Companies in the GCC countries are very similar to their Western counterparts in terms of setting goals and standards to reach excellence. “A major difference is the legal atmosphere and requirements in areas such as labor,” according to Jesus J. Moran, cofounder and chief executive officer of Houston-based World Confederation of Business. “However, I do believe that the Gulf companies can compete with some of the global giants in business excellence,” he told Khalil Hanware of Arab News in an exclusive interview. Excerpts: The BIZZ Arabic 2012 event is being held in Doha on Sept. 16 to recognize business excellence. What is the significance of this award ceremony? We consider The BIZZ to be the world’s most important business recognition made apparent by our enormous reach, considering nearly half a million companies in 75 countries across the globe. Thousands of member-companies consider this award a vital resource for internal and external enhancements, recognizing and motivating employees, and attracting and retaining clients and suppliers. Overall, the award has provided an increased level of loyalty and distinction from their stakeholders. Which companies qualify for the award and on what basis they are selected for the award? Our research team has developed a complex evaluation system that compiles large and small business data from multiple sources. These include references from our own members, which amount to over 3,000 companies in 75 countries, regional market research companies contracted to compile statistical data on business growth and outstanding companies in Europe, Africa and Asia, and data from over 100 chambers of commerce from around the world, including the American Chamber of Commerce. The research team then forwards the data to WORLDCOB’s Evaluation Committee, which then screens the data and matches it against a Business Excellence Questionnaire. In order to better understand the process, attached you will find a copy of the selection process. Their review is based on a 100-point scale, which uses the following criteria to determine award eligibility: Managerial leadership, management systems, quality in goods and/or Services, managerial creativity and innovation, social responsibility, and business results, certifications and other recognitions. Companies that receive 90 points or more are considered to have achieved business excellence and are thus selected to receive the world’s most important business recognition, THE BIZZ. Do you believe the Gulf companies can compete with global giants in business excellence? I believe that the GCC companies are very similar to the Western companies in terms of setting goals and standards to reach excellence. A major difference is the legal atmosphere and requirements in areas such as labor. However to answer your question, yes, I do believe that the Gulf companies can compete with some of the global giants in business excellence. Name the Gulf firms that are on a par with the world’s top companies? I can give you some company names like Qatar Airways, Doha Bank, National Bank of Bahrain, Qatar Petroleum, Emirates NBD Bank, Saudi Telecom Company and Oman Insurance, among others. Do companies benefit from these types of awards? Companies always like to have exposure and, of course, distinguish themselves from the competition in their industry; current clients will increase their loyalty and new clients will be attracted to working with a company that has met the criteria. This obviously depends on how much the company makes the public aware of their achievements. We offer great tools such as logos, press releases, and directory. Also, we believe that we can greatly contribute to the development in several other areas. For example, one of our primary goals is to promote Business Networking, so as a member, the award winning company will participate free of charge in our next EXPOBIZZ Business Convention. Also, all of our members can access our Member Zone online and download the database of more than 3,000 companies from around the globe. We also offer our online training programs (in our Member Zone), our Corporate Image consultancy, and our Corporate Social Responsibility consultancy and certification. To what extent your award has contributed to good business practices? The award has promoted good practices in many ways. The goal of recognizing companies that have demonstrated business excellence is to encourage best practices within these companies. We want companies that are not yet at that level to strive to reach it, and those who have to continue to maintain it. Once companies become members they are also made aware of our other offerings, such as corporate training and our CSR (corporate social responsibility) consulting and certification. In your present position, what role do you play in the organization? I direct our operations, including our business networking tools, training services, consulting services and our publications. I also lead the board of directors and contribute to our strategy.