Friday 31st January was a horrible, rainy evening in Portsmouth, but that did not stop the excitement of those gathered at the Guildhall for the Portsmouth News Business Excellence Awards 2013. It was a glitzy, glamorous, black tie event, with some of the best of business talent from the Solent area present. This included companies such as Douglas Stafford, Verisona Law, Wet Wheels, Rosie Loves Vintage – and of course Gemma Lighting. It was one of those evenings where the conversation begins in the bar over pre-dinner drinks, the wine flows and the conversation steadily increases as people relax and begin to learn about the various business interests of those around them. By the time dinner is over and the lights go down for the award ceremony, everyone is eager to see who will win in each category. The business interests were certainly diverse, but the one defining feature among of all of these companies was that they had all been nominated for awards for demonstrating ability, aptitude and achievement within their individual business spheres. Almost all, anyway. At one point someone leaned over the table to Craig Manuel, MD of Gemma Lighting, and asked which award they had been nominated for.
“Oh, we haven’t been actually,” he replied, and in typically modest style he did not go on to quantify his presence. The confusion was clear to see. If they hadn’t been nominated then why were they there? The answer was that Gemma had been asked to present the award for Business Personality and Achievement of the Year. The purpose of this award was ‘To recognise an imaginative and creative manager or employee whose individual contribution to the success of a business has been outstanding or who has demonstrated inspired leadership’. Craig was asked to present this award on behalf of sponsors Gemma Lighting as a direct result of their success at the previous Business Awards last year. On that occasion they were entered in four categories, and won or were placed in the top three in each. This phenomenal achievement gained them praise from Brian Johnson who judged every category on behalf of BAE Systems. He had this to say about Gemma Lighting: “We just felt that because Gemma had done so well in each of the categories that they were far and away the business which we felt ticked every box. The firm is innovative, it is exporting, it is expanding, and all while manufacturing is in decline.”
Exporting and expanding indeed. Gemma Lighting has been using a wealth of experience gained in the LED technology industry since 2003 to produce unique lighting solutions with increasing success. Manufacture takes place solely at their Portsmouth based facility, something of which the company is rightly proud. Existing clients include the Marriott hotel chain, Leicestershire Police, the co-operative food group, among many others. All of these companies have chosen the efficient, robust lighting systems provided by Gemma for a variety of reasons. Reduction in carbon emissions, energy consumption by up to 90% through more effective use of mains power and light pollution are a few. However quite apart from the quality of the products themselves, which are suitable for internal and external lighting, such as floodlights, street lighting and car parks, the unique and innovative design process of Gemma Lighting must not be forgotten. Every stage of the process takes place on-site through their talented team of employees, ensuring that clients can be certain of purchasing a solution tailored to their individual needs. For example, during the last four years Gemma has been exporting innovative LED lighting solutions to Dubai. In praise of the company, one of the shareholders out in Dubai, Raj Jumbu said “…….for the four years we have been working with them (Gemma Lighting) they have been doing exactly what the market needs and they are special to us.” Quite.
With this in mind, it is quite easy to see why Gemma Lighting were asked to present the award for Business Personality and Achievement of the Year 2013. Absorption of brand success for the winner must surely be something the event organisers were hoping for from Gemma.