The tt100 Business Innovation Awards Programme’s project manager, Victor Litshani, unpacks all things related to this awards programme and shares some of his experiences related to the brand’s journey.
| This is our recent Q&A with Victor…
Please provide us with an overview of your journey with tt100 and what this business innovation awards programme means to you.
When I first joined tt100 in 2018, the programme’s reach on the participation of entrants largely came from the South African metros, and with not much reach outside of South Africa. Therefore, throughout my journey with the organisation so far, I have seen growth in reach across all nine (9) provinces, with organisations emerging from rural to urban areas joining to participate, and with tt100 expanding outside of South Africa.
What do you enjoy most about working with the tt100 business innovation awards programme?
The impact the awards programme has on organisations and individuals and the way through this, we are able to witness the developing excellence in the areas corresponding to the TIPS™ managerial leadership framework, namely Technology, Innovation, People and Systems Thinking. Seeing this makes me feel content with the work we do and driven to continue to do more.
There are success stories too. In the past four (4) years, we have seen remarkable success in organisations that shifted from the emerging category of the awards programme, and from making under R5 million per annum, moving to the medium category and making over R 51 million per annum.
We also hold in our database an organisation from 2006, which started as an emerging business (according to the tt100 scaling), and in 2021, this organisation has been evaluated as the largest globally, within its industry.
Some of the success stories are the individual development programmes that have ensured peoples growth in establishing enterprises and excelling as individuals within their respective regions. One does take joy from such successful outcomes.
What do you suppose makes the tt100 business innovation awards unique from other business awards?
The tt100 mechanisms and processes, in terms of how it evaluates and helps build organisations, are relevant for any sector, industry, or size of the business, for benchmarking and strategic planning.
Another part that makes us unique as the tt100 brand is that we have different industry experts as adjudicators who represent different sectors. This then brings about unique and innovative insights for the participating enterprises. The added bonus is that we support enterprises pre– and post the annual tt100 business innovation awards programme event and continue to maintain close engagements with our participants.
In 2019, with the support of the Department of Science and Innovation, we launched a funded learnership programme for SMMEs. What is also unique to the tt100 participants is that they receive customised feedback on how they manage TIPS™, enabling them to improve the way they operate their organisations. Moreover, an added special benefit is the feedback received from the adjudicators (verbal feedback, electronic dashboard). Each participant receives a 30-minute post-awards feedback session with the chief adjudicator.
Who is allowed to participate in, or enter, tt100 business innovation awards programme?
The programme is designed for any organisation and or sector who have traded for at least twelve (12) months. We have participants in the awards programme who even operate as individual entrepreneurs. The entrants are drawn from:
- Listed and unlisted organisations
- Diverse industries
- Small, medium, and large enterprises
- Emerging and start-up enterprises.
Regarding the above list, this representation is not necessarily limiting or excluding by geographical region or state. Participants are welcomed from all over the world.
What is next for tt100?
In our celebration of 30 years in existence, we have moved to the new yet exciting path of introducing community programmes in rural areas. For instance, in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, we launched a technology centre, which is in a cooperative partnership with the Gqumeni Primary School. The key focus is to work closely with connecting the community on training in the technology centre.
In Limpopo, we are working closely with Nyukani Education Center. We are also moving tt100 to a more continental and global programme to ensure that the current reach is driving more awareness of the programme. Lastly, tt100 partnered with various government and industry role players to support technological and innovation excellence in South Africa, something we will continue doing.