Simon Cronin reports on the appointment of the Chamber’s new President and looks back at the highlights of the past presidential year.
New President Dr Moneeb Awan set out his bold vision for leading Greater Manchester out of recession at the Chamber’s AGM. The Salford Businessman told members he would put innovation at the heart of his year in office as this would be the key to future prosperity.
During his speech, the former cardiac research scientist said he believed the pain of the economic downturn would benefit the economy in the long term, just as a small heart attack protects the heart from future attacks.
He said: “Just as destructive mechanisms in the body trigger cell changes that go on and confer benefits, so the undisputed destrucyive components in our economy – less bank lending, rising unemployment, increased carbon emissions, government debtand all the rest – are the very triggers, I say, that themselves will lead to greater innovation and a future I predict, where businesses will actually eveolve, develop and thrive. Not despite the recessionary pressures from which they came but because of them.
“The recession in other words, is not necessatily the bitter pill many have led us to believe. There have been unfortunate casualties, of that there is no doubt, but there is scope to be optimistic and the future should be embraced not feared.”
Dr Awan, who is Managing Director of eSAY Mobile, explained how the chamber helped him and his colleagues when they were starting out in business: “Today, our company stands as an internationally acclaimed and award-winning Salford-based business specialising in the niche development and implementation of mobile business applications on smart phones.
“So how did the success come about? The answer’s pretty simple. We’ve been lucky of course, that’s true. But what’s equally true, is that the path started with becoming a member of the Chamber. You can’t say what would have happened if we hadn’t joined, but what you can say is that by becoming an ‘active’ member, i.e. fully engaged with the Chamber and its various services, we learnt quickly the real business of business.”
Dr Awan finished his speech by setting out what he aimed to achieve during his year in office: “By the end of my term I hope to see a platform established to sustain business growth in Greater Manchester through intelligent deployment of pioneering practices and groundbreaking services born out of the lessons learnt over the past year.”
“Many will embrace technological innovation but equally, there is huge scope to create a culture of positive change through a variety of other means. Vision and drive from the Chamber is fundamental to achieveing these goals and I look forward to helping put the stepping stones of success in place to benefit the Greater Manchester business community.” He concluded, “Don’t despair of today’s world, tomorrow’s world has already begun.”
Dr Awan takes over from Peter Heginbotham OBE. The Vice Presidents are Phil Jones of Brother and Martin Douglas of Cargill.