatile laboratory testing in order lead a healthy lifestyle

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TAkInG THE lEAD In HEAlTH & sAfETy AT Work Chris Hudson, Director of Training and Consultancy at HIS harvests the relational significance between H&S and culture

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sPECIAlIsT MArInE EMPloyMEnT sErVICEs In MAlTA An Exclusive interview with Neil Carrington, Director of WD Resources (Malta) Ltd (WDRM)

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Malta Business Review

editorial ut of revenge, or for financial purposes, cases where people choose to falsely accuse someone of sexual abuse are on the increase. Such news hits the front pages with a blast because of their headline news value. Lately, a pattern of false accusations is emerging in cases of separation, when spouses are attempting to avenge each other, or fighting over child custody, and also between family members. All go to extremes to hide the truth and fabricate deceptive stories. And it comes as no surprise that the end result castigates innocent persons, who are being fallaciously accused in court. If the court does not find enough evidence, the person in question is acquitted. However this may not always be the case. There are few things worse than being lied on and the news media having a field day with it. It makes the victim’s entire world fall apart. No one supports or encourages the accused. It is a shame to see the public convict an accused before even going to trial. That kind of pressure really takes a toll and wears victims physically, mentally, and emotionally. It also causes them to make decisions, like taking a plea bargain, that no one would ever have to be make, even if they get caught between a rock and a very hard place.” Criminal lawyers argue that police officers are failing to carry out proper investigations before initiating proceedings in court. However, the police can only do much, although there is a lot to be desired here. True, if police dig a bit further into the allegations, this would definitely dispel any miscarriage of justice, and certain court proceedings would be been avoided. In a lot of cases, the court has ruled that it was obvious that the story was being made up. This in turn may be followed by a civil suit for damages, consequence of the false accusations. Filing a malicious, misleading report is easy, but it also depends on the alleged accuser’s propensity to lie and the victim’s resolve stick to the true side of the story, and seek justice. Unprecedented psychological, financial and personal damage is suffered by falsely accused persons. There are not enough checks and balances in the system to reveal the truth, and the defence counsel is being disadvantaged. The way the system works is harmful for our courts as much as the person in question. Proper investigations need to be done. Safeguards and verification procedures need to be in place in order to avoid useless and time-consuming court proceedings. It is shameful and disgusting to note to what length some individuals are prepared to go to hide the truth, make unfounded allegations, and deceive through intentional lying. Our justice system isn’t perfect. Sometimes innocent people are charged. The impact of false accusation on an individual’s life can lead to serious mental trauma. The purpose of this editorial is to put the FEAR of false accusation in perspective, not to discount the very real impact that a false report or false accusation has on someone’s life. This means there are improvements that can be made all around. Learning from this overwhelming and humbling response that visualising these issues can be quite powerful, and careful stating assumptions up front is also important. Our primary goal – and that of the Malta Business Review as a whole – is to start a conversation that desperately needs to be had in our country. We will let others decide whether or not we were successful on this front, so that there are no misconceptions about our intent and message.

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58 MARTIN VeLLA www.maltabusinessreview.net

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Malta Business Review

COVER STORY

Leading in the st 21 Century by Martin Vella

With over 20 years of experience ISL has evolved to become a leading international driver in the software industry providing the most comprehensive, cost effective and innovative business software solutions. As business cycles vary and drivers of growth differ over time. ISL’s team’s bold plan going forward is to capture the opportunities which the operating environment offers. In an interview with the Directors, we find how ISL’s highly efficient and quality service remains at the top of the agenda, how the corporate vision is wired for the future, as the company continues to consolidate its position as a reliable partner serving as a cornerstone for all software needs and wants

MBR: How would you describe what Eyesel Business Suite offers?

future and continue to develop better ways of doing business?

AD: Eyesel Business Suite (EBS) offers the full spectrum of core modules that make up an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution while offering the possibility to gain a competitive advantage due to the ease and possibility of customisation to adapt to industry specific requirements.

SCU: On-going investment and Research & Development, tied closely and driven by our listening to clients who in turn help us better understand the evolution and exigencies of their specific industries, is a critical factor in the software business. It ensures that our product offering remains relevant and on the forefront at present and for the future. We owe this to our loyal clients who believe and invest with us. Software can be relevant today and obsolete tomorrow, so we need to constantly think ahead to reach higher levels.

EBS helps the integration of internal and external management information across an entire organisation, covering the Financials, Inventory, Sales & Distribution, Retail and Manufacturing business functions while facilitating the flow and analysis of information inside the boundary of an organisation and at the same time managing the connections with outside stakeholders with the aid of integrated solutions such as Sales Force Automation and Business Intelligence. Developed using latest cutting edge technologies including a robust backend database structure and based on the best business practices, EBS offers a perfect balance between functionality, flexibility, scalability and user-friendliness, packaged to offer a good value for money solution which in turn safeguards a good return on investment. MBR: Why is on-going investment in research and development important in your line of business and how uniquely placed is ISL to provide solutions which not only meet the demands of clients, but which will evolve to take advantage of new technologies in the 06

Software can be relevant today and obsolete tomorrow, so we need to constantly think ahead to reach higher levels At ISL we invest heavily in our human resource which we believe compliments and drives the products and services we offer. EBS operates in very dynamic industries and it plays an important role in mission critical operations such as full cycle distribution from the time an order is placed, authorised, processed for distribution with picking and loading, invoicing, delivery and subsequent reconciliation. Our aim is to contribute towards the success of our clients’ businesses by providing cost effective

solutions that constantly evolve around their needs and are targeted to save time and money by enhanced processes. MBR: How have you positioned your research business for future growth? JA: Future growth can be achieved by having a good mixture of talented experts in different aspects that make up an ERP solution as well as technology experts that can make things happen and transform ideas into live production products. It is also key to mix experience with new talent as well as older technology with latest technology to nurture healthy competition as well as challenge concepts and logic with different ways of looking at the same things. This ensures the delivery of best of breed solutions. At ISL, the Research & Development team works closely with both the clients as well as inter-department teams who in turn manage Product, Release & Quality as well as Aftersales. This ensures engagement at all levels. To continuously meet client’s demands and requirements, and in view that at ISL we offer both off the shelve solutions as well as bespoke customised solutions, we invested further in creating focused development teams related to


COVER STORY

Malta Business Review

Furthermore, resources in the “Leadership Centre” will provide the foundations from the early stages of an individual’s career to foster an environment encouraging continuous learning while Books 24x7 provides over 38,000 digital titles to choose from. The e-learning solution offers flexibility by offering easy online access 365 days a year, 24/7, with no logistical or roll out issues. The platform can easily handle hundreds of simultaneous users.

The e-learning solution offers flexibility by offering easy online access 365 days a year, 24/7, with no logistical or roll out issues MBR: What can you tell us about Sales Force Automation (SFA) and why is it the way forward for sales organisations, Importers and Distributors that aim to remain competitive in a dynamic and competitive environment?

product lines to give room for specialisation, as we ensure continuity while giving more space to work closer with our clients throughout the full development life cycle. Consequently, the end result is a true representation of the defined and desired business process. MBR: How does ISL deliver industry specific ERP solutions within a single system and how do your ERP solutions cover the entire range of business management for a variety of key industries originating in verticals? AD: Our advantage lies in the fact that Eyesel Business Suite is our own home grown and in-house developed ERP system which has been evolving since it was first launched way back in 1994. The scalability potential of EBS allows the software to grow with the business and clients can choose to operate the ERP with all or a subset of modules. This makes EBS highly modular and scalable, which concept, alongside the opportunity to add on bespoke customisations, built to specification, guarantees a best fit at all times. Over the past twenty years, at ISL we have deployed EBS in diverse verticals and coupled our core solution offering with specific custom

built and seamlessly integrated solutions for mainstream commercial industries focusing around the Sales & Distribution, Retailing and Manufacturing as well as other key industries such as Insurance and Re-Insurance, Transport, Travel, Marine, Advertising, Vending, Mixed professional Services, including Legal and Financial Services and more. The variety of industries confirms the customisation capabilities of EBS and its adaptation possibilities in different verticals. MBR: How does ISL provide organisations and companies in Malta with solid eLearning solutions to fill the Talent Gap in the workplace? SCU: ISL has an agreement with Skillsoft to provide eLearning solutions in Malta. Skillsoft is a long established provider of word-class content resources and complementary technologies for integrated enterprise learning. The award winning platform allows employees to access SkillSoft’s business and IT courseware collections, which includes engaging and interactive courses, role play, videos, simulations, online mentoring, test preparation services and Books 24x7.

JA: At ISL, we have been pioneers in Sales Force Automation. This solution has been on offer since the early days when mobile devices were introduced and as already explained, through effective research and development as well as customer driven advancements, we have grown our product from strength to strength across an array of platforms that technology has in a way dictated to us. With commitment and constant investment we have throughout the years always offered upgrades to our software to ensure compatibility with the latest trends and shifts in hardware preferences as well as to harness the added benefits and features offered within, be it in terms of connectivity, graphical interface as well as navigation methodologies and common practices. SFA is one of our niche specialisations as it complements the ERP by offering mobility as well as easier accessibility of data. To remain competitive companies are seeking ways and means to be more present on the road at clients, present better, sell more and deliver goods faster. The EBS SFA solution encapsulates an array of features that makes every sales representative’s life easier. Key features include having accurate and up to date customer and product details as well as statistics and prices, interactive product catalogues, quick order taking and/or return merchandise processing, cash collection and payment processing, replenishment processing and other sales supporting features. SFA orders flow online into EBS for authorisation and immediate distribution. www.maltabusinessreview.net

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Malta Business Review

COVER STORY

MBR: Why do you consider Eyesel Business Suite Sales Force Automation as a significant sales tool? AD: The EBS SFA solution offers high performance sales representatives real-time access to the sales information they need to take decisions to augment the sales process when dealing with clients. Mobile tablet devices have become an essential tool to efficiently and effectively close deals in an informed manner and in the shortest time possible. Moreover, processing on the spot replaces numerous back office processes as well as reduces manual and paper work thus offering a more widespread beneficial factor with cost and time savings across a number of departments within an organisation. MBR: Why should potential clients and people in the business community be paying attention to ISL? JA: ISL has been in business for twenty years, 2014 being the year marking a successful twentieth year anniversary and for which we would once again like to say thank you to all our esteemed clients for the faith they have put in us and to all our loyal hard working employees who represent the company, our products and services. ISL’s management system has been certified as ISO 9001:2008 compliant in 2013 for the ‘Supply, Commissioning and Development of Software Solutions and related services.’ To our potential clients our mission and vision remain steady and unchanged. Our focus is to ensure success for our clients by aligning their IT strategies with their business goals and ensuring that they get the best return on their investments. We are focused on bringing deep talent and years of experience to clients that need this type of expertise to help make ERP solutions a real asset to their organisation.

ISL has grown to become a leading technology services company serving businesses throughout Malta, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The secret to our success has been our ability to listen to, think, innovate, apply and support our clients, therefore offering added value of every step in the service chain.

The leaders of tomorrow will be those who are flexible enough to work with different cultures around the world MBR: Is it important that the causes ISL supports tie in with your business strategy? SCU: It is critical to ensure alignment at all times and at all levels within the organisation as this ensures superior levels of service and quality of products which in turn keeps harmony between the company, its clients and employees. MBR: What new things are you working on? AD: Apart from a tall order of customer specific projects, in 2015 we will initiate the rollout of the latest Eyesel Business Suite V2 which will take the product to a higher level and align strategy to accelerate the adoption of newer technology and the facilitation of diverse and more flexible product offerings to better address and serve the ERP market both locally and internationally. Moreover, releases to the latest Retail, Manufacturing and Sales Force Automation products will be completed by quarter two.

MBR: What are the most substantial challenges the company faces today? JA: Companies must navigate the choppy waters of a complex global economy and position themselves to attract and retain the workers they will need on this journey. Shifting demographics and demand for highly skilled workers remain challenges that every company faces in today’s world. We are seeing mass movement of people to jobs. This is a huge opportunity for businesses, but it changes the types of talent we need. The leaders of tomorrow will be those who are flexible enough to work with different cultures around the world. Other challenges as always with locally based companies is the size of the Maltese market. It is for this reason that ISL has started a few years back to internationalise its operations and reach out to other markets. MBR: What is THE most important message you feel you should get across to someone considering buying your solutions? JA: To those just entering the world of ERPs it’s important to remember that although it may seem to add an overhead to your everyday work in the beginning, the best practices already inbuilt into an ERP solution will actually save you time and money in the long run and return the investment. In other words, you will be able to focus on what is really important in managing your operations that’s especially true if you are currently struggling with spreadsheets, or even worse with pen and paper! To those already familiar with the benefits of an ERP solution, considering ISL as your future partner will allow you to reap all the advantages of your existing solution backed up by twenty years of experience and business acumen, a can do attitude and a commitment to deliver and serve better to allow you to be more efficient and reduce the costs associated with your operations. MBR All Rights Reserved | Copyright 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE Deeply committed to leadership, Joe Aquilina co-founded ISL in 1994 after an eleven year career at Simonds Farsons Cisk Ltd. He embarked on an ambitious project of taking ISL overseas, resulting in ISL’s first international client from Egypt in 2005. Joe engineered ISL’s international expansion, with the company establishing a footprint in more than ten countries and is currently implementing a roadmap of establishing a network of partners in the Middle East and North Africa. Aquilina is the Managing Director of Information Systems Ltd. Simon Calleja-Urry co-founded Information Systems Limited in 1994. He obtained his education from Stella Maris College where his bond with computers was established. Working as a systems engineer at Simonds Farsons Cisk, he successfully obtained his associate IMIS qualification in IT studies. Following eight intense and formative years, there he acquired immeasurable experience and exposure designing computer systems that addressed a variety of business needs. Simon is also involved with development and growth and has worked effectively as an eLearning consultant with a firm conviction that on-demand and on-tap knowledge can complement face-to-face rather than challenge it. Simon Calleja Urry is the Research and Development Director.

Left to right: Adrian Coliero, Joe Aquilina & Simon Calleja Urry

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With over 20 years of experience in the provision of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, Adrian Coleiro started his career at ISL in 1996 as a Software Engineer. During these years he built a vast business acumen and acquired a sound background on both development as well as support of ERP solutions. In 2001 he was promoted to Systems Manager, managing the transition and migration of the company’s solutions to newer technology platforms. In 2005 Adrian became a partner and co-owner of ISL, taking the role of Operations Director managing the Product Management, Product Development, Release Management and After Sales departments, as he led a number of strategic projects at blue chip clients that placed ISL amongst the top ranking IT companies in Malta. Adrian loves challenges and is a firm believer that with the right team working in synergy, the growth and business potential is infinite. Adrian is Operations Director at Information Systems Ltd.


MBR Publications Limited MBR Publications Limited

Mbr Publications limited are pleased to announce to all their clients, pr / media advertisers and the general public of their proud association with the Malta Institute of Accountants and are now officially taking advertising orders for the next issue of the MIA’s journal out in April. WINTER 2015 | theaccountant.ORG.mt

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WINTER 2015 THEACCOUNTANT.ORG.mt

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The company is also honoured to declare its official appointment by Standard Publications Limited as the exclusive advertising sellers and traders for The Malta Business Weekly and are now officially taking advertising orders and new subscriptions for this prestigious and pioneering weekly newspaper. MIA NEWS MIA holds Seventh Biennel Conference

FEATURE The Far Reaching Implications of the Audit Regulatory Initiatives

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SPOTLIGHT ON... Mark Micallef

FEATURE The Changing Role of the Maltese CFO

TECHNICAL IFRS, IAS, ISA update

students Important Dates

The Changing Role of the Maltese CFO p.36

ALSO INTRODUCING FOR THE FIRST TIME OUR NEW BOATS & YACHTING PUBLICATION

WE ARE ALSO PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH ENCORE PUbLISHERS AND SHALL bE LAUNCHING THE NEW ARTS & CULTURE MAGAZINE, ENCORE bEGINNING OF MAY 2015.

Our Current Portfolio: Our flagship the Malta Business Review, out every month with The Malta Independent on Sunday Our bi-monthly Property & Life Magazine, unique property, lifestyle and investments publication MAINSAIL – Our newest and most absorbing boats and yachting magazine is being launched end of March, out every Quarter ENCORE – The best Arts & Culture Magazine in Malta, which we sell obo Encore Publishers. The Malta Business Weekly – Malta’s leading weekly news journal published by Standard Publications Ltd. The Accountant – The No 1 accountancy, tax, legal and audit publication in Malta. newspaper post

Issue 7 – March 2015

WINTER 2015 | theaccountant.ORG.mt

PROPERTY & LIFE MAGAZINE Property, Business, Investments & Lifestyle

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WINTER 2015 THEACCOUNTANT.ORG.mt

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Issue 7

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MIA NEWS MIA holds Seventh Biennel Conference

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FEATURE The Far Reaching Implications of the Audit Regulatory Initiatives

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SPOTLIGHT ON... Mark Micallef

FEATURE The Changing Role of the Maltese CFO

TECHNICAL IFRS, IAS, ISA update

students Important Dates

The Changing Role of the Maltese CFO

EMBrAcInG nEw IdEAS

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cover story A Winning Personality

An interview with Jonathan J. Borg, CEO Smartlight Systems and Vice-President JCI p.06

interview

feature

focus

taLKinG Point

Making Gozo More Sustainable Dr Anton Refalo, Minister for Gozo discusses various issues in an exclusive indepth interview p.12

Loving Food, Embracing Traditions MBR interviews John Magro, Chairman of Magro Brothers Group of Companies p.14

The Internationalisation of Maltese SMEs – Part 1: The Motivation for Growth A series of special articles by David J Dingli p.36

Greece Bailout Talks: Acrimony & Uncertainty We follow the latest developments on the Greek bailout and debt obligations saga p.62

COVER STORY

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An onlIne BusIness TrAdIng In PrIme PosITIon

We find out why EXANTE’s fund platform is a potential game changer for the industry

FEATURE

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The mAlTA igAmIng semInAr (mIgs)

Our team provides a special feature on MiGS 2014, the iGaming event of the year being held at Hilton Malta in November

EVENT OF THE YEAR

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Knowledge/ICT weeK 2014

Exclusive: Malta’s unprecedented educational and ICT event scheduled to be held at SmartCity end October 2014

HEALTHCARE

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looKIng AfTer Your BodY InsIde-ouT

Spotlight on health and beauty by Shirley Cauchi , Macrobiotic Health Coach and Yoga Teacher

newspaper post

Issue 7 – March 2015 WINTER 2015 | theaccountant.ORG.mt

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MIA NEWS MIA holds Seventh Biennel Conference

EMBrAcInG nEw IdEAS

FEATURE The Far Reaching Implications of the Audit Regulatory Initiatives p.44

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SPOTLIGHT ON... Mark Micallef

TECHNICAL IFRS, IAS, ISA update

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FEATURE The Changing Role of the Maltese CFO p.53

students Important Dates

Our mission is to promote the creation and dissemination of new advertising and event design concepts, as well as empirical information that strengthens The Changing Role of the CFO the ultimate understanding and importance of new or poorly misunderstood phenomena relevant to business management and organisations. WeMaltese are truly one stop for anyone with advertising and publishing needs. Whatever your publishing desires may be, MBR Publications Limited has the best option for your situation. We will respond within hours of receiving your information, but feel free to contact us directly at anytime! cover story

A Winning Personality

An interview with Jonathan J. Borg, CEO Smartlight Systems and Vice-President JCI p.06

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interview

feature

focus

taLKinG Point

Making Gozo More Sustainable Dr Anton Refalo, Minister for Gozo discusses various issues in an exclusive indepth interview p.12

Loving Food, Embracing Traditions MBR interviews John Magro, Chairman of Magro Brothers Group of Companies p.14

The Internationalisation of Maltese SMEs – Part 1: The Motivation for Growth A series of special articles by David J Dingli p.36

Greece Bailout Talks: Acrimony & Uncertainty We follow the latest developments on the Greek bailout and debt obligations saga p.62

Please direct your writing or advertising enquiries for any of the above publications to margaret@mbrpublications.net or charlotte@mbrpublications.net or call us on 2149 7814; 9940 6743; 9926 0162/3 or visit our website: www.mbrpublications.net


Malta Business Review

Editor’s ChoiCE Auto

Land Rover has revealed the new Discovery Sport, the world’s most versatile and capable premium compact SUV. The first member of the new Discovery family, Discovery Sport, features 5+2 seating in a footprint no larger than existing 5-seat premium SUVs iscovery Sport’s progressive new design approach defines the new Discovery family with optimised volume, proportions and stance. Its design leadership combines with engineering integrity to result in a dynamic profile, the ultimate use of interior space and 5+2 seating configurability. “Our challenge has been to combine premium design with exceptional versatility; the two attributes must work in harmony,” said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer. “I’m proud to say we’ve achieved that; Discovery Sport’s dynamic design will resonate on an emotional level with consumers, and this vehicle is more versatile than any other premium compact SUV on the market.” This spirit of adventure is reflected in Discovery Sport’s interior, which has been designed with customers at its core. It features high-quality materials and a strong vertical centre console graphic to reflect the premium design of the exterior, while the core Discovery value of versatility is evident everywhere. Storage solutions are integrated into the cabin and up to four 12V power points and six USB charging sockets can be specified for all three rows of seating, allowing multiple electronic devices to be charged simultaneously. A host of innovations have allowed Discovery Sport to introduce the versatility of 5+2 seating into the premium compact SUV class for the first time. An all-new multi-link rear axle not only provides engaging driving dynamics but it also provides ample and flexible cabin space behind the second row. Coupled with supple long-travel suspension, the innovative rear axle also ensures the Discovery Sport is comfortable, refined and rewarding to drive on-road, while retaining the breadth of all-terrain capability for

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which Land Rover is world-renowned. In fact, with approach, departure and breakover angles of 25, 31 and 21 degrees respectively, Terrain Response® technology, and the ability to wade to 600mm, Discovery Sport offers class-leading capability in all conditions. As with every new Land Rover, safety has been a key priority in the development of the new Discovery Sport, resulting in a firstin-class pedestrian airbag, autonomous emergency braking, and a state-of-the-art bodyshell featuring both ultra-high-strength steel and lightweight aluminium. This represents a fraction of the advanced equipment available in Discovery Sport, which also includes Head-Up Display, an all-new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and tilt-and-slide rowtwo seating for maximum interior configurability. “Not only does Discovery Sport mark the introduction of the first new member of our expanding Discovery family, it also brings the versatility of 5+2 seating to the compact premium SUV market,” said Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover Group Marketing Director. “Discovery Sport’s versatility is a key differentiator. It is quite simply the most accomplished vehicle in its segment.” Discovery Sport will be produced at Land Rover’s award-winning manufacturing facility at Halewood, Liverpool. The NEW Discovery Sport has just been launched at the newly refurbished Aftersales Area of Muscats Motors. The event was in cooperation with General Soft Drinks for Coca-Cola Zero and Adventure Camping Shop for North Face and Mountain Hard Wear. MBR For further information or to book a test drive contact the Land Rover sales team at Muscats Motors, the official Land Rover dealership in Malta, on 2326 4584/5 or email info@mml.mizzi.com.mt .



Malta Business Review

Social EntrEprEnEurShip

The need for Social Entrepreneurship to be given a focus by Jonathan J Borg

ntrepreneurship and the promotion thereof has been on the forefront of many long-term education strategies, and today it has evolved to further focus on key demographics such as female entrepreneurship or youth entrepreneurship. In fact we have several private and public programs which are designed to attract different demographics to be the leaders of tomorrow and to take our economy to the next level. But what about Social Entrepreneurship? Social entrepreneurs are those who create an enterprising vehicle to identify ways to address pressing social needs. While the conventional entrepreneur is there to bring a new product or service to market for the purpose of generating income, social entrepreneurs establish new ventures to generate social value and achieve social change. Some tangible examples of social enterprises which are successful on a national level include “Empower Coop” & “Merill Eco Tours” both focused on two separate social issues. However, like any other form of entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship cannot exist without relevant stakeholders - the suppliers, employees and end-users who form either short term or long term relationships. In short, we need to recognise the importance of social connections between possible stakeholders and the overall social context within which an entrepreneurial venture may operate. In 2011, the European Commission started a Social Business Initiative to bring this need to the forefront of the agenda of Member States as part of the Europe 2020 Strategy targets set. Today we can see several successful Social Enterprises within Europe which have proven that taking a responsible approach towards business and using a business model to solve a societal need can actually work for the stakeholders and of course for society too. The implication here is clear: Rather than focusing on the pounds, shilling & pence, “support systems” are needed on a national level to approach entrepreneurship in a more pro-society in order to stimulate the leaders of tomorrow to take responsibility for the society we live in. Social Entrepreneurship matters because it helps generate social change and it also renders the intrinsic sociality in entrepreneurship explicit. Entrepreneurship is more than economic activity – it is social in that it operates within a particular setting defined by relationships and networks. The outcomes may be economic and/or social, but the process of entrepreneurship is always social. The above highlighted concepts are the starting points for identifying the sociality of this very process. Entrepreneurship was always social in the way it operated however it is time for academics, practitioners, and especially policy makers to recognise that focusing on social issues through social entrepreneurship is indeed the only way that we can strive as a developing society. MBR

Corporate brief: A member of the 2015 International Board of Directors of Junior Chamber International (JCI) in the position of Vice President assigned to 8 Nordic countries, responsible for being the link between Head Quarters in St. Louis Missouri, and each of these countries. He is also founding CEO of an established R&D, Manufacturing unit involved in renewable energies. 52 12


Apprenticeship progrAmme

Malta Business Review

Students from MCAST will experience the vibrancy of HSBC UK Contact Centre Malta for three months

HSBC UK Contact Centre Malta (HBEU), the largest contact centre on the island, will begin bridging the gap between education and industry by welcoming students from the Malta College of Arts, Science & Technology (MCAST) on an apprenticeship basis until 2016

HSBC Contact Centre opens the door for MCAST students by George Carol

The group of 10 selected students will immerse themselves in the excitement of a best-in-class work environment and learn the trade in blocks of weeks ranging in duration from three to 16 weeks. The apprenticeship begins on 22 June 2015. The participating students are enrolled in Advanced Diploma in Financial Service from MCAST’s Institute of Business and Commerce. HBEU HR and Recruitment Manager Fabianne Galea said: “HBEU is determined to build a superior workforce that can contribute to the 21st century Maltese economy. We invest heavily in our human capital by providing recruits with professional training programmes and enabling them to further their career opportunities in the global contact centre industry.” At the end of the apprenticeship programme, qualified students are likely to receive full-time employment offers at HBEU, which is known for

its informal yet supportive workplace atmosphere. The various support services for staff at HBEU include a concierge service, in-house gym, childcare subsidies, onsite medical health checks, and private healthcare, among other. Established at Swatar in 2006 with a target of 250 employees, the superior customer services delivered by the Centre have - over the last eight years - resulted in developing the Centre which now employs 430 employees assisting UK account holding customers. Apart from having a good command of English and IT skills, there are no other specific qualifications for the role. More information about opportunities at HSBC UK Contact Centre can be had at www.hsbc.com.mt/ careers. An age neutral CV can be forwarded to malta.recruitment@hsbc.com. MBR www.maltabusinessreview.net

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Malta Business Review

GaminG

r a I s I n G m a lta's P ro F I l e t H ro U G H t H e l aU n c H o F G a m I n G m a lta GamingMalta, a new Foundation tasked with promoting Malta as a gaming jurisdiction of excellence was officially launched earlier today by the Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth, Dr Josè Herrera and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)’s Executive Chairman, Joseph Cuschieri. The official launch was held at the Casino Maltese in Valletta. When addressing the guests and media at the event, the Parliamentary Secretary highlighted the Government’s commitment towards the gaming industry in Malta. He added that “the purpose of GamingMalta is to promote and raise Malta’s profile as a leading international gaming jurisdiction in terms of licensing and regulation of gaming companies as well as a centre of excellence in the ongoing evolution of the gaming industry.” Dr Herrera concluded by thanking all the parties involved for making the idea of GamingMalta a reality. On his part, the MGA’s Executive Chairman Joseph Cuschieri explained how GamingMalta “will serve as a forum to bring all the different stakeholders, including operators, intermediaries and service providers together with the aim of enhancing and focusing all the promotional efforts previously conducted by the MGA and

to further enhance the communications channel between all the industry stakeholders. This should ensure that the support services provided in Malta not only meet but also anticipate the industry’s growing needs.” Mr Cuschieri also underscored GamingMalta’s aim to develop Malta as a differentiated brand of excellence in all aspects related to the industry and to implement the Authority’s brand strategy and road map for the industry. Mr Cuschieri also announced that the first non-executive Chairman of GamingMalta shall be Ing. Christian Sammut who is currently the CEO of BMIT. “GamingMalta is an important strategic step to take Malta’s gaming sector to the next level so that it continues to stand out, through innovation, quality and diligence,” concluded the MGA’s Executive Chairman. MBR

I n t e r n at I o n a l eco n o m I c and FInancIal t r a n sac t I o n s During the fourth quarter of this year, Malta’s current account balance improved by €10.0 million

Estimates on Malta’s external transactions during the December quarter of 2014 reveal a current account surplus of €10.9 million, showing an improvement of €10.0 million over the surplus registered during the comparable quarter a year earlier. While there were decreases in the goods and the secondary income accounts over the corresponding period a year before, the increases in the services and the primary income accounts compensated for these. In the financial account of the statement, there were decreases in the net direct investment account and fi nancial derivatives

account. These were partially offset by increases in the net portfolio account as well as the net other investment account. The main accounts affecting the fi nancial account were direct investment and portfolio investment. Direct investment liabilities increased by €675.5 million during the fourth quarter, as a result of increases in reinvested earnings and net debt instruments with parent companies. Net portfolio investment increased by €2,273.6 million as a result of increases in net portfolio assets, mainly equity securities. As a result of the above shifts, reserve assets registered a decrease of €169.3 million during the December 2014 quarter. MBR Source: NSO/European Statistical System

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What has established our global reputation in the gaming industry? At the Malta Gaming Authority, our regulatory philosophy, organisational principles and culture are focused on player protection. Malta’s transparent legal framework and experience in regulating gaming has developed into a world class eco-system providing effective, innovative and efficient regulation. Our regulatory framework provides assurances both locally and internationally that fairness and transparency are at the core of everything that we do. To this effect, our licensees are associated with the highest levels of integrity and efficiency.

Proudly recognised as a world class authority in terms of innovation, governance and diligence.

MALTA GAMING AUTHORITY Suite 1, Level 3, TG Complex, Brewery Street, Mrieћel, Birkirkara BKR 3000, Malta T +356 2546 9000 F +356 2144 6950 E info@mga.org.mt www.mga.org.mt


Malta Business Review

Feature: Women Leaders

Investing in Prevention By George Carol

Dr Charmaine Gauci, Director of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate within the Ministry for Energy and Health, in an interview with MBR reflected on her priorities, her new responsibilities and on the challenges that lie ahead. She told us that the goals of her work is based on evidence based strategies mainly the noncommunicable diseases strategy, the healthy weight for life strategy, the cancer plan, the sexual health strategy, the communicable disease strategy, the national food and nutrition policy and action plan and the whole of school approach to healthy lifestyle. Dr Gauci exudes an aura of confidence as she explains the specific targets to improve wellbeing, reduce risk factors and reduce diseases 52 16

MBR Taking over the helm as Director, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention was by no means easy. In what ways does this position challenge you? CG: I have been working in the area of prevention since 1995. In the first couple of years I was mainly responsible for infectious disease prevention. My area of responsibility widened when I was appointed Director of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate in 2007. This directorate is responsible for well being and prevention of infectious diseases and also of non communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, diabetes and cancer amongst others. It was propitious time to lead the way to tackle major issues which were ruling the world’s problems in health from the prevention aspect. My qualifications and experience in public health medicine speciality were crucial to lead a team of interdisciplinary professionals. We developed a pathway based on the vision to improve health and wellbeing of the Maltese population. Society faces tough challenges and public health speciality has adapted to this challenge, whereby public

health specialists of today have transformed to gain competencies in transformational leadership to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice whilst keeping an eye on the changing environment. I see my leadership skills have become more horizontal, participatory and involving all stakeholders to secure everyone’s alliances to work together to address health challenges. Over the years, I have gained experience both on the technical and also on the managerial and leadership aspects. Much of this was self taught, a lot was from personal experience and even more from others around me. A lot of my daily work involves decision making which I do after making a good assessment of the situation and weigh out the implications on options. I guess my basic training as a doctor was crucial as we do this when we were faced with decisions on managing a patient. My role now includes decisions to be taken for the whole population for the benefit of society. I have always been an active lobbyist for the health of the nation and was very active in this field during my four year term as President of the Malta Association of Public Health Medicine.


Feature: Women Leaders

MBR: Where are your key objectives and how do you see the evolution of the relationship with MEH-Health PromotionHealth? What is the biggest risk to not addressing the fact that people continue to get sicker?

these concerns from a sound basis of clinical evidence on population health, since it deals with prevention of disease and maintenance of health. This includes a variety of measures which include both individual and also population measures.

CG: Non-communicable diseases put a significant health and economic burden on the population of Malta and are driving up our caseloads. Evidence shows that major chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and cancer result from a few lifestyle related factors, namely unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and alcohol abuse which are in turn related to clear biological risk factors, namely obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and carbohydrate abnormalities.

MBR: How much emphasis are you placing on prevention?

Infectious diseases remain a threat. An interconnected world is increasing the opportunities for human, animal and zoonotic diseases to emerge and spread globally. Tackling such diseases remain a priority.

More often than not investment in preventive care requires additional financing

MBR: Can you tell us about your research and thesis on ‘Epidemiology of Foodborne Illness in Malta’? CG: My PhD research has focused on infectious intestinal disease. It looked at the burden of this illness in the community whereby by several studies, I have looked at the actual prevalence of this very common condition, estimating that about 450 people suffer from this condition on a daily basis. I also estimated the costs incurred (total of 16 million euro per year) and outlined possible means of enhancing surveillance to tackle this problem. This research has enhanced my skills in research methodologies and epidemiology, which today I am passing on to my students. It had also brought new relations with international experts working in the field and hence collaboration between our directorate and other institutes. MBR: Are you optimistic that the right dialogue is taking place to enable true health care reform, especially where health promotion and disease prevention is concerned? CG: In an era of rising medical costs and escalating economic difficulties we need to engage in analysis of the value received for each health care Euro spent. Preventive medicine is uniquely positioned to address

CG: Although in theory there is strong evidence to support shifting of funds from treatment to preventive care, in practice this is hard to achieve, and more often than not investment in preventive care requires additional financing. Evidence is emerging to show that investment in maintaining a healthy population is economically sound in the long-term, however, above all the humanitarian approach which values life and quality of life is in itself a key argument for investing in preventive medicine. MBR: Do you provide services across all areas or are you specialty focused? CG: Preventive services fall under two main categories, population based approaches and risk based approaches. Population based strategies include educational services for the general population, creating a supportive environment, legislative measures to protect people, policy development and services such as immunisations. Risk based approaches target those people at risk. Some examples of such services we provide include targeted health promotion to groups in need, weight management and exercise classes to people who are overweight or obese, smoking cessation helpline and classes for smokers, and services to support people in lower socio-economic classes to equip them with the skills needed to improve their health. MBR: How critical to hospital culture is it to be engaged within the community? CG: Presently, medicine is poised to witness the rise of a variety of new therapeutic and diagnostic modalities, each of which will bring its own cost and benefit considerations, including preventive medicine, at a time when our society needs it the most. It is critical to continue to provide treatment for illness, however the culture is changing to act to prevent the development of risk factors in the first place through observance of healthy diet, exercise, prevention of stress and not taking up smoking. This is an area which we need to invest in. With the issues of sustainability, we will end up in a viscous circle of never ending increasing budget costs, unless we take measures to invest in prevention. MBR: You form part on the Editorial Board of the ‘International Journal of Medicine’ and of ‘Infectious Disease: Research & Treatment’ (Libertas Academia, New

Malta Business Review

Zealand). How significant has this been to you personally? CG: I firmly believe every professional need to invest in academic effort. I am appointed as a senior lecturer with the Department of Public Health at the University of Malta. I lecture in various areas in the public health medicine speciality with special interest in epidemiology, infectious diseases, and policy. I have supervised many students for their dissertations. I firmly believe in research and have a number of ongoing projects. I read a lot, especially scientific papers. I have published over 20 papers in peer reviewed scientific journals. I also sit on the editorial board of various international peer reviewed journals. This has enhanced my critical appraisal skills and I am happy to provide added value to the scientific literature. MBR All Rights Reserved | Copyright 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE

Dr Charmaine Gauci is the Director of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate within the Ministry for Energy and Health. She graduated as a medical doctor in 1991. Over the years she has developed skills in the wide aspect of the public health specialty. She pursed her studies with masters in public health and consequently followed the European Programme in Epidemiological training in France. She has also specialised in fitness and nutrition. She attained her PhD Degree in communicable disease epidemiology in 2006. Dr Gauci is also a Prince practitioner in project management. She is a fellow of the UK Royal Society for Public Health and a fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health. Dr Gauci is a senior lecturer at the University of Malta and delivers lectures in the field of public health with special interest in Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases. She is active in the field of public health having served as secretary, vice president and also served as president with the Malta Association of Public Health Medicine for four years. Dr Gauci acts as a focal point for a number of bodies within the European Commission including ECDC and Health Security and for the World Health Organisation.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

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Malta Business Review

feature: women leaders

Great InspIratIons, Great DeeDs by Francesca Borghi

For Yasmin de Giorgio, the global environmental crises is an opportunity for us all to re-imagine the way we do business, to re-create ways that we can serve the planet and each other in a way that does not compromise the future sustainability of our society and standards of living. In this interview we find out more about the inspiration behind her founding The Grassy Hopper

TEU: How critical has the motivation and inspiration behind starting the Grassy Hopper been? YD: Very critical. There is a reason why 90% of start-ups fail. Building a company from scratch is not easy, it involves a lot of hard work. It is the inspiration and love for what you do and what you are creating that pushes you through the moments of intense challenge and the times when you feel like you are not managing to stay afloat. TEU: What makes the Grassy Hopper different when it comes to sustainability and conscious business? YD: I am not sure that I can comment on what makes us different but I can comment on how seriously we take our responsibility as stewards of this planet. At the end of the day sustainability is not about comparing yourself to others, sustainability is not an Eco-band aid (to borrow a term from one of my inspirations). Sustainability is a way 18

of living and behaving that reflects some pretty particular core values. We take our core values, which include sustainability and doing business consciously, very seriously, they are the heartbeat of all that we do. We are far from perfect, there are places in the business where we could be doing better. But the intention is there to continuously improve and action is taken in a balanced fashion. TEU: Why is food such an important foundation for our lives? YD: I believe that food is crucial to our wellbeing - it’s not rocket science! But instead of seeing it just from our own individual health, which is also important, we can motivate ourselves to make better dietary choices by understanding that that is how we will contribute the most to others and the environment. That is how we can be the best that we can be and how we will bring passion and commitment to

our work. When put in the context of our responsibility as stewards of this planet, the amount of energy and dedication we bring to our lives is crucial to us making positive individual and collective changes.

Sustainability is a way of living and behaving that reflects some pretty particular core values TEU: How will the level of passion and commitment we can bring to our lives increase if we eat foods full of nutrients, energy and cleansing properties? YD: This is more the subject of a book than a single question haha. But what I can say is that my own personal dietary changes caused me to experience an increase in my levels of


feature: women leaders

Malta Business Review

Yasmin de Giorgio

certain passion and enthusiasm to the job, and that obviously gets passed on to the customers. For us it is a joy to serve our customers, we love the connections that we build with them and the experiences that we share. I think this spirit of service is a core part of our identity. TEU: What makes your food and beverage offerings work so well and how important is it to engage the Grassy Hopper business model?

happiness, passion and ability to take action. This was a main inspiration for the creation of The Grassy Hopper. I try not to focus on the details of food properties as anyone can get that information from books or the internet. Instead I share my experience and encourage people to try different cuisines and notice the effect on their energy TEU: How do you aim to reduce the barriers to healthy eating by making it tasty and affordable? YD: Well, definitely making it tasty and affordable is a great start. But I also feel that accessibility is a key issue. We all lead very busy lives and we have so many things to do. We all know that we need to eat healthily, but if it is not convenient then we just won’t do it as often as we should. So our aim is definitely to make it as easy as possible for people to choose the healthy option - the path of least resistance. The easier it is - the more we will all do it. TEU: How do you define a true healthy dining experience and has it become more about customisation of the guest experience? YD: It is difficult to define a healthy dining experience because what is healthy for one person is not healthy for another. I don’t believe in blanket statements about food, but rather think it is a journey for each

person to increase their awareness over the effect food has on their well-being. We believe that each person has their own particular dietary needs which even change over time. So we strive to offer as much individual care as possible. I think increasing customization of the dining experience will be a big part of our future.

Doing what you love, in a spirit of love is definitely a good business model TEU: How important is it to continue to innovate with your cuisine and keep the menu fresh?

YD: Sometimes in the past the vegetarian movement was alienating and judgemental of other dietary choices. Our model is simply offering food that inspires us without any of the heaviness or superiority. Doing what you love, in a spirit of love is definitely a good business model. TEU: What plans do you have to continue to strengthen Grassy Hopper? YD: In line with our mission to make healthy food accessible we will keep growing the capabilities to offer our services. We have really been enjoying catering for private functions and we would like to keep building this part of the business. MBR All Rights Reserved | Copyright 2015

YD: Innovation is definitely key to our business. We don’t want our food to become boring. As we grow as a company, innovation is becoming easier as we are moving out of a ‘survival zone’ into a more settled and established business rhythm. This is very exciting for us as it is giving us the platform to be much more creative. TEU: What are the key characteristics of a Grassy Hopper and how do you define the Grassy Hopper difference? YD: I think the people who work at The Grassy Hopper are happy to be there. They bring a

Triq San Gorg, Gzira, 2131 1676 123 Old Theatre Street, Valletta 9934 1473 Mob: 9934 1479 www.THEgrassYHoppEr.com www.maltabusinessreview.net

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Malta Business Review

feature: women leaders

The ImporTance of

CharaCter by Francesca Borghi

Charlene Mercieca gathered inspiration for her soap product line from a variety of places, including a lot of painstaking research. In this interview, we read about how these disparate inspirations came together to help her form a successful business. Charlene tells why Soap Cafe’ started out as a little home based business and has grown into a brand whom established companies seek to partner up with to offer a unique sensory experience to their high profile clientele

MBR: What is the secret to the ongoing success of Soap Café’?

only these last five years ... it has definitely been quite a journey!

CM: I believe it’s the fact that we are constantly re-inventing ourselves to keep the brand fresh, innovative and interesting.

MBR: What range of products do you feature at your shop in Sliema and what shapes your customer base?

MBR: Is there a niche customer market you are appealing to or is it more broad?

CM: We produce and supply a complete range of natural cosmetics and body care. From artisan soaps bars, natural hair care products, organic products including moisturisers, lotions, perfumes and make up; to men care and baby care products . Our customer base are those people who seek great natural quality and cruelty free products who might also follow a vegan lifestyle.

CM: Our products appeal to 3 types of clients-

Those who appreciate quality, handmade goods to give out as a gift or souvenir;

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Companies like hotels and super yachts who wish to offer something unique in their clients bathrooms;

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Individuals who experience and see results when they use our truly natural products and become completely hooked on it!

MBR: How have you made your business grow? CM: I come from very humble roots, with no background on how to run my own business, but I was always determined to transform something which I love doing into a ‘living’. Through a lot research, experiments, mistakes and ridiculous amounts of hours of work with quite a few sleepless nights, I managed to make Soap Cafe stand out from the over saturated beauty industry. It’s been a process that has taken over thirteen years of research and dedication, yet flourished 20

MBR: Is facebook and web/ online trading changing the value of the store and is this a product that has growth within the social media arena? CM: Our clients love to see what we are up to especially through face book, twitter and Instagram. Being a handmade product, these social platforms can show the ‘human’ side of the process. Having studied as a herbalist and aroma therapist I also like to use my Blog to post articles as a source of education about healthy lifestyle choices, natural ingredients and recipes for the general public . And last but not least we also have a Trip Advisor profile so people can check out what other clients have to say about us. Moreover, any reviews (bad or good) are always welcome as it helps us to improve our quality in our products and services too.

Soap Cafe in Sliema ‘Propolis & Olive’ soap


feature: women leaders

Malta Business Review

Soap making during design week in St. Elmo

MBR: For this type of product, can you drive e-commerce or do most customers want to come into the store?

We usually answer their queries within the same day, and if any issues arise, we address these issues in the most professionally way possible.

CM: Even though we give alot of importance to our online marketing, our brick and mortar store has always been a ‘first hand’ experience for our clients. After all we designed the shop to give a holistic sensory experience – I am proud to say I am the owner of a very particular shop. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea (and I never aimed it to be) but it’s definitely my type of Soap Café.

MBR: If I was talking to some of those who know you without you in the room and I asked about your style, what would they say?

I was always determined to transform something which I love doing into a ‘living’

CM: I don’t believe that opportunities just land on your laps- whether you are a man or woman. And it was never a question whether a woman is as capable or as ambitious as her male counterpart. But if we dig deep, we will realise that in general man and woman have different priorities in life. Since the last couple of decades women have grown bolder and do not shy away from ambitious projects, yet, I believe that there are still biological factors that we can’t really escape and can get a bit in the way of ‘top levels of leadership’ sometimes (especially for women)- Good or bad, I don’t honestly know. Either way , whether male or female, we should make authentic choices and follow our own destinies rather than trying to be something we are not just to prove something to society. MBR

MBR: As to growth, do you still see strong opportunities in Malta as well as internationally? CM: Yes of course. There are still many plans and ideas in the pipe lines; first Malta, then world domination! MBR: How do you measure success in your efforts? CM: The fact that we have loyal customers for years is definitely a sign of great quality products and customer service. For me that’s the core of every successful business. MBR: How important is your emphasis on the after-sale relationship? CM: One of the reasons why we give so much importance to our online presence is the fact that our clients feel they are just a click away from us.

CM: Probably a mix of eclectic and somewhat shabby chic seasoned with a hint of quirkiness. MBR: Are there enough opportunities today for women to reach top levels of leadership?

Tel: +356 27 883 675 Mob: +356 99 883 675 Email: info@soapcafemalta.com Address: 46, St.Mary Street, Sliema. Malta, Europe www.maltabusinessreview.net

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Malta Business Review

feature: women leaders

Valuing the Workforce by Martin Vella

“Success is based on the achievements of the people who work for me and my accomplishments aren’t mine,” says Doreen Cutrona. She insists that working in a family-run business is such an advantage. Doreen does not have an ego. In manufacturing, there are a lot of egotistical men, but she is not one of them. There is an advantage to being a woman in a male-dominated business. In this interview we find out how Doreen makes the right decision for the company

If a group of people like Doreen have their way, hundreds of more women will start working in manufacturing- from the C-suite to the front lines. The way Doreen sees it, it’s still a male-dominated industry, and she want more women to consider jobs in the field that range from designing new products and negotiating deals, to running departments, or the entire company. “Manufacturing has always been a male-dominated industry, and there’s great opportunities in this industry that women are missing out on,” told me Doreen, Managing Director at Idroplast Manufacturing Limited, a small business that manufactures water tanks and other roto moulding products. Rotational Molding involves a heated hollow mold which is filled with a charge or shot weight of material. It is then slowly rotated (usually around two perpendicular axes) causing the softened material to disperse and stick to the walls of the mold. Rotational Mouldings are inherently reliable, internal stresses are minimal and joints are eliminated. The materials are tough and resilient even under extreme conditions when compared to fabricating, fibre-glass, injection, vacuum or blow moulding. Doreen said that her goal as an effective women leader is to offer her willingness to listen and support the company’s employees in a variety of ways including training, mentoring and improving leadership and communication skills. “So what leadership strengths do you see Maltese women bringing to the table?” I ask her. She swiftly replies, “If you look 22

at organisational leadership, the common conception of a leader is articulate, charismatic — you know, the Steve Jobs of the world. These are the persons you think of as leaders — visionary, creative, and assertive. But if you actually look at businesses that go from good to being great, their leaders have very different characteristics, like being collaborative, being more modest, or humble — characteristics which are more attributed to women,” explains Mrs Cutrona.

My own background has taught me a lot about the power of investing in women, because you do end up feeding a family and not just an individual

“For example, taking initiative in a female context looks very different than taking initiative in male context. So, for example, taking initiative in most of my manufacturing environment settings, or work floor settings, meant raising your hand, showing interest, saying I can do that, or I want to achieve that objective,” she elaborates. “There is strength in collaboration and being willing to have more flat decision-making styles, more inclusive problem solving processes. That’s very much linked to the skills that women tend to bring to the workplace. We can talk about business conditions and business

best practices, and that’s how Maltese women can contribute on a national level to improve working conditions and raise standards in manufacturing,” she said. Cutrona’s position in manufacturing puts her in the minority. At the same time, Doreen also represents a role model as a woman leader in a man’s world. She’s excited about her career in manufacturing and she maintains that the economics of a career in manufacturing are significantly more lucrative than a lot of other industries, even at entry-level positions. “It’s not just about getting more women into manufacturing, it’s really about strengthening manufacturing by engaging capable women, with a potential to expanding your talent pool. My own background has taught me a lot about the power of investing in women, because you do end up feeding a family and not just an individual,” says Doreen. I ask Doreen about her perspective on leadership and she does not hesitate to reply, “The real lesson for me was how dignity is so much more important to the human spirit than controlling or giving commands, or having a fortune. And it is good to lead gaining knowledge and knowing how to cover basic needs, but to have the power of being able to say no to things that we do not want, or didn’t want to do. And so leadership is a way of inspiring, listening, and letting people, you know, grow themselves in their own way,” she says smiling. Doreen considers it was a small experience in some ways, yet one that she thinks about all the time that taught her so much


feature: women leaders

Malta Business Review

I ask Doreen about what motivated her and how does she define what it means to be an effective leader today, to which she replies, “I had an opportunity to grow the business from the ground up. It is a family business, and my husband and I work closely together to grow it from a micro-enterprise to a SME and then an international business. Effective leadership in that business came from leading by example, so I didn’t expect people to work any harder than I was willing to work myself. A good leader focuses the spotlight on issues that are of value, and makes sure the people who are held accountable accept them and make those issues their own.”

A good leader focuses the spotlight on issues that are of value, and makes sure the people who are held accountable accept them and make those issues their own

Doreen Cutrona

about listening and dignity—and to be able to communicate with men at the factory floor was a key component. The more stressed I got, the less anything worked; and the more we could communicate, the more productive the workers became. And so that was probably another really big lesson,” she enthuses. And is she a utopian visionary? “I’m a big optimist. I really believe in setting impossible goals and then making them possible. And I really love our workers— and I think the workers feel that from me. So it’s probably that sometimes very confusing mix of optimism, idealism, but also high expectations, lots of discipline, and pragmatism,” she confirms.

I ask what was her biggest challenge in her leadership role? “Stereotyping, labelling a person. At the beginning of my career, I felt trivialized because suffering from invisibility, working hard, preventing fires, and doing too little to gain credit for my work. Women often get excluded from informal power networks – however, I consider myself privileged as I got every support and backing from my husband. I also experienced the discomfort some men feel reporting to a woman. Many have no difficulty with this but some just cannot handle it and will regularly challenge a woman’s authority or expertise. In my case, I am lucky to get on very well with all the male employees at the factory.

“How do you maintain a family culture and feel?” I ask. “As the company has grown, it’s difficult to maintain a family atmosphere, especially now that Idroplast is a publicly traded company. We maintain its family culture because we care about its employees – both in terms of benefits it provides for employees, and how it looks to make employees feel that they are part of something more than a commercial structure,” states Cutrona. Regarding the benefits and challenges to running a family owned business, her thoughts are clear, “My husband Gaetano is my partner and co-founder. Working with him is great 95% of the time. We each have unique strengths that we bring to the table, so we have learned to focus on individual areas and consult each other along the way. All of my children Christian, Alessio, Federica and Luca stand by me, and they are my world. The challenge lies in controlling emotions during difficult decisions or a difference of opinion. Does Doreen ever look back or is she primarily focused on the future? “I am very much a futurist. Every day, I get up with a load of ideas. There is nothing but possibility. We have enormous resources at our fingertips in Malta. I am motivated by how we can make life better and improve people’s ability to live a better quality life longer. I’m a positive person – I think most women leaders are. MBR All Rights Reserved | Copyright 2015 www.maltabusinessreview.net

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Malta Business Review

Feature: Women Leaders

Melt My Heart by Alix Abela

If something melts your heart, it affects you emotionally and you cannot control the feeling. My Melts add a new perspective to your ambiance. Whether it being your home or work space, you can personalize your surroundings in an Eco- friendly way

Stacey is a dedicated mother of four who has gone through a series of life-circumstances which pushed her to exercise her talent and raw genius to the maximum. It all started as a candlemaking hobby. She realised that people like the scent of the candles but found them expensive due to the amount of wax used in a traditional candle. Upon this, she discovered a newer and better concept that work “like candles” but are even more efficient, with no waste – melts of course!

These are an alternative to traditional candles with the added advantage of being able to chose and change your home scent every three or four days whilst also being much more affordable. The issue she found with candles is that due to the fact of how our senses work, scientifically after a week we become immune to the smell in our homes, and for this reason we no longer get that pleasantly surprised feeling that we get when we first light our candle. The melts are designed in such an ideal, simple and userfriendly way, so that after a few burns, the scent can be changed to a different one, so that the person using the melts can get that pleasantly surprised “fresh candle feeling”, every time! The type of wax used in making My Melts, is known as 24 52

‘Eco-soy wax’, it is a superior and efficient type of wax because it is made of 90% soybean and 10% vegetable fat. These days we tend to use a variety of sprays and air fresheners in an effort to try and make our houses smell warm and welcoming (and let’s face it, who doesn’t like a nice smelling home?). But we don’t realise that these methods of home fragrance simply do not last. However, the specific type of wax used in My Melts products locks in fragrance and releases it at a very slow rate making it perfect for My Melts. My Melts come in two basic shapes: a large and a small heartshape. The large heart will give you on average 30 hours of burning time, whilst a small heart gives you an average of 15 hours, keeping in mind the size of the room and your environment (example: pets, frying or smoking in the home). The My Melt store, also has a range of hand-crafted burners to use your melts in, which are all produced locally. My Melts also has more artisan items which follow Stacey’s preference for local and handmade products. Here every single piece has been made by hand, and from the heart. My Melts currently has over forty different fragrances to choose from, with new fragrances always being added. My Melts also caters souvenirs for all occasions imaginable, offering something truly amazing and practical to share with any gender, age group or person who has their own space. You are sure to find a fragrance which really hits home so find us on Facebook for other outlets that stock My Melts closer to you or come for a visit to the store in Mosta and get your senses tingling! MBR Facebook: My Melts


4, Nicolo Isouard Street Mosta MST 1336 Mob: +356 7701 1799 Email: stacey@mymelts.com.mt www.mymelts.com.mt


Malta Business Review

Feature: Women Leaders

H S B C l au n C H eS a r row i n i t i at i v e to a dva n C e wo m e n Sta f f HSBC Malta has launched its latest in-house initiative, Arrow, to enable female junior managers navigate the challenges they face in becoming senior managers

The six-month programme aims to Advance, Recruit, Retain, and Organise Women (Arrow) so that they can progress into leadership positions in the Bank as it addresses key issues facing women. Arrow aims to understand the barriers that often curtail advancement of women in the workplace and educate members on maximising their true potential. The pilot programme is spearheaded by Joyce Grech, Chief Risk Officer, and Mandy Garner, Head of Human Resources at HSBC Malta, both of whom are seen as role models by their colleagues.

“There has never been a better time for women in Malta to seize the opportunities and play a central role in society and the economy. Creating positive opportunities for an upward trajectory in the corporate world demands that we take the first step and believe in our abilities,” said Ms Grech at the inaugural session.

There has never been a better time for women in Malta to seize the opportunities and play a central role in society and the economy Head of Human Resources, Mandy Garner said: “HSBC recognises that without the qualities, talents, and skills of women, full economic and social development cannot be achieved in business. Arrow offers a platform from where women colleagues can unlock their potential and achieve their professional and personal goals.” HSBC Malta remains committed to supporting all our people achieve their potential through continuous development and better work life balance. Arrow builds on a range of existing diversity initiatives in HSBC. MBR

marCHeSe | 654, High Street, Hamrun | Tel: 2122 4523 | Mob: 7906 2050 | Facebook: Marchese


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Malta Business Review

TALKING POINT

RyanaiR, gopheR of its own pR! by Patrick J. O’Brien

Micahel O’Leary

Ryanair is Europe’s largest budget carrier with 86.4m passengers last year. It has embarked on an ambitious plan to increase its traffic to 150m passengers by 2024 and Mr O’Leary is focusing on a cuddly ‘new Ryanair experience’. Patrick J O’ Brien takes us through the airline’s U-turn after blunder over low-cost flights to US

ove or hate them, they are the “airline” that are never out of the news, they may have just reported a 14 per cent increase in customers and an €84m (£63m) boost to its quarterly profits, demonstrating outwardly that its new strategy of better customer service and marketing is still paying off. The introduction of new routes and an image overhaul has helped low-fare Irish airline Ryanair to substantially increase passengers whilst gaining new ground. Success always comes with a price and Ryanair were hit by a bolt of lightning this month. The blunder, they had to issue a humiliating statement to the stock exchange saying its board had not approved a move on flights to the US. The airline had announced two days earlier its board had approved flights between Europe and the United States, and planned to start services to up to 14 US cities by the end of the decade. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said the airline had “f***ed up”, describing the original statement as “a miscommunication”. But the error is hugely damaging to the credibility of the company and raises enormous question marks around its management. It is understood Ryanair still intends to eventually launch a 28

transatlantic service, but will do so using a subsidiary or a completely separate business in which it may have a majority stake. Earlier, the airline said it was already talking to manufacturers about buying planes to serve new routes between European airports and US. Mr O’Leary has long spoken about his desire for Ryanair to carry passengers across the Atlantic. But the company is understood to have struggled to find a way to make it pay.

Success always comes with a price and Ryanair were hit by a bolt of lightning this month Ryanair issued a terse one-line statement saying no transatlantic plan had been approved by its board- and nor would it be. Financial analysts described the blunder as a serious misstep for the airline. “It’s a bit of a PR faux-pas,” David Holohan, the head of research at stockbroking firm Merrion Capital.”They usually tend to have quite a good grasp of what they should be saying.”


TALKING POINT

Malta Business Review

place to start. It’s a tiny market,” said Mr O’Leary previously. The carrier said in a statement that it was talking to manufacturers about buying planes to serve new routes between various European airports and 12 to 14 American cities. “European consumers want lowercost travel to the USA and the same for Americans coming to Europe. We see it as a logical development in the European market” The business plan is there but it’s dependent on attaining viable long-haul aircraft and we estimate that’s four to five years away.”

It’s not clear precisely how the cock-up emerged, but the statement appears to have been prompted by a follow-up question from the media on foot of an interview earlier that day by Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs. Mr Jacobs indicated the airline would fill up to half its jets with more expensive premium seats with some subsidised promotional fares costing as little Stg£10, other one-way tickets would be priced at Stg£99 or more. Ryanair said in the statement: “In the light of recent press coverage, the board of Ryanair Holdings Plc wishes to clarify that it has not considered or approved any transatlantic project and does not intend to do so.” Now it is understood that while Ryanair still intends to launch a transatlantic service, it will not do so using its own name. Instead, a separate company will have to be set up as a standalone business. Mr O’Leary has previously made clear that Ryanair would not directly launch or operate the service. Rather, it would be run by a stand-alone business that would not be an immediate part of Ryanair.The outspoken airline chief said in January that the airline wanted to launch a long-haul service using a sister company. He said he would be disappointed if that division could not offer one-way tickets between Europe and the US for an average of about €90. But its unlikely Malta or Dublin will benefit at least not initially from the cut-price tickets. “If we wanted to get into the pan-European transatlantic market, then starting in Dublin would be the wrong

Ryanair confirmed its position as Ireland’s second biggest company late last year- valued on the stock market at €11.5bn after its shares rocketed nearly 10pc on the back of financial results and increased full-year profit forecasts.

Last year Ryanair swallowed its appeal against a £6million penalty that was levied against them for violating France’s labour laws Last year Ryanair swallowed its appeal against a £6million penalty that was levied against them for violating France’s labour laws. Ryanair were previously found guilty of hiring and paying local staff from Marseille under Irish contracts to save money on taxes. Instead of paying up to 45 per cent in social charges the normal figure in France , Ryanair paid just 10.75 per cent in Irish charges. For me personally, I am proud that this Irish company has become a global brand. My issues- well mainly that its checked baggage fees are still among the highest in the world. Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, once described passengers who forget to print out their boarding passes as “idiots”, hence why he fines those 60 Euros for doing so On customer service he once said: “People say the customer is always right, but you know what - they’re not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so.” Ryanair is destined to keep flying high, let’s hope they don’t hit any strong turbulence on the way. MBR

www.maltabusinessreview.net

29


Malta Business Review

DEntistry

Today’s denTisTry

Pros&Cons by Dr Jean Paul Demajo

Naturally, when one decides on anything, the advantages and disadvantages must be weighed out. Once looked into this, the correct choice becomes obvious. Looking back at the case presented in the previous article, here are the conclusions drawn enabling the patient to feel confident on the their choice of treatment This is part 2 of an article from the previous Malta Business Review, Issue 7

A CAse sCenArio Patient Complaints ► ► ► ►

Crowding of teeth Mobile teeth Tooth colour Lack of Confidence

Crowding And tooth mobility Tooth crowding is corrected by creating space. This is done by either extracting one or more teeth or by using a fixed brace to move teeth. The brace would widen the arch and then once having created space, align the teeth in the correct format. This young lady with severe crowding in the lower jaw did not wish to undergo lengthy orthodontic treatment. On top of that due to this crowding, combined with severe tooth mobility, extractions of these teeth seemed to be the only solution. The replacement could have either been done with a conventional removable denture or with dental implants mounted with and fixed bridge. The patient opted for the fixed option of an implant-retained aligned bridge correcting not only the crowding and misalignment of the lower teeth but also eliminating these teeth with very poor prognosis. Colour The colour of teeth is a result of intrinsic factors such as our genes and extrinsic factors such as our dietary/social habits and/or medication taken. The resultant colour may be even or multilayered (as shown in Figure 1), the latter mostly due to antibiotic therapy or particular illnesses during our early years of life. Either way if 30

conventional bleaching methods; laser and home bleaching kits are employed the different coloured sections of the teeth will also bleach differently and hence the differences in colour will show up even more. In cases like these the only way to achieve a uniform colour is to place veneers. These may be done with composite resin or porcelain. The result is a permanent colour, which will not change when exposed to any extrinsic factors like wine, tea or coffee. In fact, unlike resin veneers, porcelain veneers are considered to be the only permanent treatment for tooth whitening. This patient opted for porcelain veneers in the top jaw as she not only wished to modify the colour of her teeth but also to straighten them. (Figure 2)

Extra oral view before treatment

ConfidenCe Once completed the results speak for themselves and the confidence is at all time high. The patient had undergone 10extractions, the placement of 4implants with simultaneous bone grafting as well as 10 porcelain veneers. The veneer treatment was very quick, completed in a few days whilst the implant treatment was a lengthy and costly procedure lasting 4months. The patient also had to put up with an uncomfortable removable denture during the implant and bone healing period. But the end result covered all the initial complaints and resulted in an excellent outcome with very good longterm prognosis. This nature of treatment also carries a guarantee which gives the added piece of mind for years to follow. Ask your dentist! MBR

Extra oral view after treatment EDITOR’S NOTE

Dr Jean Paul Demajo is a Dental and Implant Surgeon who trained in London and is now working in private practice in Malta.



Malta Business Review

CRM

How many sales are you losing out on? by George Carol

Quoting an excellent article by Kevin-James Fenech1, the most important step is that of identifying the problem. If you do not measure the sales positioning performance of your organisation adequately, then you could be wrong at what your organisation’s problems are

To measure is To know Clients are becoming more demanding and savvy. Before taking a decision, they are carrying out more research and evaluating more options. They expect personalized information and expert advice. They do not care how good your product is - they only care if it addresses their needs. This puts your organisation under tremendous pressure to address these new buying behaviors and preferences. MBR: Obtaining a lead is expensive. Your marketing people have brought it in, the sales people nurtured it, and yet you lost the sale. What went wrong? Is it the product? Is it your sales team’s approach? How should you go about it? CS: CRM software with an inbuilt sales process flow helps you measure all the stages of the sales cycle, how you compare with competitors and your sales conversion rate. It is critical for a sales representative to deliver amazing customer experiences in order to win faster. A guided business process built into CRM enables your sales reps to easily identify what they need to do next. A CRM solution will help them collaborate with people, find and access the information they need to ultimately sell more.

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

MBR: Does this really affect the bottom line? CS: With the adoption of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Grant Thornton has increased wins by 39%, deal size by 36%, and number of opportunities by 450% worldwide.2 Implisit analysed the sales funnel of hundreds of B2B organisations and came up with some interesting metrics. It takes an average of 84 days to convert 13% of leads into opportunities. It then takes another 18 days to convert an opportunity to a deal but this only 6% successful.3 MBR: It is time that CEOs analyse how their organisation compares to these stats? CS: Measure. Turn data into actionable insights. Identify the Problem. Implement changes. Test. Repeat. MBR REFERENCES Kevin-James Fenech 2015, What’s your problem?, from MaltaToday.com: http://www. maltatoday.com.mt/comment/blogs/50033/ whats_your_problem#.VPl60fnF-AU

Clive Scerri is a CRM Consultant at Kaya Consulting Malta Limited

1

Grant Thornton Customer Story: from Microsoft. com: https://customers.microsoft.com/Pages/ CustomerStory.aspx?recid=7149

2

3 Implisit 2014, B2B Sales Benchmarks, from Implisit.com: https://www.implisit.com/blog/b2bsales-benchmarks/#

Kaya Consulting is an international Microsoft partner, specialised in Dynamics AX and CRM, with offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey and Malta. For further information visit our website www.kaya-consulting.com


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Malta Business Review

STAR AWARDS

MTA CEO, Mr Paul Bugeja, MTA Chairman, Dr Gavin Gulia and the Minister for Tourism, Dr Edward Zammit Lewis together with the Hotel Worker of the Year 2014, Mariola Matyszkiewicz

AwArding excellence through the MAltA tourisM Authority stAr AwArds At the recent Special Thanks and Recognition (STAR) Awards Ceremony, employees working in the tourism industry were recognised by the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) for their excellent service and hospitality during 2014. The categories cover all persons working directly or indirectly in the tourism sector including dive instructors, tourist guides, people working in food and beverage service, people working in the transport sector and others. During the ceremony the Hotel Worker of the Year was awarded to a very deserving person working in tourism In his address, Minister for Tourism, Hon Edward Zammit Lewis, emphasized the importance of providing an excellent service to tourists whilst visiting our islands. Furthermore he pointed that success in tourism does not depend only on what competitors are doing in attracting tourists or how the economy is performing, but essentially success depends also on the level of service being offered to tourists. Mr. Paul Bugeja, MTA’s CEO, pointed out that the STAR Awards have been organised for the past ten years and during 2014 the Authority received over 7000 nominations for different people working in various frontline jobs that contribute to the tourism sector. The Authority sees each nomination as a certificate of excellence in the service being offered to tourists apart from being a personal satisfaction for each finalist being recognised during the ceremony. Twenty six finalists were invited to the award ceremony and of these ten persons were declared winners in their respective STAR service categories consisting of: 34

Charlie Bonanno, Boatmen, Charlie’s Discovery Speed Boat Trips; Jose Carrillo, Diving Instructor, Paradise Diving Centre; Paul Vella, Coach Driver, Silverstar Garage; Michael Pace, Taxi Driver; Victor Aquilina, Chef Patron, Ta’ Victor Restaurant; John Bamber, Front Office Receptionist, Alexandra Hotel; Alfred Bray, Catering Manager, San Pawl Hotel; Miriam Mercieca, Tourist Guide;

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Louis Cristiano, Host, St. Catherine of Italy Church; and John Paul Galea, Ticket Seller, Captain Morgan Cruises.

These persons were nominated by tourists and the selection of winners was based on the highest amount of valid nominations in each of their respective categories. During the ceremony Mariola Matyszkiewicz, Training and Operational Innovation Manager at the Westin Dragonara Resort, was named as the Hotel Worker of the Year for 2014. The STAR awards are overseen by a monitoring committee which is made up of representatives from the MHRA, FATTA, ITS and MAHE together with the MTA. The Committee is responsible for monitoring the STAR service scheme as well as selecting the hotel worker of the year.

The Authority sees each nomination as a certificate of excellence in the service being offered to tourists The STAR Awards provide an excellent opportunity for persons working in the tourism industry to be recognised for their hard work and dedication in providing an excellent service to tourists. Therefore we encourage more companies and employees to participate in this scheme with the aim of awarding more people working in this dynamic industry. MBR For more information on the scheme you may contact the Quality and Industry HR Development Unit on starscheme@visitmalta.com or 22915122 or visit www.mta.com. mt/star-awards



The InTernaTIonalIzaTIon of MalTese sMes

Part 2 – Barriers and Challenges for sMe internationalization by Ing. David J. Dingli

This is ParT 2 in a series of articles covering the various aspects of SME internationalization.This article deals with the “Barriers and challenges for SME Internationalization”. Here I will address the stubmling blocks that even the best intentioned companies who are wholly motivated for internationalization must muster enough courage to overcome. ParT 1 focused on the “Motivation for Growth”. If this driving force is not even present within the firm then there is no point even discussing internationalization options. The article explained the challenges of growth and its inherrent drivers. ParT 3 will deal with the “Pre-Internationalization phase”. Companies must be ready to embrace internationalization and require a set of parameters and characteristics to be present in their organisation

36

in order to reduce the risks that are associated with international growth. ParT 4 is all about “Exporting as a means of Internationalization”. although exporting is not the only means to internationalize it is by far the most common and still the most sought after method, hence it was felt that a section should be wholly dedicated to this approach. ParT 5 looks at the “International Entrepreneur and Born Global Companies”. We are coming across more and more high technology innovative entrepreneurial firms that are set up with the initial intention of going global. They might not even have a domestic market. These firm bypass all traditional stages of the internationalization process. Malta needs as many of these kinds of firms as possible.


SMEs

its own internal capabilities or ambitions: A firm generates an interest to exploit a unique idea based on its core competences; as well as spotting opportunities that a particular foreign market offers. The motivated managerial team will have this internal desire, drive, enthusiasm and commitment to the market. Reactive factors to internationalization mainly stem from competition. SMES find it hard to grow in their domestic markets and find their market share being squeezed.

one individual- the entrepreneur and often turn to government resources to assist them in their marketing efforts. Not having worked overseas or done business with overseas clients before, the entrepreneur could be very limited in international expertise therefore lacking international contacts. Without a clear and focused strategy their initial efforts will fall into the category of trial and error.

A firm generates an interest to exploit a unique idea based on its core competences

It’s uPhIll to InternatIonalIzatIon However, despite having the knowledge that SMEs engaging in internationalization more often leads to success and better performance, many SMEs find this process very daunting and looking more like a minefield rather than a bed of tulips. Focusing on the most common barriers that SMEs face in their endeavour to enter foreign markets serves as an eye opener for those not yet engaged in the process but are seriously considering going down this road.

IntroductIon There is no doubt in anyone’s mind on the importance of SMEs in any economy as they serve as a major source of GDP growth and create jobs. The EU has long placed a strategic focus on developing SMEs across the Union. It is encouraging to note that SMEs are increasingly competing internationally and, this internationalization process is being encouraged by national governments not only in the EU but throughout the world. Internationalization process can take many forms: exporting, international collaboration, franchising, networking, licensing, and foreign direct investment.

ProactIve & reactIve motIvatIon drIvers Proactive factors indicate that the choice a firm has to internationalize is influenced by

It is important to distinguish between external and internal barriers. External barriers are linked with industry, market and various macro characteristics that may be present in the local or international market. Internal barriers on the other hand are mainly directed towards resources and strategy, most importantly market strategy. The internal barriers are in a way within the control of the SME, despite constraints it might face but at least if the firm embarks on a strategic plan to overcome such barriers it has a chance to succeed. Research has shown that SMEs that have not yet internationalized perceive the internal barriers to be more influential and a major reason as to why they have not yet internationalized, hence this means the firm lacks confidence in its own capabilities. However for SMEs already engaged in internationalization, they perceive the external barriers as more significant. Having overcome the internal barriers and built their competences, they now only have those factors that are out of their control to deal with. SME’s first choice, in terms of internationalization efforts is very important. The right (or wrong) market profoundly influences a firm’s strategic moves. InTERnal BaRRIERS SME’s generally have limited internal resources, mainly citing financial, for acquiring international marketing knowledge and expertise. They tend to drive their internationalization efforts by

Malta Business Review

The most common internal barriers that SME state that impede their capability to internationalize are: •

shortage of working capital to finance exports / overseas growth Limitations in finance and related physical resources have continued to be highlighted as a leading barrier to the internationalisation of SMEs.

Identifying foreign opportunities

business

Entrepreneurs might lack the capability to spot opportunities, lacking foresight, having a conservative approach to risk. •

Limited information analyse markets

to

locate/

Information gaps remain a critical challenge to SMEs even in the current era of extensive information availability. •

Inability to contact overseas customers

potential

Marketing strategies are lacking; cannot segment market or position product / service accurately, no market research conducted. •

The high costs of promotion in foreign markets Indeed, this could be a major financial outlay. Doubts and limited finance make entrepreneurs cut down on their budgets, hence limiting their capability of success

Obtaining reliable representation

foreign

not having enough contact, not selecting partners strategically, reluctant to approach potential partners, not planning how to present www.maltabusinessreview.net

37


the company and its products / service and sometimes being too greedy – not wanting partners to make money too. •

Lack of managerial time to deal with internationalization Managerial risk perceptions and lack of knowledge about international markets are major reasons for not engaging in international trade. Owner too focused on local operation

Inadequate quantity of and/ or untrained personnel for internationalization Owner not willing to employ or pay the best – lack of training of personnel. Organisation structure does not change to be ready for international business.

Difficulty in matching competitors’ prices lack of scale economies might leave a local firm uncompetitive. However, this could also be a function of poor design, expensive suppliers, and poor manufacturing processes. This is also linked to the next item.

Language Yes, we say we can speak English however knowledge of your customer’s language will always be an asset.

ExTERNAL BARRIERS SMEs seeking to internationalize will need to learn a lot about the external factors impacting their organizations. Despite careful planning, it would be wrong to assume that the shock waves resulting from environmental uncertainty may always be reduced. Whatever efforts companies make in terms of their planning capability they will always face exogenous barriers that arise as a result of uncertainty in the international market place or other role players such as governments and competitors. However it would be inappropriate to approach the internationalization process without formulating a strategy; a plan of action that is formulated and carried out to achieve a particular goal. Formulating a strategy also involves deciding when, how and which markets to enter and with which products or services. Market knowledge is a key element to come up with a good strategy and method for internationalization. By knowing the local and international market, and by exploiting the competitive advantage the firm has over other companies in a specific, soon to be, host country, the managerial team 38

SME and business executives networking during Malta’s Premier Marketing & B2B Networking Convention

would be able to act proactively and start planning a strategy to internationalize. The environment also provides the management team with tools to plan their strategy.

Research has shown that SMEs that have not yet internationalized perceive the internal barriers to be more influential Decisions on customisation to adapt to different cultures and tastes must also be part of this formulated strategy. While planning to internationalize, the firm should decide the pace and timing of the process as well as the entry mode to use. There are several market entry modes a firm can choose from; such as export, joint venture, network, wholly owned subsidiary or purely internet based e-commerce. There are also some other important factors to consider such as: business network, previous experience and skills of the management team, role of the owner manager, financial resources, government agencies, age and

size of the firm, entrepreneurial abilities and services etc. The internationalization process involves risk and uncertainty and these factors significantly impact upon firm strategy. In order to internationalize successfully, SMEs have to lower the risks and uncertainty they face; one of the ways that they can do so is by choosing the right strategy and methods. In order to go international, the management team has to plan for the process to happen. Learning becomes an essential quality in international expansion so having a good understanding of the overseas market environment is crucial. The best way to learn is to visit and integrate with the locals; to share and experience their culture. SME owners need to spend a lot of time overseas in the market they intend expanding to. They must learn with their feet on the ground. This, however, also creates a barrier to internationalization as unfortunately, very few SME owners are willing to let go of the local operation in order to focus on business development in the new market.

FIRM SPECIFIC BARRIERS There are other barriers that tend to fall in between what could be clearly an internal or external issue and are labelled


SMEs

of documentation required, the high cost to finance export activities and trade and tariffs fall under this classification. Another set of barriers consists of external-foreign problems, which are uncontrollable problems and found in international markets. These barriers include foreign government restrictions and rules, language and cultural differences, the industry structures and the intensity and rivalry of foreign competition. Barriers to internationalization could be grouped into four main categories namely; •

Strategic

Malta Business Review

conclusIon awareness of the barriers should result as part of the strategic analysis process. The undertaking of a SWOT analysis, PEST analysis, Industry structure analysis, Portfolio analysis and Industry attractiveness as well as country risk analysis, all part of an SMEs strategic toolbox should position an SME with ambitions to internationalize in a position that it is ready to battle the challenges ahead. Barriers may be overcome, however an SME must be well armed to defend itself against all the above mentioned barriers as it moves ahead along its growth path. MBr

Caused by limited resources •

Operational

Logistical & informational

reFerences

The above two are caused by inaccuracies regarding pricing, promotion, distribution and product. The lack of reliable information or knowledge about the foreign market create informational obstacles •

Process-based. These are caused by the inability to maintain interactions with key stakeholders in export activities and distribution channels

as internal-foreign problems. These tend to be problems within the firm but experienced in the foreign country. These could be high transportation costs and logistical difficulties as well as international payment problems together with limited knowledge of the foreign market. These issues could be specific to a firm due to the country it choses for its internationalization strategy but cannot be generalized as problems for all SMEs in their home country.

There seems to be an element of misunderstanding or lack of knowledge of what is really available in one’s home country Each SME will face some very unique and let us say customized barriers due to the uniqueness of their products / services and overseas market choices. as exports tend to be a major source of internationalization, barriers in this regard could arise from the external environment but experienced within the home country. Issues like the complexity

another commonly cited problem focuses around the lack of government assistance/incentives. There seems to be an element of misunderstanding or lack of knowledge of what is really available in one’s home country and these complaints are not specific to Malta. A recent Study on Support Services for SMEs in International Business (ECSIP Consortium 2013) shows that the complete range of services for international activities is covered by the EU member states, including exporting, importing, technical cooperation, setting up a subcontractor, and foreign direct investment. Most services tend to have multiple characteristics, mainly nonfinancial support services but the number of participants is highest for financial services.

Toulova, M; Votoupalova, M; Kubickova, L.; Barriers of SMEs internationalization and strategy for success in foreign markets; January 2015, International Journal of Management Cases;2015, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p4 Peng Cui, A.; Walsh M.F.; Gallion D.; Internationalization challenges for SMEs and global marketing managers: International Journal of Business and Social Research (IJBSR), Vol.1, No.1, December 2011 Study on Support Services for SMEs in International Business Final Report Client: DG Enterprise and Industry; Rotterdam, March 22, 2013 Tan, Alvin, Brewer, Paul, & Liesch, Peter (2010) Measuring export readiness using a multiple-item index. In: 2010 European International Business Academy (EIBA) conference, 9 - 11 December, 2010, Porto, Portugal. Report by the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship, OECD. “Top Barriers and Drivers to SME Internationalisation”, OECD (2009), Calderón García H., Cervera Taulet A, Tubillejas Andrés B.; “Marketing strategy in internationalisation processes”: an approach to the role of perceived problems Strategic Marketing, International Marketing; internationalisation problems; export public Programmes Internationalization Process of SMEs: Strategies and Methods. Masum M.I.,Fernandez A., Master Thesis EFO705 Mälardalen University School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology Västerås Sweden June 2008

EDITOR’S NOTE David J. Dingli is the managing consultant of Resource Productivity Consulting Services, a management consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, Internationalization of SMEs, operational efficiency improvements and management development & training. (www.rpcsmalta.com). He is also an Assistant Professor with Maastricht University, MsM School of Management, The Netherlands and has lectured at MBA level in 29 countries throughout Asia, Africa, South America and Europe. He may be contacted at: djdingli@ go.net.mt; or Tel: 99430196

www.maltabusinessreview.net

39


Malta Business Review

tax

What is the future of tax rulings in a tax transparent World? by Walter Cutajar

‘Lux leaks’ has placed the issue of corporate tax avoidance and evasion once again on the EU political agenda. In November 2014, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) unveiled a number of tax deals which several multinational companies had negotiated with the Luxembourg tax authorities. Lux leaks is not the first and it is unlikely that it will be the last tax-avoidance scandal. It follows the public outrage provoked a few years earlier in the UK over reports that Starbucks had reduced its tax bill by paying royalties to its regional headquarters in the Netherlands which has a regime with very low tax rates on royalties. Several other tax scandals have emerged involving a number of multinational companies such as Google, Amazon, McDonalds and financial institutions such as HSBC. 40

In the light of these tax scandals, negative public sentiment against multinationals not paying what is considered to be a fair share of corporate income tax as well as struggling economies to balance their budget, one of the continuing priorities of the European Commission is to fight tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning, and tackling base erosion and profit shifting. Tackling tax avoidance and increasing administrative cooperation (including exchange of information) between tax authorities form an integral part to this EU agenda.

One of the continuing priorities of the European Commission is to fight tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning Unlike tax evasion and tax fraud, which are illegal, tax optimisation and tax planning normally fall within the limits of law. Such tax optimisation includes what is often referred to as aggressive tax planning and several countries are introducing legislation to require taxpayers to disclose aggressive tax planning arrangements. Indeed Action 12 of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) specifically targets this objective. In general, tax optimisation and aggressive tax planning consist of tax arbitrage and thus taking advantage of the technicalities of a tax system or of mismatches between two or more tax systems for the purpose of reducing or avoiding tax. Its consequences often include double deductions or double non-taxation. Tax authorities and governments of several countries are struggling to prevent the erosion of their tax bases from such aggressive tax


tax

Malta Business Review

Tax rulings concerning and involving the tax affairs of natural persons are excluded. In case of a tax ruling concerning both a company and a natural person, only those parts of tax rulings concerning and involving the tax affairs of natural persons are excluded.

Member States should exchange all valid and future rulings, with a limitation to tax rulings issued as of 1 January 2005.

The exchange should take the form of a mandatory automatic exchange on a quarterly basis directly to the other 27 Member States and the Commission.

The information exchange would be a direct exchange, where the issuing Member State informs other Member States and the Commission directly on every tax ruling issued.

The mandatory and automatic exchange of information on a quarterly basis will surely increase the workload for the tax authorities and may turn away or dissuade some ‘international business’ from a number of jurisdictions

Walter Cutajar, Managing Director of Avanzia Taxand Ltd

planning. Indeed this is not just on the EU’s agenda but also of the OECD. In March 2015, delegates from over 90 jurisdictions have gathered at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris in two meetings devoted to discussing solutions to base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). During the same month, more than 240 tax officials discussed solutions to end base erosion and profit shifting at the Global Forum on Transfer Pricing. Progress is being achieved on many fronts and a number of so called Action Plans will soon start finding their ways into national tax legislation. One of the major differences between the EU and the OECD is that whilst the latter does not have the power or authority to enact legislation, the EU has the power to enact laws through Council Directives. In order to combat these ‘concerns’ including BEPS, aggressive tax planning and tax fraud, the EU and international organisations such as the OECD are actively pushing / promoting tax transparency and exchange of information including automatic exchange of information. A concrete example is the Proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 2011/16/EU as regards exchange of information in the field of taxation. The proposal makes it very clear that there is the need for enhanced transparency on tax rulings. The proposal to enhance transparency on tax rulings lists the following features: •

The exchange of information would cover tax rulings concerning all taxes excluding VAT, customs and excise duties, and compulsory social security contributions.

The discretionary element to decide for or against a “push” of information on tax rulings is taken away from the issuing Member State, by making it obligatory to exchange information with all other Member States and the Commission.

Only advance cross-border rulings should be covered, including unilateral, bi- and multilateral tax rulings.

The above measures are quite wide ranging and will have an impact on most of the EU Member States. Very few Member States have no practice of issuing tax rulings which are binding. These include Croatia, Slovak Republic and Luxembourg. The latter has no formal ruling procedure but the tax authorities issue tax confirmations which are applicable to practical cases. Malta has a system of Advance Revenue Rulings (ARR) and these are binding five years from the time of such ruling and for two years from the time of any relevant change in statutory provisions subsequent to such ruling. Therefore the proposal by the EU Commission will have an impact on most of the 28 Member States. The mandatory and automatic exchange of information on a quarterly basis will surely increase the workload for the tax authorities and may turn away or dissuade some ‘international business’ from a number of jurisdictions. Indeed, these measures may have a more wide ranging impact as the EU concludes exchange of information agreements with other countries such as Switzerland. There are several other measures or ideas whose objective is to increase the tax transparency – one such idea already being put forward is a register / database of the true beneficial owners of companies and this could also affect trusts. Real tax transparency is likely to become the rule of the game. MBR CORPORATE BRIEF Avanzia Taxand is a member firm of Taxand, the global network of leading tax advisors. Avanzia Taxand is dedicated to delivering top quality, tailored and practical strategic tax advice and a range of corporate services to drive the performance of multinational businesses. Our partners lead every engagement from start to finish, and achieve excellence and efficiencies for our clients, globally. Avanzia Taxand is the leading tax firm in Malta and was named ‘Malta Tax Firm of the Year’ by the International Tax Review in 2009 and 2013, whilst in 2011, 2014 and 2015 it was named ‘Malta Tax Firm of the Year’ by Corporate International.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

41


Malta Business Review

HigHer education

COURSES STARTING SOON

The eie Institute of Education is now 15 years old. The eie acronym stands for – Excellence in Education. Excellence is confirmed by the student and graduate testimonials that eie regularly receives from satisfied customers. eie has grown into an established organisation both in Malta and internationally. Apart from locals, the institute hosts foreigners who choose Malta and eie as a place to further their education. One can opt to follow part-time, distance learning or lecture based programmes, which are carefully designed to be both enticing and versatile – what our working students

require while studying and coping with their busy lives. Our education will help students reach their goals as a highly qualified professional individual to play important roles globally both in commerce and industry. All academic programmes are approved by the NCFHE, as per local regulations governing tertiary educational programmes. EIE Institute of Education is licensed by the Ministry of Education as an Institute of Further and Higher Education - (License Number: 2005TC-001) MBR

AcAdemic courses stArting soon: Advanced Diploma (MQF Level 6), Diploma (MQF Level 5), Certificate (MQF Level 4) in Business Studies

Business Management & Administration- 16 sessions of 3 hours each

Advanced Diploma (MQF Level 6), Diploma (MQF Level 5), Certificate (MQF Level 4) in Accounting & Finance (Covered by Get Qualified Scheme)

Organisational Behaviour- 16 sessions of 3 hours each

Advanced Diploma (MQF Level 6), Diploma (MQF Level 5), Certificate (MQF Level 4) in Marketing Management

Maritime Security & Safety Management- 12 sessions of 3 hours each

Advanced Diploma (MQF Level 6), Diploma (MQF Level 5), Certificate (MQF Level 4) in Professional Computing & Information Systems (Covered by Get Qualified Scheme)

Financial Decision Making- 16 sessions of 3 hours each

Advanced Diploma (MQF Level 6), Diploma (MQF Level 5), Certificate (MQF Level 4) in Tourism & Business Studies (Covered by Get Qualified Scheme)

Journalism- 8 sessions of 3 hours each

Advanced Diploma (MQF Level 6), Diploma (MQF Level 5), in Human Resources Development Advanced Diploma (MQF Level 6), Diploma (MQF Level 5), in Maritime Management (Covered by Get Qualified Scheme) Diploma (MQF Level 5), Certificate (MQF Level 4) in Journalism

42

trAining modules stArting soon: Cost Accounting- 16 sessions of 3 hours each Strategic Management- 16 sessions of 3 hours each International Trade & Transport- 12 sessions of 3 hours each Buyer Behaviour & Consumerism- 6 sessions of 3 hours each Structure of Tourism & Travel- 16 sessions of 3 hours each Programming- 16 sessions of 3 hours each

A certificate of attendance will be presented to those students who attend at least 90% of the lectures. To guarantee individual attention, classes are limited to small numbers, so early booking is recommended. We invite you to call eie on 21332804 or 21332805 or email us on info@eie-group.com for any assistance.



Malta Business Review

MOTORING

HOP! & DS 3: when the air and the ground unite to celebrate the French regions

The French HOP! Airline and the DS Brand have teamed up to personalise one of HOP!’s aircraft in the colours of France’s regions. An event that follows the nationwide launch of the “Regions” editions of the DS 3 two months ago

No matter where you’re goiNg, feel proud of where you come from with hop! aNd dS3 Together, HOP! and DS 3 have decked out an aircraft in the colours of France’s regions. The result is a CRJ 1000 aircraft operated by HOP! that has been customised with the emblems of the French regions. A video depicting the personalisation of the fuselage is available on the HOP! and DS web sites. The aircraft carrying the DS 3’s colours is ready for take-off! HOP!’s passengers can already travel on board this plane. The communications video was produced by the Les Gaulois agency, which was behind the teaming up of the two brands. http://www.citroen.fr/vehicules-neufs/ds/ds-3-regions.html

NumerouS joiNt commuNicatioNS actioNS to follow! Starting in March, HOP!’s passengers will receive their local dailies free of charge from DS for 1 month in the HOP! application “Le Kiosque”. A broad communications campaign will be rolled out in the main regional airports (Orly, Lyon, Nantes, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Strasbourg) to promote the DS 3. In March, the headrests in Hop!’s aircraft will be decked out in the colours of France’s regions, matching those available in the DS 3 roof customisation operation. Hélène Abraham, Deputy Director General of Sales at HOP!, declared: “This original and close-fitting combination of two means of transport highlights our shared paradigm of expression: our regions. More than ever before, two French companies, HOP! and DS, are expressing their national pride through this exceptional partnership!”

Arnaud Ribault, DS’s Worldwide Director of Sales and Marketing explained: “DS, our range-topping automotive brand, born in France, is proud of this partnership, which is in keeping with our innovative approach to communications. And this partnership also reflects well on our products, because our DS cars are technological objects that have always drawn inspiration from the aerospace industry.” hop! iN a few figureS • An intensive schedule, with 510 daily flights and 129 destinations • A modern fleet of 93 aircraft with between 48 and 100 seats MBR www.driveDS.com www.facebook.com/citroenmalta www.citroen.com.mt


social

Malta Business Review

The new Banking on Women committee members during the Annual General Meeting

BoW is planning an engaging and packed calendar of events in 2015

H S B C M a lta’S Ba n k i n g o n Wo M e n ag M 2015 Banking on Women (BoW) will be organising a range of social activities this year, including cooking lessons, parenting skills sessions, and a variety of expert talks, geared towards de-stressing and promoting greater work-life balance among its members

The organised activities will be in addition to the usual mix of philanthropic, developmental and cultural activities hosted by BoW all year round. This was announced by the new BoW President Natalie Meilak during this year’s Annual General Meeting, which saw a record attendance of 135 women. BoW is a voluntary female association within HSBC Bank Malta which aims to actively support women in realising their career ambitions within the bank as well as other life goals. Moving away from tradition, BoW will open up to male participation in a number of its events and activities. Natalie Meilak said: “We have continued to evolve organically for more than a decade, and are now encouraging both females and males to join our activities. Members will be offered free talks and events, and courses at substantial discounts. Family and friends can also participate in certain activities.”

Notable events in 2014 were an artistic session, ‘Theatrum Melitense II’, by Brian Grima, a yoga session, high tea at Palazzo Parisio, a session on stress relief by Kathleen Vella, and an end of summer networking event at Haywharf Valletta, among other. The 2015 calendar is packed with a slew of engaging activities, including a cooking lesson for males at ITS, a talk by Italian designer at Idea Casa, another talk on fashion by a MEXX stylist, and pilates sessions. The new 2015 BoW committee members are: President Natalie Meilak, Membership Secretary Alexandra Pace, Secretary Charmaine Attard, Treasurer Laverne Calleja Pace, Public Relations Officer Samantha Hollyoak, Events Coordinator Loredana Mallia, and member Elizabeth Vella. During the event the BoW committee particularly thanked its supporters: HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c., Hilton Malta, and Krea. MBR

Car Hire

Car Leasing

www.meligroup.com Limousines

One Stop Shop Car Repair Centre

Meli Car Rentals Ltd. 90, Fremond Street Qormi, QRM 2379 T: 79 03 10 10 E: contactus@meligroup.com


Malta Business Review

Talking PoinT

Mikiel Anton Vassalli, lauded as the ‘father’ of the Maltese language

A View From The Mountains: What Unites Us by Werner E Jung

In this article, our resident essayist queries how can a language which shares features of two completely different language groups being categorised? “The Education Ministry will publish an action plan for the teaching of the English language in school by the end of the year”, Labour MP Etienne Grech was quoted on one of the headlines of a local newspaper I was reading when I arrived in Malta on a recent trip. I am certainly glad about that, as I have always wondered why the endorsed language in Malta is English. Should the “other official” language besides Maltese not be called “Acronymish” instead? Take a look at the newspapers and you will find that all the key words are acronyms. Even if you think you grew up with proper English in Oxford, you will only understand 50% of what is written. MEPA, EneMalta, MHRA, NAO etc are just a few on the front pages today. Maltese English must be one of the toughest versions of this language to understand. It is not unlike getting into a taxi at Boston Airport and discussing with the Pakistani driver where you really want to go. 46 52

You get the first dose of Maltese English when you get on the Air Malta flight in Munich. Usually there are about 70% German tourists and five Maltese passengers on that flight; the announcements by the crew are then first the lengthy version in Maltese, then a shorter version in “English”, which are just as easy to understand as the English announcements on a Turkish Airline flight. After that you get a short German announcement, which actually is understandable because it comes from a tape. Why is the Maltase version so long and explicit? Talking about Air Malta, the governing bodies must have found a new management principle, which goes way beyond Peter Drucker or Tom Peters. Apparently the best way to restructure the airline and get it back to profitability is to cut down on meals and only pass out soggy sandwiches and a bottle of water which tastes like tired feet. It was interesting to see that the only

ones who protested were the cabin crews and threatened to go on strike; who cares about the customers anyway? So, the new magic recipe to run a successful airline must be to offer service like Ryanair and charge prices like Lufthansa. This will certainly make for an interesting case study for future management courses.

So, the new magic recipe to run a successful airline must be to offer service like Ryanair and charge prices like Lufthansa However, let’s not deviate from our theme about language- we were confronted with a similar phenomenon in Germany recently. Mr. Scheuer, one of the political leaders in Bavaria stated that in order to promote


Talking PoinT

integration, families with a migration background should be “encouraged” to speak German at home. The problem was that he really meant that, while speaking in his Bavarian dialect. If you think you know German, just come to Munich! You will lose faith very fast. This is not unlike arriving in Malta; but we had this one already. The rest in Germany, especially the ones up north certainly welcomed the idea that Bavarians in the future would speak German at home…. Language is a special subject for everyone. Prince Philip upon a visit to the Boston Yacht Club said about the special relationship between the USA and the UK: “what unites us are the shores to the Atlantic ocean, what divides us is the language. In in Europe we have learned to accommodate many languages, even Bavarian and Maltese, so why and where is the problem? The International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen is the oldest and best-known prize awarded for work done in the service of European unification. The prize is named for Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great, King of the Franks who united most of Western Europe during the Middle Ages and laid the foundations for modern France and Germany, was revered by his contemporaries as the ‘Father of Europe’ (pater Europae). His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of cultural and intellectual activity within the Catholic Church. This year it will be awarded to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament. I strongly propose that the next laureate should be Wladimir Putin. He has been extremely successful to reanimate the image of the ugly Russian Bear who is openly threatening the European neighbours. One cannot help but wonder how a supposedly very intelligent person can forget the lessons and reprimands of recent history so fast. After all the poor economic conditions within the Soviet Empire caused its collapse at the end of the last century. Reagan forced them to spend all their resources on the military and neglect the welfare of the people. Maybe power and greed do really eat up the brain. Talking about greed; Mr. Muscat recently stated that Malta should emulate Singapore and achieve a similar strategic position. It was not quite clear in which respect this was meant. Singapore thrived as a strategic inflowing point for Europeans into Asia. Malta has long been perceived as a strategic incoming point into the Near East and North Africa; somehow that never really flourished. However, others seem to have discovered Malta as a strategic point to enter the EU, since Malta is conveniently

Malta Business Review

located on the shipping route from the Suez canal to Rotterdam. Had it not been for the exorbitant port charges in Malta, this option would probably have been widely used. The Chinese are more long-term strategists and very pragmatic, so they just buy the whole harbour and determine the fees themselves. Whereas China’s strategy appears to be quite straight forward, one cannot help but wonder about Malta’s intentions in this relationship. Somehow China seems to be very present when it comes to larger projects. Malta must be the only country outside of China using these clunky, rattling, uncomfortable Chinese buses for public transportation. (By the way, whatever did happen to those “Bendies”?) The EneMalta deal with China for the new powerplant is probably only understood by the “beneficiaries” – the Chinese are not exactly known for high-tech and environmental consciousness. And Chinese textile plants in Malta obviously seem to be on exterritorial grounds where Maltese labour, safety and risk laws do not apply. Apparently this seems to be in silent agreement with GUW. Honi soit qui mal y pense….. The Chinese could easily buy out Greece at this point, but Malta is cheaper and you get a European passport added on that!

text in Maltese, you can quite well read it with knowledge of Romanic languages. If you read phrases used in daily life and informal words, Romanic languages are useless and only knowledge of Arabic or other Semitic languages will help you.

The EneMalta deal with China for the new powerplant is probably only understood by the “beneficiaries” – the Chinese are not exactly known for high-tech and environmental consciousness

Werner E. Jung is active as a lecturer and consultant for international business and lean management. When he is not traveling he divides his time between Malta and the Bavarian Alps, Germany. He is a mechanical engineer from the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) and holds a Masters degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has worked as project manager and executive around the world for corporations like Sony, Daimler, Corning, Eli Lilly etc. and was the founder of several startup companies in the US and Germany. During the past 15 years Mr. Jung has worked as an international consultant and lecturer where he advised companies like Siemens, Hyster, Yale, Flextronics, Atlas Copco, Tyco, Emerson, Bosch, Ingersoll Rand, Timken and many SMEs throughout Europe and the Middle East. He is the author Flexible Factory methodology designed for SMEs and the founder of the Flexible Factory Institute.

It’s sometimes not difficult to categorize languages. Dutch and German for example, are quite similar, and it isn’t a problem to say that they both belong to the German language group. Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Icelandic too belong to the Germanic language group and in their features of grammar and lexicology. However, English is much more difficult. It is considered a Germanic language, although it has a lot of influences from Roman languages, because there are still a lot of Germanic features left and because the original Old English was a Germanic language. The Maltese language is a difficult language. It is quite weird, because this language was first considered as a Roman language, for example by Mussolini, but later it was considered as a Semitic language. The reason mostly is that the vocabulary contains a lot of words from an Italian, if you read a formal

The problem which I address in this topic is: how can you categorize a language which contains like 50% of two different language groups? Because I think it’s quite strange how the language family of Maltese has changed. Is this barely politically decided? Shall we ask Putin about it? MBR

The Editor-in-Chief, together with all the staff of MBR Publications wishes a speedy recovery to the author following his recent surgery. EDITOR’S NOTE

Term: A best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. In addition, a “best” practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. Best practice is considered by some as a business buzzword, used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use. Best practices are used to maintain quality as an alternative to mandatory legislated standards and can be based on selfassessment or benchmarking. Best practice is a feature of accredited management standards such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14001.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

47


Malta Business Review

insurance

Middlesea Group reGisters profit before tax for the year of €17.31 Million by Special Correspondent

Middlesea House Courtyard

The Board of Directors of Middlesea Insurance p.l.c. has announced that the total Group profit before tax for the year ending 31 December, 2014 amounted to €17.31 million (2013: €17.31 million) with after tax profits amounting to €12.37 million (2013: €10.95 million) The parent company, Middlesea Insurance p.l.c. (‘Company’), registered a satisfactory result on its operations with a 55% increase in the balance of the technical account for general business. The increase in new business during the year saw core business premium volumes increasing by 12.6% to an all-time record. The Company registered a profit before tax for FY 2014 amounting to €6.38 million, compared to a profit of €5.90 million in FY 2013. Profit after tax reduced from €5.21 million in FY 2013 to €4.28 million in FY 2014 the dividend received from MSV Life p.l.c. (‘MSV’), was mainly paid from taxed profits whilst in FY 2013 was entirely paid from untaxed profits. The Group’s results include the consolidated MSV profit before tax of €14.26 million (2013: €15.48 million) and after tax of €10.14 million (2013: €9.85 million). MSV, jointly owned by the Company and Bank of Valletta p.l.c., reported a turnover (including investment contracts without DPF) of €156.05 million compared to €111.32 million in 2013 as a result of 48

increases in demand across all products in particular the life protection business and single premium savings contracts. The resilience and upturn in equity and bond markets produced stronger returns than those registered in 2013 with net investment income increasing from €98.19 million in 2013 to €119.38 million in 2014.

The Company registered a profit before tax for FY 2014 amounting to €6.38 million, compared to a profit of €5.90 million in FY 2013 Total Group capital and reserves attributable to shareholders (excluding non-controlling interests) as at 31 December 2014 amounted to €80.13 million, compared to €73.10 million as at 31 December 2013. During the year the Company consolidated its strong balance sheet, increasing its

Shareholders’ equity to €61.71 million, still maintaining a strong regulatory solvency position as at 31 December 2014 of 486% on its general business, when compared to the minimum regulatory requirement of 150%. A gross dividend in respect of year ended 31 December 2014 of €0.05127 per share amounting to a total dividend of €4,716,890 (2013: €4,140,222) is to be proposed by the directors at the forthcoming annual general meeting. This is equivalent to a net dividend of €0.03826 per share amounting to a total net dividend of €3,520,000 (2013: €3,520,000) The Board expressed its satisfaction for the results obtained in 2014. The results and premium volumes achieved continue to place the Company and the Group at the helm of the local insurance market, backed by the strong image of Middlesea Insurance p.l.c. and the brand name of Mapfre. The Board looks forward with optimism to another challenging year for the Group. MBR


Online

List Anything, Rent Anything by Steve Cilia

Kiribiss.com is a useful Maltese website which caters specifically for Malta’s rentals market. It is an online directory, but has some major improvements which benefit both the service or item provider and the customer. It better assists rental customers in locating rentals from all over Malta, creating a nationwide rentals network for locals and international visitors online. Kiribiss facilitates contact between owner and client for finding and securing a variety of rental services and products from twelve categories, all from one platform. All Malta’s rentals finally together in one place

Malta Business Review

he major advantage compared to similar websites is that Kiribiss lists all the individual items (or inventory) from a supplier, with each item having a dedicated and SEO optimized page, keywords, images, video, description and more. This will assist the indexing by search engine bots to rank the item higher for a search. If someone is looking to “rent a smoke machine”, this is what they’ll type in the search bar because not everyone knows the name of the supplier. The item comes up, and then the client can contact the owner of the smoke machine directly. Kiribiss.com is designed to allow anyone to post their rental item or service. From someone’s spare T.V to a rental business’ full rental inventory. If you have a few items and no website, Kiribiss can become your online platform. If you own an established rental business, Kiribiss will help expand your reach with focused SEO for your individual products. There is no excuse not to list your item, as Kiribiss caters for all budgets, from free listings, to Gold packages, for multiple item listings at reduced rates. All major social media channels are utilised to further increase the exposure of the rentals online and increase referrals. With Kiribiss. com, anyone can really “Rent Anything in Malta”. MBR

ACHIEVING A PERFECT BUSINESS EVENT IS NO EASY FEAT. This is why we take pride in assisting you every step of the way and ensure that your business event does indeed become one to remember. Surrounded by breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, the Paradise Bay Resort Hotel’s unique position, make it the obvious choice as an ideal venue for your next business event. The hotel offers a number of halls, suites and outdoor venues, including halls with sea views and natural daylight, which can host various tailor made functions, conferences, business meetings or other related events. The property’s extensive grounds and outdoor venues also make it the perfect venue for larger events. Our conference rooms, equipped with all requirements, come in a variety of sizes and guarantee efficient working conditions. Our food and beverage team can also assist you in choosing the right catering requirements to compliment your event.

Contact our events department now on 21 521166 or events@paradise-bay.com

www.paradise-bay.com


Malta Business Review

Feature: SaFety & Security

To Notify or ‘To Forget’…..

by Joseph C. Camilleri

leven years on and it is still evident that ‘Clients’ as interpreted in OHSA legislation, fail to understand and/or fullfil their obligation to notify a construction project to the Authority. This, results from the significant difference in the number of commencement notices/notifications filed with the respective authorities. The appointment of the H&S Project Supervisor (PSDS / PSCS) is a legal obligation on the Client (owner of the property) whereby noncompliance may result in enduring financial penalties. Once found out, many say they were not aware, or were never mentioned to them during the project run-up. To many, the H&S Project Supervisor’s role is seen as the unnecessary evil, that just adds-up costs to the project, without benefits; a short-sighted opinion. The H&S Project Supervisor is a team player too. Clients still need to understand the benefits of engaging the H&S Project Supervisor and not a mere cost. The industry must start to value the people involved and take pride in project achievements. Although progress has been achieved, results are still not convincing. The Construction industry stepchange is still to improve; must turn concern into action. The sudden and traumatic nature of most workplace deaths makes them very difficult to deal with by those closest to the victim. Nothing can justify anyone’s suffering, just for going out to earn a living. Integrate more fully the aspect of health and safety into project planning, decreasing unnecessary expenses through accidents / non-compliance and reaping financial benefits at project closure. Risk-awareness build-up is key to underpin all kinds of other initiatives, not only in workers, but also others involved, including Clients, Contractors, Professionals and the General Public. Workers’ union representation is lacking, definitely would bring-in significant change in positive results. Government’s role as Client would also be key, in setting the tone for the industry’s approach improvement. Although Contractors may be aware of legal 50 52

responsibilities, these may not be fully capable in managing risks without professional advice. The H&S Project Supervisor’s role is also key to a successful completion of a construction project.

To many, the H&S Project Supervisor’s role is seen as the unnecessary evil The contributor believes that his design background, construction and project management experience have helped in achieving high level of health and safety, good work/management relationships on construction sites, whereby the projects undertaken eventually benefit from such a relationship, reducing unnecessary ‘stoppages’ due to near-misses, accidents, fatalities, unsafe systems-of-work, injury/ies leave, prosecution, litigation. This, through understanding and the cooperation between all stakeholders involved with the project, whilst risk assessing providing safe systems of work, training, effective monitoring and reporting, together with legislative obligations’ compliance. The combination of which, is translated into a safer place of work, thus less cost to the end project, hence savings for the Client. MBR Corporate Brief The author specialises in Construction Safety and has been involved in several large scale construction projects like the Ten-T Roads Project (6 major roads including Gozo); City Gate Project; National Aquarium Qawra; Fort St. Elmo Restoration; Bastions’ Restoration in Mdina, Birgu and Valletta; Pharmaceutical Projects; Madliena Ridge 22 villas; Mater Dei Hospital. The author has collaborated very closely with several architectural and project management practices, including Bovis Lend Lease UK.


Feature: HealtH & SaFety

Malta Business Review

Ac c I d e n t P r e v e n t I o n As well as the cost in terms of lost lives and suffering to workers and their families, accidents affect business and society as a whole. Fewer accidents means less sick leave, which results in lower costs and less disruption to the production process. It also saves employers the expense of recruiting and training new staff, and can cut the cost of early retirement and insurance pay-outs. Slips, trips and falls are the largest cause of accidents in all sectors from heavy manufacturing to office work. Other hazards include falling objects, thermal and chemical burns, fires and explosions, dangerous substances and stress. To prevent accidents occurring in the workplace, employers should establish a safety management system that incorporates risk assessment and monitoring procedures.

Accidents can kill and maim. They affect all sectors of the economy, but the problem is particularly acute in small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) Source: OHSA

What do I have to do? Advice for employers • Carryingtt out a risk assessment • Significant hazards and risks • Slips, trips and falls • Construction — an accident black spot • Accident prevention checklist • Consultation, information and training • Employing workers who may be at increased risk • European legislation How do I keep safe? Advice for employees • Hazards and risks employees face • European Legislation • Information and training • Read the key facts • Agency publications on accident prevention

MBR

Independent Health & Safety Consultants

DEMOLITION CONSTRUCTION ALTERATIONS TO YOUR PROPERTY?

• H&S Audits • Risk Assessments • Public Events Safety • Project Supervisor for Design/Construction Stages (PSDS/PSCS)

Professional support is a phone call away Mays Corporation Ltd

11 Maria De Dominicis Street, Santa Lucia SLC 1502, Malta. Tel: +356 21 803 729 Mob: +356 99 422 072 Email: safety@mayscorp.com

Clients must appoint a Health & Safety Project Supervisor before work commences 130 x 185mm Profile Safety ad.indd 1

3/26/2015 4:11:15 PM


Malta Business Review

Feature: SaFety & Security

Think of fire Before iT STarTS by David Farrugia During my fifteen years as a London Fire Officer, I gained a varied and extensive experience in all fire related issues being in charge of a frontline appliance. In my last two years, I was involved in fire safety related work. After the fire service, I attained an advanced fire safety certification, and I also have a level 4 qualification in fire risk assessment and auditing from the UK Fire Service College. This is currently the UK fire safety requirement and the highest accreditation. I have been carrying out risk assessments, giving advice and training in hotels and businesses for ten years. In Malta there is no legislation and enforcement authority at present. From experience, the responsible person in most establishments are unaware of the current fire safety requirements. A fire resulting in death or injury could result in liability where the requirements have not been met. Fines in the UK are reaching six figure sums for such liability. In 2006 The UK enacted the Regulatory Reform Act. This legislation combined all the old requirements such as ADB, British Standards and other legislations. This enactment also

gave certain powers to the fire services to enforce the fire safety order.

From experience, the responsible person in most establishments are unaware of the current fire safety requirements It is important to be proactive and not reactive. Do not wait for a fire to happen in your establishment or for enforcement to begin before you get your premises up to compliance. Risk assessments, staff training and evacuation plans need not cost the earth. As a microenterprise, we are able to keep our prices low but, my experience and qualifications guarantee customers deal with a competent person for professional advice. Reading the news, it is evident that the amount of fires being reported is on the increase. Arson is also on the increase. Don’t become a statistic. Act now and protect your premises from fire and yourself from liability. Call Firesafe, your partner for Fire and Safety. MBR


AVIATION

Malta Business Review

EmiratEs ready for timely launch of its app for Apple Watch

First airline in the Middle East and African region to offer an app for the Apple Watch Emirates, a global connector of people and places, announced the launch of its Apple Watch app. When the Apple Watch becomes available on 24 April, Emirates’ customers from around the globe will be able to enjoy the smart features and sleek interface of the Emirates app for Apple Watch, designed to complement the Emirates iPhone app. Emirates will be the first airline in the Middle East and African region to offer an Apple Watch app. “In today’s connected world, mobile technology plays an increasingly important role in the overall travel experience of our passengers. The Apple Watch platform allows us to connect with travellers on a more personal level by providing real time information throughout their journey,” commented Alex Knigge, Senior Vice President, Digital at Emirates. “Our team developed the Emirates app for Apple Watch with modern travellers in mind, making sure this wearable technology delivers key information, with a simple glance at their wrist.”

The Emirates app for Apple Watch is an extension of the Emirates iPhone app; it was designed as a companion for travellers, delivering dynamic and context-specific data such as live flight status updates. Customers with an Apple Watch and the Emirates app installed on their iPhone will benefit from the following key features: • Review list of upcoming trips • Access to real time flight information, including terminal, gate number, flight status, baggage collection details, etc. • Timely notifications in case of changes like gate number or baggage belt • Compatibility with Apple Passbook Supported languages at launch: • English • French • German Emirates currently operates daily scheduled flights between Malta and Dubai via Larnaka, Cyprus. MBR

www.maltabusinessreview.net

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Malta Business Review

HealtH Safety & Security

ExpErtisE in EvEry DisciplinE by Dr. Marisa Cassar Ph.D, B. Pharm (Hons), MBA (Henley) - Laboratory Manager & Forensic Scientist

MLS BioDNA Ltd was set up in 2005 and has been in operation for ten years. It is a company that offers a wide range of laboratory tests including Food and Water Testing and DNA Testing. It is an ISO17025 accredited biotechnology company and it first achieved accreditation in 2007 and has maintained it ever since. Accreditation is a certification of competence in the areas of expertise, and of the integrity of the laboratory, awarded by a duly recognised and respected accrediting organisation, in Malta the National Accreditation Body (NAB-Malta). This provides a mechanism to ensure a continual high quality of service to the client. Most of the laboratory testing services offered by MLS BioDNA are directed towards the promotion of a healthy environment in which we live and also a healthy lifestyle

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HealtH Safety & Security

Food is our source of energy. To date, very few people grow and use their own fresh produce. Most of us consume pre packed frozen, canned or processed food. We have to rely on the producers and manufacturers to provide safe, nutritious food that contains the least amount of preservatives and additives possible. MLS BioDNA Ltd works with manufacturers by offering microbiological and nutritional analysis so as to ensure that products that are placed on the market are of optimal quality, safe in terms of microbiological contamination and free from toxins, both those produced by microorganisms and also pesticides sprayed on fruit and vegetables and antibiotics that might be added to feed. The Nutritional Analysis information on the food package also gives the consumer the ability to make an informed decision when choosing which foods to consume for a healthy diet. The pharmaceutical industry in Malta has been growing very fast in recent years. The production of medicinal products has to be done in accordance with GMP regulations (Good Manufacturing Practice) to ensure that the drug products that are placed on the local market or foreign market are safe and in accordance with the stipulated guidelines. These regulations state inter alia that the pharmaceutical products have to be microbiologically safe, meaning that these products must have very low microbial levels. MLS BioDNA Ltd is GMP certified to offer such microbiology testing and it has been working with the pharmaceutical industry for the past eight years.

MLS BioDNA Ltd works with manufacturers by offering microbiological and nutritional analysis so as to ensure that products that are placed on the market are of optimal quality The incidence of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) has increased in recent years. Furthermore, our knowledge on the devastating effect of underdiagnosed and untreated STDs has highlighted the need to increase awareness and to develop fast and sensitive tests for the diagnosis of such diseases which at times are clinically asymptomatic. This means that a person does not even notice that he/she has acquired a particular infection. MLS BioDNA has developed precise and sensitive testing based on DNA analysis of the particular pathogens causing such diseases which include; Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhea (NG), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). As their name implies, these diseases are sexually transmitted. The use of prophylactic measures greatly reduces the incidence of transmission of such diseases. However, if unprotected sex does take place, it is always safer to test for the presence of these STDs even if there are no symptoms rather than suffer the long-term consequences such as infertility and cervical cancer, which can develop if such diseases are not treated or not monitored. Many times, one starts suffering from an illness and does not know how he/she got it. At times, one sleeps healthily and the next morning wakes up with a splitting headache, a sore throat and a running nose. These are all familiar symptoms of a common cold. Such incidents clearly indicate that the environment is full of microorganisms invisible to the naked eye. The air we

Malta Business Review

breathe and the water we drink can thus be a source of disease. Closed, stuffy, damp and mouldy places should be avoided as air-borne disease are more likely to be transmitted in such an environment. Environmental monitoring tests can be carried out to determine the microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) present in the environment. It is also of utmost importance that we know the quantity and type of organisms that are present in our well water, water heaters, swimming pools, and other water sources with which we come into contact every day.

It is always safer to test for the presence of these STDs even if there are no symptoms rather than suffer the long-term consequences Contaminated water could be a source of infection leading to gastro-intestinal diseases and other diseases. Legionella is one such organism that is naturally found in the air-water interface of surface water and in ground water. Once they enter a water supply, they can multiply in high numbers causing serious pulmonary disease. Because of the serious implications of Legionella in water systems, Legionella Testing is regulated by a law that states that such testing has to be carried out at least once every six months by an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory where both the hot and cold water systems have to be tested. Most Legionella species can withstand temperatures above 50°C and thus water heaters that are set at a temperature below 50°C can still support the growth of Legionella species. We also frequently have requests to check whether well water in residential properties is safe enough to use for drinking and/or washing. According to regulations, there are a number of tests that have to be carried out to determine the quality and safety of the water. Many times, knowledge about the presence and quantity of indicator organisms, obtained through laboratory testing, qualifies the water as being safe or not. Also it aids in determining the best methods which disinfect and treat water systems in order to make them safer. Most of us aim at being healthy. However, at times, our behavior or bad habits deviates us from our goal. At times, we cannot consider ourselves responsible for some of the diseases we suffer. Armed with more knowledge, we are in a better position to make better choices when it comes to food quality, we became more aware of our environment, we take more care of our sexual health and in this way live a healthier lifestyle. MBR EDITOR’S NOTE Marisa Cassar graduated in Pharmacy from the University of Malta in 2001 and trained in DNA forensics at The National Laboratory of Toxicology in Barcelona, Spain. She read for her PhD at the University of Malta studying the genetics of epilepsy with the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Dr. Marisa Cassar has over fourteen years of experience in molecular genetics, DNA profiling and sequencing.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

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Malta Business Review

Feature: HealtH & SaFety

Taking The Lead in heaLTh and SafeTy aT Work by Chris Hudson MA. BA(Hons).CFIOSH.AIEMA Director of Training and Consultancy at the Institute of Health and Safety

There can be little doubt that it is employers that have the greatest influence over workplace conditions, and over the culture that exists within their companies and organisations. That is why the law imposes most duties in health and safety on them, notwithstanding the fact that employees also have legal duties. Obviously most employers do not deliberately place their employees at risk, but competition, economic pressures and tight deadlines sometimes mean that health and safety takes a back seat. Unfortunately many employers do not understand the true costs and losses associated with the poor management of health and safety at work. Of course there are the obvious costs such as fines, compensation payments, legal fees and so on, but there are also potentially far greater losses involved. These include those arising from loss of reputation, loss of production, damage to plant and equipment, reductions in employee motivation, and deteriorating industrial relations, as well as losses associated with the poor planning, control, and inappropriate work methods that so often lead to health and safety incidents. Some people say that health and safety is ignored for cultural reasons, but what does this mean? Does it imply that there is something inherent in some societies that causes them to have a more laissez-faire attitude than one might find in others? Is it a fatalistic approach to life in general which prevents us from taking a more pro-active approach to risk? One sometimes hears such views expressed, but do they really explain why standards are often allowed to slip?

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Culture; the development of attitudes, norms, and patterns of behaviour within a group, is shaped by influences such as leadership, group cohesion, and the development of common aims and objectives. This is also true for the health and safety culture that exists in an organisation. The question is; can a culture be changed? Consider past national leaders who have changed the culture of a society, or people we have known much closer to our own individual lives; inspirational teachers, sports team leaders, and leaders of organisations and companies.

That there is something inherent in some societies that causes them to have a more laissez-faire attitude These people had the ability to influence the opinions we held, and sometimes the ways in which we behaved. Their leadership and example, created environments where we felt everyone was pulling in the same direction, and any actions by individuals that threatened the achievement of the group’s goals were frowned upon by the majority. If this kind of influence could be directed toward health and safety in the workplace, it would surely help reduce the occurrence of accidents and ill-health as well as the costs and inefficiencies that result from them. If, under the leadership of enlightened management, workers began to accept that doing things the right way is the only way; we would have workplaces that were virtually self-regulating, and very close to being accidentfree!. This is an aim that both employers and employees can share; something that could unite them and help them to work together more effectively;- surely something worth thinking about! MBR



Malta Business Review

MaritiMe

SpecialiSt Marine eMployMent ServiceS in Malta by Astrid Veld

WD Resources (Malta) Limited (WDRM), in association with established employment services provider CES Guernsey, has been launched to offer a wide range of services to both commercial and leisure maritime clients. Neil Carrington, Director of WDRM sits down with MBR Editor to explain how WDRM provides global employment solutions to companies in the marine, energy and other business sectors

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MaritiMe

MBR: What wide range of services to both commercial and leisure maritime clients, including developing the supply of trainee and qualified seafarers to the marine industry are you offering? NC: WDRM and associated businesses, including CES Guernsey and other professional services companies, are able to provide a wide range of services to the marine industry. These services include everything connected with the full employment cycle, for example, recruitment, employment in an appropriate jurisdiction, provision of employee benefits including pension and insurances for a multinational workforce, training for STCW and other courses, full crew management, travel, tax, social security and employment law advice etc. The global shipping industry is continually looking for competent seafarers and we believe that Malta has the ambition and ability to provide those seafarers, and we aim to help that happen. MBR: And what new services and amenities are you providing in STCW and other crew training, employment & payroll services, crew management, MLC 2006 compliance and other employment related services? NC: The emphasis for the services provided by WDRM will be on tailoring activities to the clients’ requirements, because every company is different. The core objective of our business is to ensure that ship owners are able to employ their crews effectively whilst complying fully with all appropriate legislation. Shipping is a global business and our aim is to be able to offer all the options for crew employment and, as a part of offering the full employment cycle referred to earlier, this includes ensuring that all crew are fully trained in respect of certificates of competency and short courses required by STCW and MLC 2006. We currently make payments to seafarers in 80 different jurisdictions in a variety of currencies and, to enable us to do this, we ensure that our payroll and payments software is the best available. Our systems enable us to provide each seafarer with their own personal electronic payslip.

The core objective of our business is to ensure that ship owners are able to employ their crews effectively whilst complying fully with all appropriate legislation MBR: Can you tell us about the global employment solutions you are offering to companies in the marine, energy and other business sectors? NC: Many of our clients operate in a variety of jurisdictions and traditionally this has meant creating separate employment vehicles for each situation. Our role is to look at those various scenarios and create a single employment company that is able to ensure employees, wherever they may be posted or resident, are employed through a single company that is able to fulfil the legal obligations attached to the employee. The aim is to ensure that the client processes are kept as simple as possible and that they only need to contract with one party to handle all the employment relationships rather than the client having to deal with multiple “employers”. This streamlines their own internal processes because information, cash etc. flows through the minimum number of channels and reporting is simplified. MBR: Can you elaborate on the specific employment solutions you provide within the EU for customers who require this service? NC: Tax and Social Security legislation is becoming ever more complex and there is a growing commitment by the majority of EU jurisdictions to ensure that their social security regulations are being fully complied with. Because the shipping industry has always been a global operation, a ship may be registered in one jurisdiction, operate

Malta Business Review

in another, the crew may be resident in various jurisdictions, and they may be employed in yet another variety of jurisdictions! We review the various combinations of the foregoing for clients, and create an employment solution that is totally fit for purpose. WDRM, in particular, is a company based in the EU in a jurisdiction that is reputable and has a long established and well managed tax and social security system. WDRM enables us to ensure that we can provide an EU employment option for clients which may be appropriate for their needs. This may sound vague but, as I mentioned earlier, we have to look at the combinations of vessel registry, residence of the seafarer, operating area of the vessel and decide where the employer is best located.

We review the various combinations of the foregoing for clients, and create an employment solution that is totally fit for purpose MBR: And how do you intend to offer these services across the whole industry in Malta? NC: One of the side benefits of operating Maltese employment services for seafarers is that, if we utilise Maltese payroll software for our calculations, this enables us to not only employ and pay Maltese or other nationality seafarers, where a Maltese liability arises, but also offer payroll bureau services to Maltese companies not involved in global operations necessarily. So, for example, if you employ people in Malta, in offices, factories, shops etc. we could run your payroll for you and make all the necessary deductions, payments etc and generally remove the chore of payroll administration from your organisation, cost effectively. MBR: How do you deliver good seafarers of all ranks to clients within the cruise and luxury yacht sectors? NC: We already work with recruitment businesses to source and supply seafarers to a variety of shipping sectors and we are seeking to work in association with local partners to develop a database of local seafarers that we are able to supply into our existing client base, which includes many super yacht and cruise ship companies. We have at our disposal a recruitment software package that is capable of being tailored to suit any specific sector of business and which streamlines the whole recruitment process. MBR: How significant is the event ‘Opportunities in Superyachts’, organised by Quaynote Communications, which WD Resources (Malta) Ltd (WDRM) are sponsoring and what is the differentiating factor here. NC: WDRM is the “new kid on the block” but we have at our disposal, many years of experience in the shipping industry. The timing of this event provides us with the ideal opportunity to introduce ourselves to an appropriate wider audience here in Malta. We have been operating in Malta now for seven months and we have plans to develop the business here along the same lines that we used at CES where we now have twenty one staff and are currently recruiting four more. MBR All Rights Reserved | Copyright 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE Neil began his career at sea in 1974 as a Navigating Cadet with BP Shipping Limited. In 1992 he moved ashore into a temporary position, before moving into Marine Personnel Management in 1994. In 2001 he took up the position of MD at an offshore employment company and in 2008 was appointed Chief Executive of Confiance Employment Services. He set up WD Resources Malta Limited in 2015 to deliver a genuine global employment solution for clients, where ever they may be based.

www.maltabusinessreview.net

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Malta Business Review

Hospitality

A Welcome note

from the Hotel Xlendi Resort & Spa, in Xlendi, Gozo… by Raimondo G-M. C F Valletta Cordina de’Medici

Hotel Xlendi Resort & Spa on the island of Gozo is the perfect getaway for a relaxing break . Nestled in the cliff- side, overlooking the picturesque Mediterranean waters of Xlendi Bay, just 20 minutes by ferry from its bigger sister island of Malta. It provides an idyllic and tranquil base for the perfect holiday in Gozo. The newly refurbished hotel provides a wide range of accommodation and a welcoming, comfortable and friendly environment from which to enjoy a truly memorable stay with one’s partner, family and friends. A truly special hotel and place to enjoy your short breaks, spa breaks and even those once in a lifetime special occasions and moments that can only be spent and appreciated in places like these. Hotel Xlendi Resort & Spa in Gozo, was and is designed with your health

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and wellbeing firmly in mind. Relax with a Spa treatment, unwind in the pools and in the gym, and feasting on freshly prepared meals in our restaurants. It’s the perfect choice if you just want a holiday to relax and revitalise your health and wellbeing. If you, or a member of your party requires healthcare assistance to manage an on-going health issue, or a medical condition, you can arrange full access to the on – site Medical Centre and wellness facilities, with the assurances that the hotel’s professional staff are always close at hand and ready to offer their assistance. In simpler words, our hotel is a very special place, where one can come and visit us, and can only leave with fond and happy memories of a place, where safety , tranquility and harmony reside…… MBR


WD RESOURCES MALTA

Specialist Marine Employment Services in Malta

A fresh new employment services provider bringing many years of experience in the global employment sector to the marine industry in Malta

Tel: +356 2258 9001

www.wdrmalta.com

enquiries@wdrmalta.com

Twitter: @wdrmalta


Malta Business Review

cinema

The hills are alive with the sound of a big, lucrative anniversary.

Watershed movie: ‘the sound of music’ film celebrates a golden anniversary

The 1965 Oscar-winning film adaptation of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music” is celebrating its 50th birthday this year and its star Julie Andrews can’t quite believe it. “This is a lovely moment to mark. I’ve been saying all along it’s like a very bad joke because surely it was only 30 years ago — not 50,” she said. “I feel I lost 20 somewhere along the way. A little thing called life got in the way.” The movie that popularized whiskers on kittens and warm woolen mittens isn’t holding back on its golden anniversary: There are events, DVDs, books, soundtracks and screenings. Other American movie musicals may be revered — “Cabaret” and “West Side Story,” for example — but few are as beloved as “The Sound of Music.” Andrews, 79, thinks she knows why. “This one stuck because it was very well made with beautiful music and a lot of glorious assets like scenery and mountains and children and an adventure story and a love story and all of that,” she said. To honor the milestone, 20th Century Fox is releasing a five-disc Blue-ray/DVD collection, the soundtrack is being rereleased, and the film will be screened at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood later this month and over 500 movie theaters in April. Four new books about the film are being published, and there’s a Diane Sawyer-led “20/20” special airing on ABC at 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday featuring an interview with Andrews in Austria, where the story was set. Princess Cruises will also celebrate the anniversary with special screenings and sing-alongs. The musical and movie are a fictionalized account of the life of Maria von Trapp and tell the story of a 1930s governess who teaches her charges to sing and falls in love with her employer, naval captain Georg von Trapp, and the family’s flight before World War II. Angela Cartwright, who played Brigitta von Trapp, said cast members have gone through ups and downs and births and deaths during the past 50 years but “when we all get together, we pick up where we left off.” “It was an honor to be a part of such a great movie,” she said. “When we were filming it, we had no idea that it was going to last and be so successful. It was such a charmed part of my life.” Not everyone is revelling in the film anniversary with the same fervency,

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especially her 85-year-old co-star Christopher Plummer, who played Captain von Trapp and has in the past derisively called the film “The Sound of Mucus.” “I’ve never really knocked the movie; I just knocked the experience of playing a part which I didn’t think was very exciting, that’s all,” he said. “I thought I was the cat’s meow and this was very much inferior stuff.” Andrews doesn’t begrudge Plummer or his view, and the two have remained buddies. In fact, Plummer’s less-thanearnest performance may have helped the movie. “He gave it an astringency the film needed because it is a slightly saccharine story,” said Andrews. “He was so great in it and we stayed good, good friends.” Even before this year, “The Sound of Music” was never far from the popular consciousness. Kelly Clarkson and Mary J. Blige both recently covered “My Favorite Things” and NBC cast Carrie Underwood as Maria in its live version in 2013, which drew 18.6 million viewers. Andrews, who called Underwood’s performance as Maria “wonderful,” is not precious about holding onto the role. She wants more people to play it and try their hand at putting on a musical she calls a “gift.” “After 50 years, one should be allowed to interpret it anyway you hope to do it. Do it with puppetry. Do it with live actors. Do it any way. Because it’s a classic,” she said. “It is a gift, in a way, to all of us.” This year, we’ve had an extended “Sound of Music” medley by Lady Gaga at the Oscars and a brief nod to the film in Jason Robert Brown’s movie musical “The Last Five Years.” A national tour of the musical led by Tony Award-winning director Jack O’Brien will launch in September in Los Angeles. It’s not a bad legacy for an $8 million film that originated as a Tony Award-winning Broadway show but was critically panned. (One prominent critic called it a “sugarcoated lie.”) The film won five Oscars and stands as the No. 3 domestic box office champion of all time, adjusted for inflation, following “Gone With the Wind” and “Star Wars.” But for Andrews, the 50th anniversary, for which she has endured hours of questions from journalists with her typical uncommon dignity and good humour, may mark the last celebration. “I think this is probably it, I would imagine. People have been joking with me all along, saying ‘You’ll be back for the 100th,’” she said, laughing. “The mind boggles. MBR Curtesy: Associated Press


TAX ADVISORY

Malta Business Review

NEW WEBSITE FOR NEXIA BT Nexia BT is proud to announce the launch of its new website www.nexiabt.com. The online portal offers an interactive experience through which the firm shall continue to communicate information through its knowledge, expertise and services, in relation to the variety of industries in which we operate.

The website has been revamped with a fresh and modern look, whilst maintaining indispensable features such as the articles and news sections. By means of this online facility, Nexia BT aims to deliver highly informative and relative articles, practical guidance on industry trends and the latest updates to its customers through a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate platform. Users may also choose to subscribe to the company’s news alerts by submitting their email address. The simple-to-use site navigation is broken down into specific categories for Services, Sectors, Business in Malta, Careers, News section, Articles, About Nexia BT and Contact Details. Each category includes respective subsections with informative material that one may read, print or download.

The website has just been officially launched and is now live. For Immediate Release, contact: Anais Mathieu, phone: 2065 0186 or email: anais.mathieu@nexiabt.com

About NexiA bt With over twenty years of experience, Nexia BT is an audit, tax and advisory firm providing a full range of financial and advisory services to a diverse portfolio of clients. Today, Nexia BT is one of the leading consulting firms in Malta, with offices located at the Capital Business Centre, San Gwann. The firm is a member of Nexia International, a top-ten worldwide network of independent business advisors, consultants, auditors and accounting firms present in over 100 countries. MBR

Insulation & Acoustical Solutions, False Ceilings & Partitions, 3D Wall Panels with Logos, Internal Aluminium Windows & Doors, Light Fittings, Raised Flooring, Design & Architectural Service & more Contact us T: 2180 5486 / 2780 5486, E: info@rsgroup.com.mt www.evolve.com.mt


Malta Business Review

newSmakerS

HSBC CeleBrateS tHe power of teCHnology during itS digital week Campaign

HSBC is encouraging customers to ‘Think, Feel. Do. Digital’ during the Digital Week

HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. is celebrating the power of technology through the launch of a Digital Week campaign to highlight the benefits of digital banking to its customers. The week-long campaign with the slogan “Think. Feel. Do. Digital”, is set to run from the 9th until the 16th March. All HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c. branches will display new posters featuring the various digital options available to customers. A specially-conceptualised digital mascot will be visiting certain branches to greet and encourage customers to use the Bank’s digital and automated channels. While experiencing the true efficiency of HSBC’s digital proposition, HSBC Personal Internet Banking registered customers may try their luck at an online competition available on the HSBC website and stand a chance to win an Apple iPad tablet. The popular HSBC Mobile Banking App has now exceeded the 20,000 download, and the number of customers using the app to carry out their banking transactions has also increased considerably. The Head of HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c.’s Retail Banking & Wealth Management Paul Steel said: “HSBC has invested significantly in creating a next generation suite of banking products and services that harness the true potential of digital banking. Customers can experience an easier way to bank, anytime, anywhere. HSBC encourages all its customers to think, feel, do digital.” MBR

touriSm innoVation generation Centre ( tigC )

Valletta fund management ltd annual awardS eVent

Ever since the tourism industry started in Malta around 1964 various stakeholders have been innovating by developing new products and services to make our tourism offer more interesting and engaging. However with the increase in competition and the proliferation of technologies and new business models it is becoming increasingly important that our tourism stakeholders are assisted and empowered to engage in more innovation and at a faster rate. On 19 Feb 2015 Creolabs Ltd. a local start-up launched the TOURISM INNOVATION GENERATION CENTRE at the Microsoft Innovation Centre at Skyparks, Malta International Airport. The centre will be developed as a platform to encourage companies to generate new products and services for the tourism sector. Initially the centre will promote and advocate the importance of innovation in our tourism offer and will also provide training and consultancy services to assist companies to innovate. One of the crucial challenges of innovation apart from the idea generation phase is how to take an idea to market. The centre will provide training on the creative thinking tools which are required to facilitate idea generation. After the idea generation phase companies will also be trained and mentored to take their ideas to market. The centre will also act as a space to encourage companies which come from different sectors to come together to generate innovation. Interested GRTU members can contact Mr. Philip Fenech who is part of the LEADTEAM of the TIGC. MBR

Valletta Fund Management held the 2nd edition of the Annual Awards for Bank of Valletta Branch Managers and Heads of Investment Centres on the 27th February at The Palace Hotel, Sliema. The event aimed to congratulate branch managers for their continuous support to the VFM Brand throughout the financial year 2013/14. During the event, prestigious awards based on set criteria, were presented to the winners by the Chief Executive Officer - Charles Borg, Chief Business Development Officer - Kenneth Farrugia and Executive Head VFM - Mark Agius. This year, the awards were split into six separate categories; Best Branch Award, Top Investment Centre, Branch Performance Consistency Award, Best Branch Manager Award and Team of the Year Award. Each of the six awards were based on various criteria. The winners for the six esteemed awards were Siggiewi Branch (Best Branch Award), Qormi Branch (Top Investment Centre Award), Zurrieq Branch (Branch Performance Consistency Award), Horace Laudi (Best Branch Manager Award) and Gozo Branch (Team of the Year Award). Kenneth Farrugia, BOV Chief Business Development Officer, opened the ceremony by thanking branch managers and heads of investment centres for their constant support during the last financial year. He also thanked the VFM team for their continuous efforts in supporting the BOV authorised representatives, with regular training and updates in the promotion of VFM funds. Mr Farrugia further congratulated all those nominated for the awards and concluded his speech by stating that ‘winning is not everything, but rather winning is all about the effort taken to actually win.’ MBR

64


banking

Malta Business Review

Banif Bank opens new Corporate offiCe Mosta Banif Bank has continued to expand its reach to business clients by opening a third corporate office in its Mosta branch. The new office joins those situated in St. Julian’s and Paola to form a strategically positioned network of touch points across three of Malta’s busiest commercial hubs Offering a range of tailored services, Banif Bank is committed to supporting entrepreneurs in improving their business. The Bank is actively engaged and focused on the provision of a whole range of banking services centred around a business’ needs, from maximising deposit returns to various types of financing solutions. Albert Buttigieg, Head of Unit, Corporate Banking, said: “At Banif we seek to support businesses in the whole gamut of needs of their lifecycle - from the purchasing of raw material to selling the finished product. Whether it’s growth, establishment or expansion, our six teams are geared to aid entrepreneurs manage their business.” A dedicated corporate banking team is assigned to each customer, ensuring a consistent and familiar level of service whilst bringing

years of professional experience and acumen to the table. The Bank’s cutting edge remote platforms, including a free Banif@ ast internet banking portal for business, allow for convenient transactions, management and access to funds 24/7. Banif Bank seeks to help businesses in creating parallels with its own success story - that of a new venture growing into an established market player over. Be it a start-up venture, consolidation of operations or expansion, Banif is ready to step in and be a partner and contributor to success. Corporate Banking office opening hours are 08:30-16:30 Monday to Friday. For any queries, one may call Customer Care on 2260 1000 or e-mail customercare@banif.com.mt. MBR

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Malta Business Review

newSmakerS

BoV employeeS in a dreSS down for appoġġ CHildren’S fund

Charles Borg, CEO

BOV Jeans Day in aid of Appogg Children’s Fund 2015

As the world was busily gearing up towards Valentine’s Day, BOV employees took the altruistic spirit further by participating in a dress down to raise awareness and collect funds for the Appoġġ Children’s Fund. Friday the 13th certainly proved to be a day of providence for the children within the care of Appoġġ as over 1,500 BOV employees came together by contributing towards the Appoġġ Children’s Fund. Roberta Agius, Services Manager at Appoġġ explained the challenges of making ends meet when they receive requests for children’s care facilities.“The requests are legitimate, however, the Children’s Fund committee study each request well to ensure that money will be available for a lot of children rather than approving an expensive request for just one child. This means that more children would be able to benefit from this fund. We try to intervene as soon as possible, but availability of funds remain our major hurdle. We depend a lot on benefactors for donations.” Appoġġ Children’s Fund traces its origin to 2003. It was set up with the intention of focusing its efforts to address the needs of vulnerable children, whilst remaining true to the values of social equality and inclusion. The carers tap into this Fund to assist the distinct requirements of the children. In line with its Corporate Social Responsibility principles, Bank of Valletta regularly organises dress down days with the intention to raise funds and help organisations, such as Appoġġ, to achieve their social objectives. MBR

BoV Ceo appointed memBer on tHe audit Board of tHe european inVeStment fund Charles Borg, Chief Executive Officer at Bank of Valletta, has recently been appointed a member on the Audit Board of the European Investment Fund (EIF). The EIF is a specialist provider of risk finance to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe. The EIF is a part of the EIB Group, whose shareholders are the European Investment Bank, the European Commission and a wide range of public and private banks and financial institutions operating in the European Union. Charles Borg was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Valletta Group in December 2011 and currently sits on the boards of Valletta Fund Services Ltd, Valletta Fund Management Ltd, BOV Investments Ltd and Middle Sea Insurance. He is also a member on the Board of the World Savings Bank Institute. MBR

Valletta 2018 foundation meetS witH Hotel managerS

Contact: Joyce Tabone, Media and Community Relations, Bank of Valletta, www.bov.com

laferla inSuranCe Staff memBerS and direCtorS donate €5,000 to dar tal-proVidenza

Hotel Managers, MTA CEO Paul Bugeja and MHRA officials in a meeting with Valletta 2018 Foundation Chairman Jason Micallef and Executive Director Karsten Xuereb, at the Chamber of Commerce.

Fr. Martin Micallef with some staff members and the Directors

A substantial donation was raised by Laferla Insurance Agency Ltd. staff members during Dress Down Days which take place every last Friday of each month; with an additional sum being donated by the directors of the company. Fr. Martin Micallef, on behalf of Dar Tal-Providenza, thanked all staff members and the company’s directors for their generosity. MBR 66

Valletta 2018 Foundation, MTA CEO and MHRA officials recently met with leading hotel owners and managers. This served as an opportunity for networking and sharing of objectives. The strategy which Chairman Jason Micallef is driving is helping to enhance visitors’ unique experience. Concrete investment by Valletta 2018 in cultural activities is helping with Valletta’s renaissance. Efforts are also focused on upgrading infrastructure and in ensuring Valletta is easily accessible via land and sea with proper ferry connections till late at night in the coming months from Sliema to Marsamxett, the three cities to Valletta and vice versa. Mr Micallef stated the Foundation’s objective is to regenerate a city that is known throughout Europe as a centre of excellence. MBR


Career

First impressions matter. Dress for success.

& Education Fair 2015

Friday, April 17 09:00hrs - 19:00hrs Open to all Global College Malta undergraduates students as well as alumni from all secondary, higher education students & other interested academics.

What’s in it for you? Meet your future employers Enroll for workshops, presentations and exclusive seminars Submit your CV to be part of a package that will be distributed amongst the present employers Benefit from possible internships and employment opportunities Information about job opportunities available and selecting the right candidate Learn the tips necessary to present yourself as the perfect candidate for the job Guidance and advise on the educational and career path to take For more information please contact: margaret@mbrpublications.net or call 9940 6743 charlotte@mbrpublications.net or call 9926 0163 tiffany@mbrpublications.net or call 9926 0164 a.gambin@gcmalta.com or call 2180 1252 or go to www.mbrpublications.net 41B, ‘Wayne’, Triq il-Herba, Birkirkara Tel: 21497814

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