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MALTA

BUSINESS REVIEW

ISSUE 32 JUNE 2017

COVER STORY

FIMBANK LAUNCHES DIGITAL BANKING PLATFORM

Interview with FIMBank’s

Head of Cash Management, Chris Trapani,

and Group CIO Gilbert Coleiro

06

8

10

44

ELECTIONS 2017

Muscat Wins Snap Elections

Labour leader gets mandate to govern the Island for another

five years with landslide victory

CORPORATE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

An Instinct for Growth

Interview with Francesca Lagerberg, Grant Thornton’s Global

Leader – tax services and Regional Leader Europe

FEATURE ERC STORY

When Technology Empowers Migrant Women

How digital media could be rethought as a tool for

participation and integration of migrant women


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Malta Business Review

Malta Business Review

06 COVER STORY

FIMBANK LAUNCHES DIGITAL BANKING PLATFORM

Interview with FIMBank’s Head of Cash Management, Chris

Trapani, and Group CIO Gilbert Coleiro

8 ELECTION 2017

MUSCAT WINS SNAP ELECTIONS

Summary analysis of the snap general elections, which

will Labour leader gets mandate to govern the Island for

another five years with landslide victory

CORPORATE INTERVIEWS OF

THE MONTH

10 AN INSTINCT FOR GROWTH

An interview with Francesca Lagerberg, Grant Thornton’s

Global Leader – tax services and Regional Leader Europe

12 SLICE OF MEDITERRANEAN MALTA IN CENTRAL LONDON

MBR interviews Josef Zammit, Contracts Manager, Hugh

Vella, Director of Operations, both with Halmann Vella and

James Basson, Designer of the M&G Garden 2017 and

Director, Scape Design

16 AIM HIGH AND INNOVATE

Exclusive interview with Patrick Clark, General Manager with

Michael Debono Ltd

06

CONTENTS

June 2017

TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS /

ENERGY

18 EXPRESS TRAILERS STRENGTHENS GROUPAGE

SERVICES TO AND FROM POLAND AND TURKEY

Express Trailers announces improvements and developments

in its consolidated weekly groupage services to and from

Poland and Turkey

20 OUR INEVITABLE FUTURE

Elizabeth Spiers interviews Kevin Kelly about VR, Digital

Socialism, and his new book

SPECIAL FEATURE: MALTA’S

BEST ENTREPRENEUR OF THE

YEAR 2017

25 INCREASING PERFORMANCE & USABILITY

An interview with MBEOTYA nominee Frederick Micallef,

Managing Director with Databyte Limited

26 DELIVERING EXCELLENCE

Global Tech Managing Director and Emerging Entrepreneur

Neal Azzopardi give us an overview of his company, products

and services

28 DEVELOPING BUSINESS ENSURING SUCCESS

Interview with Jimmy Cutajar, Managing Director, Global

Freight Solutions, a shining example of the Maltese

entrepreneurial drive to succeed

30 IDEAS, ENERGY & ENTHUSIASM

Keith Schembri, Architect, tells us exactly why KEIRO

Architects have risen to become one of the most celebrated

and well-respected architects locally

32 ACCESSIBLE & AFFORDABLE PROPERTY

John Luke Zammit and Keith Camilleri, directors and

co-founders of NotGreedy chat with Martin Vella about

their real estate start-up

34 PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES

An interview with MBEOTYA nominee Jonathan Azzopardi,

founder of Springbox Media

PUBLISHER

MBR Publications Limited

OFFICES

Highland Apartment - Level 1,

Naxxar Road,

Birkirkara, BKR 9042

+356 2149 7814

EDITOR

Martin Vella

TECHNICAL ADVISOR

Marcelle D’Argy Smith

SALES DIRECTOR

Margaret Brincat

DESIGN

MBR Design

ADVERTISING

Call: 9940 6743 or 9926 0163/4/6;

Email: margaret@mbrpublications.net

or admin@mbrpublications.net

CONTRIBUTORS

Brad Bailey; Amy Blackwell; Richard Branson;

Antoine Bonello; George Carol; Harry Cooper;

Robert Haigh; Pierre Mallia; Sandra Ponzanesi;

Arin Ray; Darren Sammut; Claudia Schembri;

Elizabeth Spiers

SPECIAL THANKS

Brand Finance; CELENT; CO, European

Parliament Information Office in Valletta;

European Research Council; FIMBank; DOI;

HSBC; IMovo; LinkedIN; Virgin Group Digital

PRINT PRODUCTION

Printit

EDITORIAL

Malta’s Best Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2017 are

with us again and I can’t wait more for the final night! This

year we are aiming for a memorable and high quality gala

evening full of entertainment, glamour and celebration. If

one compares last year’s edition held at Smart City Malta,

it’s natural to expect a more enthusiastic and massive

presence from the local business community.

This year, the choice of venue fell on Villa Bighi Esplanade

& Gardens, at my former idyllic hometown of Kalkara, a

peaceful and panoramic village by the sea. The venue

offers a magnificent view of the grand harbour, as well as

an amazing Valletta acting as a natural silhouetted backdrop. Add on the lighting effect

and sky beams which we are putting on the night, and one immediately notices that

something special and electric is happening there on Friday 14th July 2017.

Malta’s Best Entrepreneur of the Year Awards have grown both in stature over the years,

as well as regards the top class synchronised entertainment offered, which creates

not just a show for marketing and branding, but provides a great showcase of premier

business leaders and also a concrete opportunity to generate business and meet new

clients, especially if you think in terms of cost of the investment/payback. But if you want

to consider yourself a growing company with a bright future, you should definitely be

among the nominees or sponsors participating in what has become beyond any doubt

Malta’s most prestigious and supreme largest business awards organised on such a

comprehensive scale.

Business leaders, executive entrepreneurs, emerging stars and future role models

represent our economy in a cross-section of business microcosm, and together with

journalists and editors find their best lively atmosphere during Malta’s Best Entrepreneur

of the Year Awards. Do you want to be in the loop of the progress, understand more

about major present and future trends and be the first to celebrate Malta’s leading

entrepreneurs? Good, then you should be there.

In my daily routine research, I learnt that Data Collection and Time-Sensitive Networking

are the top of the conversation in terms of future technology development. These two

themes are currently influencing decision makers from all over the world and from all

the most important worldwide companies, from Omron to Schneider Electric, Rockwell

Automation, Belden and many others.

We will start exploring Time-Sensitive Networking in future issues, but the real focus this

month will be Malta’s Best Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, with a special attention

devoted to some of the nominees in our special pull-and-keep supplement.

Don’t miss even one page of this month’s enriching content reading and stay always

tuned with the Malta Business Review!

10 16 26

your perfect atmosphere

Our Golden Partners

30 32 48

FEATURE STORIES

44 WHEN TECHNOLOGY EMPOWERS MIGRANT WOMEN

How digital media could be rethought as a tool for

participation and integration of migrant women

46 DEALING WITH THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL

REVOLUTION

Pierre Mallia tells us just why the standard mantra that

technological change would destroy some jobs but

in the process create new ones higher up the skill chain is very

likely to break

48 EXCLUSIVE: SIMONETTA MERCIECA OF PARALLELS

HONOURED AS ONE OF CRN’S 2017 WOMEN OF THE

CHANNEL

Director of Sales for Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS),

Simonetta Mercieca, was named to the 2017 Women of the

Channel list by CRN

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"People often say that motivation doesn't

last. Well, neither does bathing. That's

why we recommend it daily”

ZIG ZIGLAR

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.

Talk to us:

E-mail: martin@mbrpublications.net

Twitter: @MBRPublications

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaltaBusinessReview

Martin Vella

Editor-in-Chief

Malta Business Review’s editorial opinions are decided by its Editor, and besides reflecting the Editor’s

opinion, are written to represent a fair and impartial representation of facts, events and provide a correct

analysis of local and international news.

Agents for:

4 5

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Malta Business Review

COVER STORY OF THE MONTH

COVER STORY OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

z

FIMBank launches

Digital Banking Platform

MBR: The Bank has recently launched its

new digital banking platform, FIMBank

Direct. How does this impact FIMBank’s

business model?

GC: We consider FIMBank Direct as a

milestone the Bank’s journey towards

digital transformation. This new platform

demonstrates our commitment to provide a

better banking experience to our customers

at any time and from anywhere, with both

convenience and control. This process of

digital transformation is not limited to the

FIMBank Direct platform and any new

services we will be introducing in the future;

it’s also about changing our internal mindset

and processes to continuously improve

customer service.

CT: FIMBank Direct will take our corporate

and retail services up to the next level.

The infrastructure built for international

settlements, foreign exchange and deposit

business, will now be made available for all

our customers, corporates and individuals

alike. Our services, including payments and

forex developed around our specialised trade

finance products, will now be provided to our

clients through this digital platform. This will

now unleash our capability for international

settlements in all major currencies,

particularly in USD and EURO. Our clients will

be able to settle, transfer funds, or deposit

By George Carol

We will also build on our

strengths to offer corporate

and international banking

solutions, in USD and other

major currencies, including

bulk payments and competitive

wholesale foreign exchange

services.

in real time, same day or later, securely and

effectively.

MBR: How will customers benefit from

FIMBank Direct?

CT: FIMBank Direct provides customers with

an integrated banking solution for corporate,

wholesale and individual requirements. We

have integrated our products within an online

context, where we can allow our customers

to manage their transactions efficiently and

securely.

The new platform enables customers to

manage accounts, view balances, and effect

multi-currency international payments that

serve customer needs securely. Furthermore,

customers may benefit from the competitive

and efficient services available, which include

foreign exchange and international payments.

FIMBank Direct continues to build on our

We sit down with

FIMBank’s Head of

Cash Management,

Chris Trapani, and

Group CIO Gilbert

Coleiro, who tell us

about the exciting

times ahead for

FIMBank, with the

launch of its new

digital banking

platform, FIMBank

Direct.

strong presence for international settlements

in USD and other major currencies. With

FIMBank Direct, same or next day value

payments and foreign exchange deals

can be managed online at the customer’s

convenience.

MBR: Extensive emphasis is made on the

secure aspects of FIMBank Direct. Would

you explain how this benefits users?

GC: Banking is all about trust, and we take

this responsibility towards our customers

very seriously. We have invested heavily

in the security features of FIMBank Direct.

One of our innovations is the pioneering

security technology used to authenticate

customers and transactions on the platform,

which we have branded as FIMBank CAM.

This smartphone app allows customers to

bank securely with us, without the need for

a physical internet key or hardware token. It

allows our customers to verify and sign their

transactions with no physical connection,

anytime, anywhere. It also helps protect our

customers from the most recent types of

cyber threats, something which traditional

tokens are unable to do.

MBR: FIMBank Direct caters for both

personal and corporate customers. How do

these different clients open accounts and

what are the main features?

CT: Apart from offering a complete suite of

corporate banking services, FIMBank Direct

continues to build on the success of our

Easisave product and allows customers to

open and manage savings accounts, current

accounts and fixed term deposit products.

For retail customers, all these activities can

be done without the need to visit the Bank’s

premises, whilst benefiting from efficient

and competitive products in USD and other

currencies.

Corporate and wholesale banking

services offered include balance view and

management, the ability to book single or

multi-currency payments, and access to

statements and advices, while benefitting

from competitive foreign exchange rates.

Authentication and security on FIMBank

Direct contributes to performance and

customer benefit, through strong payment

capabilities geared to support wholesale and

corporate demands, with same day and next

day payments options.

FIMBank Direct, coupled with our dedicated

business support teams, is aimed at delivering

a service advantage designed to drive and

support businesses efficiently and cost

effectively.

MBR: How will FIMBank Direct impact

current Easisave customers?

CT: Our established Easisave brand, is now

fully integrated within FIMBank Direct.

Easisave customers have access to all product

features, with added security and options

including standing orders, same day value

transfers and more. Our dedicated customer

support team, FIMBank Helpdesk, is available

to assist customers all their banking needs.

FIMBank’s Head of Cash Management, Chris Trapani, and Group CIO Gilbert Coleiro

MBR: One of FIMBank Direct’s unique

selling propositions is accessibility. Would

you elaborate?

GC: One of our key objectives is to allow

our customers to conduct their business on

demand and with no physical or time barriers.

FIMBank Direct offers convenience through

accessibility by enabling our customers to

transact with us simply by having a desktop

PC or tablet and their smartphone at hand.

In the coming months, we will be working

vigorously to introduce new functionalities.

MBR: With the new digital banking system

integrated within the Bank’s overall strategy,

what does the future hold for FIMBank?

CT: The Bank’s goal remains that of building a

loyal customer base by offering a wide range

of corporate products, accessible through a

secure and efficient digital banking platform,

with access to international settlements, local

payments, term deposit products and foreign

exchange services. Our banking strategy

remains pinned to servicing customer needs

and providing international banking support.

Meanwhile we shall continue to invest in

systems and teams to support business

requirements efficiently and promptly.

We will also build on our strengths to

offer corporate and international banking

solutions, in USD and other major currencies,

including bulk payments and competitive

wholesale foreign exchange services.

GC: We will continue to pursue a strategy that

is completely focused on customer needs.

The Bank is committed to providing a superior

customer experience model based on

continuous improvements, and a consistent,

digital experience across the entire portfolio

of products. MBR

For further information please visit www.fimbank.

com/direct or contact the FIMBank Helpdesk on

21322102 or helpdesk@fimbank.com

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7


Malta Business Review

ELECTIONS 2017

Malta Business Review

Muscat wins snap election

Labour leader gets mandate to govern the Island for another five years

with landslide victory

By Harry Cooper

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat won

a landslide victory in a snap election this

weekend, according to projections from

official results on Sunday.

Muscat’s Labour Party claimed victory on June

4th, Sunday morning, with some party officials

estimating its majority would be 34,000 —

close to the level achieved in 2013, when

Muscat put an end to an almost unbroken

quarter-century of rule by the center-right

Nationalist Party.

“Optimism has triumphed over negativity,

rumours and bitterness,” said Muscat, who is

set to get a mandate to govern Malta for the

next five years. “Our next step is to achieve

national reconciliation after such a divisive

campaign.”

Muscat had focused his campaign on his

government’s record of fostering economic

growth, while fending off opposition

allegations that his closest allies have been

involved in money-laundering schemes

related to the sale of EU passports and powerplant

privatization schemes.

Opposition Nationalist Party leader Simon

Busuttil said he had conceded defeat in a call

to Muscat, saying on Twitter: “As always, we

respect the decision of the electorate.”

For a man facing a criminal investigation

and fighting a snap election while holding

the presidency of the Council of the EU,

Joseph Muscat appeared remarkably relaxed.

“My mind is at peace on that,” he said in

an interview that took place in his car. The

allegations are, he added, “an absolute lie.”

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. DOI - Clifton Fenech

The election result proves that Muscat’s

popularity with the locals is very much in

evidence, echoing the personality cult of the

Labour prime minister from 1971 to 1984,

Dom Mintoff. Muscat’s book — “Joseph: The

best time for the country is yet to come” —

was published in time for the June 3 election

and billboards across the island proclaim:

“Joseph Muscat has fulfilled his promises.”

To be sure, Muscat has overseen an economic

boom, partly financed by the sale of EU

passports to non-EU nationals, which has

allowed him to introduce free childcare and

bring unemployment to record lows.

Muscat’s critics say the appointment of party

loyalists to government positions has also

ballooned since he took office, with over 600

people given such positions across the civil

service, according to a government response

to a parliamentary question. Kevin Aquilina,

dean of the law faculty at the University

of Malta, argued that this bypasses the

processes laid out in the island’s constitution.

For him, the underlying problem is simple:

“The prime minister is a very strong person

and he can basically get away with anything.”

Muscat gave the Labour Party the biggest

majority in its history in 2013 and an even

bigger one this June, with even bigger risks

that power will blind the government even

greater. However, Muscat quickly attempted

to play down his landslide victory as a triumph

of the Labour Party over the Nationalist

Party, but rather one of “love over hate, unity

over division, truth over lies, stability over

confusion, and socio-economic progress over

regression”.

“Malta is one, Malta is united, and we must

now become a model for the rest of the

world...we must become the envy of the

world.” MBR

Creditline: POLITICO

8 9

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Malta Business Review

CORPORATE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

CORPORATE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

Francesca Lagerberg, Grant Thornton’s Global Leader – tax services and Regional Leader Europe, was

recently in Malta attending Grant Thornton’s European congress, wherein over 44 countries came

together with the board of the CIS. Francesca tells the Editor why this is a chance to share best practice,

to talk about the things that Grant Thornton is doing and overview overall collaboration.

An Instinct for Growth

by Martin Vella

MBR: What excited you about the

opportunity to join Grant Thornton and

what made you feel, it will be the right fit

for you?

FL: I joined Grant Thornton as a direct entry

partner about a decade ago. Previously, I

worked as a freelancer and also worked

for a publishing company. I was looking for

something that was entrepreneurial, that

actually cared about its clients, that did work

a little bit differently. And then I met Grant

Thornton. I thought ‘yeah’ they might actually

have some of these factors going on and I

can genuinely say that the last ten years that

I have been here, I think there’s something

about a distinctiveness the way it operates,

the fact that it cares about its clients, it put

itself in shoes of its clients and it really treats

its people well, and that’s why I stayed. I have

never stayed anywhere as long as I stayed

with Grant Thornton and I am really proud of

committing to that.

MBR: My second question is, Grant

Thornton is widely recognised as being a

leader in diversity and inclusion. How are

your personally engaged with these efforts?

an attitude to be interested in

clients and to bring their very

best is something quite innate

FL: I run a programme called ‘The Woman

in Business’ programme. What we do each

year is we have a survey that we conduct with

three and a half thousand businesses around

the world. It helps us to collate information

about core issues happening in the diversity

and inclusion arena. What we also do is, we

carry an annual report to put out on Women’s

International Day, so in that time, in March, we

also keep track of how many female leaders

are based on public documentations. So we

put those three things together, we announce

a press release each year; we disseminate

information as a full report. Unfortunately,

the actual end result is really a bit depressing,

because the trend over the last fourteen

years has not really seen a significant shift.

Therefore, all of the things that we try and do

off the back of that report is really encourage

businesses that should be spending more

time on diversity and inclusion, and making

it part of their go to market, because actually

otherwise they are missing out on the great

opportunity.

MBR: So in that context how do you define

your role and do all your areas of focus

interrelate?

FL: Yeah, well I am! I have the regional

responsibility for helping our member firms

grow in Europe, and I also look after risk and

quality on a global level as well. So the way

they interact is as I said on the global teamso

we are the headquarters of the global

organisation and we get involved in everything

that has to do with the worldwide operation.

This accessible organisation depends on the

great work of how our member firms interact

with the glue that tries to hold all those

different firms together, provide support, yet

also share the best practise for those excellent

firms as well.

MBR: What has been the key to Grant

Thornton’s strength and leadership in the

industry and how do you define the Grant

Thornton difference?

FL: I think a different changing factor is that

we try to step into the shoes of our clients and

bring out a full potential of our people whilst

also being very truth to the fact that we have

believed that we should make a difference in

the communities that we are in so that we

are not just being responsible, but also that

we are playing a part in the community and

trying to encourage a vibrant economy. So

that I think, makes us very different in that we

have really got a strong social commitment

to our people and obviously commitment to

our clients to help them succeed and be their

best that they can be. The reason I think Grant

Thornton is different is; it’s big enough to be

able to service anything around the world but

it’s not so big that a client is a little minnow in

a very, very big pool.

MBR: Let’s talk about skill sets, how do

businesses need to think about how they

access different skill sets and what is the

significance?

FL: Well, I think there’s something around

diversity of skill sets in an organisation that

is vital because in professional services you

are dealing with a range of clients, very

different people, doing very different things,

the challenges that they are facing and so you

need to have people who are able to cope with

that variety. You can teach people a lot; you

can encourage and train, and do incredible

learning with individuals, but an attitude to

be interested in clients and to bring their very

best is something quite innate, especially in

individuals. I think the skill set that you need

is somebody who’s willing to listen more than

just talk and not just bringing ready-made

solutions, but actually try to get to the heart of

what the issues are to help people and really

see what the client is looking for, and also that

people have the skills that people want to do

business with you because you know it’s a lot

about people, the whole thing that we’re in

the client relationship is about if they trust

you, do they believe you, to give great advice,

have you got an intellectual ability to help

provide them with that advice and then when

you deliver. The capability to deliver is huge,

it’s so easy to say it but to actually delivering

and delivering above expectations.

MBR: How are such events held in Malta so

important and what is your opinion about

organisation of these events?

FL: Sure! In terms of importance I think it’s

fantastic that Grant Thornton have got a

range of individuals coming together, faceto-face,

networking, talking about topical

issues. I must congratulate the Maltese firm,

we are the headquarters of

the global organisation and we

get involved in everything that

has to do with the worldwide

operation

who have organised these things incredibly.

I mean if you look here, although this event

is a combination of the international and

the Maltese firm, tonight you will have 50 of

us walking around the streets in Malta and

sharing that experience. There’s something

there around people seeing what’s going

on locally, that they don’t just sit in a hotel,

but they actually get to experience some of

the local cuisine, the local culture, they get

to meet the people and that’s really a part

about that cultural intelligence. With 44

different countries present here, who came

together with the board of the CIS- wherein

more than 90 participants from 44 European

states united in one big family. Many of them

have never been to Malta before, and it’s

really important that we understand what’s

different and what’s the same, and then when

people are interacting on client’s issues or just

generally around global strategic issues.

MBR: So how do you ensure effective

communication with George Vella (Partner)

and working with the business function

leaders and engaging them. Can you explain

a bit?

FL: Yes of course. I mean there’s a lot of

ways doing that. Some of that is the simple

stuff, keeping regular contact and opening

the communication channel, maintaining

the flow, and being there through email

or telephone calls or meetings. This week

in particular we have got our European

countries all meeting in Malta. We have got

over 44 countries that are coming together

across Europe, with the board of the CIS. This

is a chance for us to share best practice, to talk

about the things that we are doing together

and look at how we are collaborating. Coming

face-to-face is a really important part of what

we do, but in between those face-to-face

meetings, we send out lease letters, we have

regular calls, we run webinars and we just try

and stay as connected as we can, using both

technology and good old fashioned speaking

to each other.

MBR: What are the commercial benefits of

diverse thinking, especially when it comes

to thinking at a leadership level?

FL: I think it’s a huge fundament diversity of

thinking. If you go back to the financial crisis

a lot of the research suggests that there

was a group thing that was taking place at

that time, because a lot of decision making

was happening with just one type of person

and one type of upbringing, one type of

environment. I think when it comes to dealing

with issues like risk, it’s just a want to have only

a range ideas being heard. We did just a little

bit of research about a year and a half ago, we

looked at the Indian stock exchange, the US

stock exchange and the UK stock exchange,

and we looked at the composition people

on the senior boards, and we looked at how

they performed at the same levels of market,

whether they outperform the market. We

used a mechanism that had been used by a

very well know university in order to do that

and make sure that we were not making

subject of opinions and we were able to show

that if we have got a diversity of grouping

at that senior board level, you significantly

outperform the market over a period of time.

I think something like that has to do with

bringing different thoughts in to the room

and being constructively challenging, and also

ensuring that you just don’t keep doing the

same old stuff. There’s something about the

volatility of the world that we walk in to today

that having that combination of different

thinking is you probably going to get a better

answer. You do not always get a better answer,

but you probably get a better answer if you

have a range of thinking in different cultures

and different insight. MBR

EDITOR’S

Note

Francesca has worked in tax for more

than 20 years and is the global leader for

tax services. Her main focus is helping

the Grant Thornton member firms to

grow their tax practices and attract,

retain and develop talent in the entire

global organisation by encouraging

a consistently inspiring culture. She

is actively involved in the UK's Tax

Professionals Forum, chaired by the

Financial Secretary to the UK Treasury

and is an advocate for Speakers' Trust

charity, which encourages public speaking skills. Francesca writes

about tax matters for the professional and worldwide press and

is a regular commentator on radio and TV. She is also actively

involved in lobbying for better, clearer and more proportionate

tax legislation. Francesca is a past chair of the Tax Faculty of the

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is a

past council member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. She is

involved in committees with Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs in

the UK and the Confederation of British Industry.

10 11

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Malta Business Review

DESIGN INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH DESIGN INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH Malta Business Review

A slice of

Mediterranean Malta

in central London

by Martin Vella

MBR: Halmann Vella have recently supplied

the stone and assisted in the construction

of the winning garden at the Chelsea flower

show. Can you explain what that is for

people who are not familiar with that?

HV: The Chelsea Flower Show is possibly

the largest gardening show in Britain and

possibly around the world. It is visited by

over 150,000 people every year, including

the Queen herself, and is widely broadcast on

the BBC. Participating as a supplier to one of

the show gardens is a great achievement for

us as a local company as it places us on the

international scene on a par with some of the

biggest players in the industry. As Maltese, it

was also a pleasure to be associated with a

garden that is based on Malta’s landscape. In

fact, the M&G Garden 2017 is modelled on a

disused Maltese quarry and utilizes Maltese

stone supplied by Halmann Vella as well as

a number of plants which are endemic to

Malta.

MBR: How did the project come about?

JB: A lifelong love of quarries and a desire

to show how man can work with nature to

soften the hard, mineral spaces we create

to generate a garden were part of the

inspiration. A client had a painting of a quarry

in Gozo, and it was incredible, so it inspired

us to go and explore; and from that seed the

garden was created!

In an atypical, extraordinary interview with Josef Zammit,

Contracts Manager, Hugh Vella, Director of Operations, both with

Halmann Vella and James Basson, Designer of the M&G Garden

2017 and Director, Scape Design, we follow the latest exceptional

enterprise undertaken by Halmann Vella, who have recently

supplied the stone and constructed the winning garden at the

Chelsea flower show, UK.

HV: In September 2015, architect Ray

Demicoli put me in contact with James

Basson from Scape Design and Marc Crocus

from Crocus. I listened to their idea of basing

a Chelsea Flower Show Garden on a Maltese

quarry, thinking that it was slightly absurd.

However, I gave them my full attention and

accompanied them to see the stone. A couple

of days before Christmas we received a set of

drawings and sketches, and the rest, as they

say is history.

It was an incredibly ambitious

project and nothing had been

attempted on this scale before

at Chelsea as we only have three

weeks to complete the garden.

MBR: Can you please tell us about the

selection and preparation of the stone

used?

JZ: The stone was quarried in Malta and

eventually fabricated in our stone processing

facility in Hal Far. Once finished the materials

were packed and shipped to London.

MBR: Overall, how did the construction of

the garden go?

JZ: Thankfully the construction went on

flawlessly and without a glitch. This was

thanks to the hard work of our factory team

in Malta, who ensured that 1,200 pieces of

Maltese stone were delivered at the right size

and finish and without damages. This was

essential because if something went wrong

in London, our factory was miles away, so it

would have been very difficult for us to fix

it. Every stone was given a unique reference

and placed in custom made timber boxes,

and all boxes were referenced as well to

make the installation in the UK easier. A team

of Halmann Vella workers made up of six

installers and two stone finishers joined the

Crocus workers to assist in the construction

and stone installation. Upon completion, our

finishers went on to give the stone a more

authentic quarry look using specific surface

finishes. The installation was led by myself

and supervised by Hugh Vella.

JZ: It was an incredibly ambitious project and

nothing had been attempted on this scale

before at Chelsea as we only have three

weeks to complete the garden. It really was

only possible due to the incredible planning

and engineering of Halmann Vella and Crocus

and Eliott Wood, the structural engineers.

MBR: What factors did you have to consider

when making the show garden, considering

where its final location would be?

JZ: One concern was the weather as we were

trying to bring a slice of Mediterranean Malta

to central London. In grey, rainy weather

the garden risked seeming dull but we were

so lucky that the week of the show was

scorching and the garden glowed. Obviously,

on a practical level we had the logisitics of

getting the stone as prebuilt/cut as possible,

in order to stay on schedule during the build.

Finally, for the plants, we gradually moved up

through Europe from Malta, Sicily, to Northern

Italy/Southern France NS conclusively to the

UK in order to get them at the right stage of

flowering.

MBR: Why is it so important to bring nature

into a project located in a very dense urban

environment?

JB: We are an ever-growing population and

we cannot continue to deplete the earth of its

resources by quarrying and building without

giving something back. Water run-off is a huge

problem in urban areas and particularly on an

island where instead of permeating back into

the water table it simply runs off the mass of

hard surfaces and into the sea. Water is not

an infinite resource. In encouraging nature

to come back into these extremely mineral

spaces we increase oxygen production

through planting, they absorb CO2, they

help feed water back into the water table by

breaking its fall and increase a top layer of

humus allowing other plants to colonise, on

top of this it is beautiful to look at and we get

a real sense of changing seasons instead of

static hard materials.

MBR: The garden has a very strong, clear

architecture, and then you integrate the

idea of nature in a very expressive and

organic way. Is this a deliberate contrast

between the garden, the flowers and the

building?

HV: Absolutely, the structural side of the

garden is in essence inspired by the quarries

in Malta but it equally reminisces brutalist

architecture. The plants then soften

everything making it at the same time more

inviting and essentially a garden, but equally

underlines the starkness of the stone. The

planting also shows how within one space we

can see several different ecologies – on top

of the pillars we had clifftop ecology, behind

the pillars where water would collect we

had aquatic plants, then sub-shrub through

garrigue, steppe and coastal.

MBR: What does this achievement

represent to you?

HV: The RHS Chelsea Flower show came about

just about as Halmann Vella were relaunching

our international business strategy. In fact

during the same week we announced our

collaboration with London, Paris, Milan and

Istanbul based Vicalvi Contract, for whom

we will be the exclusive suppliers of natural

stone. Vicalvi Contracts has been involved in a

number of high profile developments around

the world including the Four Seasons Hotel

Casablanca, Morgans Hotel in New York,

the Grand Hyatt Cannes Martinez Hotel, the

Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi and the Louis

Vuitton Foundation in Paris. We are thus

looking at the future with cautious positivity.

JB: For us at Scape Design, it really is the

pinnacle of our career. Best in Show and Best

Construction at the Chelsea Flower Show

was our dream and goal, and now that we

have achieved it we couldn’t be happier. The

garden was controversial as several members

of the public questioned whether it was a

garden, but we strongly believe that the line

between landscape and garden is very grey,

and if it opens debate around the subject

of ’What makes a garden?’ that can only be

positive. Hopefully, it will encourage people

to look at the natural environment and see

how they can help it to achieve a result that

is pleasing to us as humans but that doesn’t

go against nature by watering, adding soil

ameliorants, chemicals, and so on. MBR

EDITOR’S

Note

Hugh Vella was the architect who assisted in the selection and

preparation of the stone.

Josef Zammit was the project manager during the construction of

the garden.

James Basson was the designer of the M&G Garden 2017.

12

www.maltabusinessreview.net

13


Malta Business Review

ICT

Malta Business Review

Choosing the right software

implementation partner can make or

break your project – and your bank

By Darren Sammut

Business software projects are often complex

and require a high degree of commitment

from both the customer and supplier –

commitment to effort and commitment to

change.

This is an area of Information Technology that

is full of failed projects and of projects which

fall short of meeting customer objectives. In

fact, a recent CIO survey placed the level of

customer satisfaction with ERP and CRM

projects at the very lowest levels of all IT

projects.

In this area, Computime Software enjoys

a consistently high customer satisfaction

rating, with 96% of our clients saying that

Computime exceeds their expectations,

while 99% would recommend Computime to

their peers. Computime have a positive track

record of 35+ years in successful business

software implementations and software

development projects, and our philosophy

is to be completely transparent with our

clients from day one to completion, ensuring

they understand the amount of time, effort,

and cost required to implement a successful

software project.

We employ an experienced and multidisciplined

team of experts, including

technology specialists to ensure that the

system is built using technology that is fit

for purpose, performs well, and integrates

into the customer's environment – but also

usability experts to ensure that the software is

easy-to-use by non-technical users, business

experts who are able to interface with the

customer's business users to ensure that the

customer's business objectives are met, and

finally project managers who oversee the

whole process and work together with our

account manager and the customer to keep

the project on track.

INSURANCE

AGENCY

Computime have a positive

track record of 35+ years in

successful business software

implementations

We utilise cutting edge technologies

developed by our R&D team or from leading

vendors to make maximum use of the various

platforms which are available nowadays to

everyone, such as the internet and mobile

devices. At the same time we provide choices

– for example if a customer prefers to run

their solution from a more traditional onpremises

server as opposed to a cloud-based

solution, then this can also be easily achieved.

We firmly believe that most projects should

deliver value in stages, and expecting a project

to meet all objectives in one single ‘big bang’

is often a recipe for failure, as this approach

puts a massive burden on both the customer

and the implementation team.

As a result, we normally recommend

focusing initially on delivering a few small,

but measurable objectives, together with the

customer ensuring these are met, and then

moving onto subsequent phases, always at

the customer’s pace. Apart from everything

else, customers are usually consumed with

their day-to-day tasks, so planning a project

in bite-sized phases is very often a preferred

option.

The customer engagement process that we

adopt starts with our first meeting and builds

one layer at a time, always with the objective

of delivering the maximum benefit at minimal

risk and cost to the customer.

While we borrow from standard

methodologies such as PRINCE II and Agile,

we strive to ensure that our primary approach

is pragmatic, not overly formal, and above all

fit for purpose. MBR

Learn more about Computime Software:

www.computimesoftware.com.

INSURANCE

AGENCY

EDITOR’S

Note

Darren Sammut is the

Operations Manager,

Computime Software.

Darren has been working

in IT for 12 years. He

joined Computime in

2008 and has held roles

in Quality Assurance,

Project Management, and

Operations Management. Darren has led projects

in Oil & Gas, Banking, Telecommunications,

iGaming, and many other industries. Currently,

Darren is responsible for the delivery of all

Computime Software projects.

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insurance agent for Certain Underwriters at

an as act to 2006 Act Intermediaries Insurance the under enrolled is Ltd. Agency Insurance MIB

MIB Insurance Agency Ltd.

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Malta Business Review

AUTOMOTIVE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

AUTOMOTIVE INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

Malta Business Review

Aim High and Innovateby Martin Vella

MBR: What’s your biggest challenge

for Michael Debono Ltd as a dealership

principal today?

PC: Modern day businesses are operating

in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex

and ambiguous) world and the automotive

market is probably one of the best examples

of this. Technological advancements in all

aspects of the business suggest the need for a

flexible and agile management structure and

finding the right people adapted to change is

very difficult.

MBR: On your past profile history– and

on the dealership website, you list family

values, integrity, honour and an honest

respect for customer satisfaction as being

cornerstones of the Michael Debono Ltd

legacy. What are some specific ways you

maintain that?

PC: At Michael Debono Limited we always put

the customer at the forefront of any decisions

we take. The 2007 showroom project is

testament to this; the greeting by a hostess,

the way that cars are displayed, a kids playing

area, a comfortable IT equipped waiting area,

Wi-Fi service for customer use, the sales

pods, etc. All these were designed with the

client in mind to offer comfort, transaction

transparency and a feel-good feeling. Our

sales executives are trained to understand

customer needs and help them make an

informed choice. Buying a car for us is not just

a transaction but the start of a relationship

because a car is a product that will inevitably

require aftersales support, and we must be

there to give that. Back in the 70’s and 80’s

when shipments from Japan took months,

MDL was recognised as the only Japanese car

importer in Malta that was fully stocked with

spare parts. Today, this is next to impossible

due to the large range of used Toyotas from

Japan, but if a part is not in stock the client can

opt in for a courier delivery within 24 hours.

An exclusive interview with Patrick Clark,

General Manager, who talks with us about the

company as being a sustainable organisation that

creates real value to customers and shareholders.

He explains that the Debono Group is an

entrepreneurial organisation that also cares for

society and safeguards the environment, at the

same time keeps its focus firmly on superior

technology and innovation.

Toyota was also the pioneer

of hybrid technology that

combines an electric motor

to a petrol engine to achieve

substantially lower CO2

tailpipe emissions

MBR: What is Michael Debono Limited’s

Target Strategy for 2017/18 and what drives

its success?

PC: MDL represents one of the world’s

leading automotive brands, Toyota that

delivers first class products which warrant a

commensurate level of customer service. We

seek to continue enriching our customers’

experience by adding new/enhanced services

to our portfolio to ensure that future growth

and the attainment of performance targets.

MBR: Why is the Michael Debono Limited

complex regarded as a model dealership

and a leader in environmentally friendly

initiatives?

PC: In line with the Toyota philosophy on

the environment, we are conscious of the

impact cars have on the environment so it is a

company mission to try to mitigate that as far

as possible. Materials in the new showroom

build were all chosen to reduce the need for

heating/cooling, the use of energy efficient

lighting, a 432-strong solar panel farm, carbon

filtering in the spray booths and powerless

convection air circulation system in the body

repair area, are all such investments.

In our product offering, Toyota was also the

pioneer of hybrid technology that combines

an electric motor to a petrol engine to achieve

substantially lower CO2 tailpipe emissions.

MDL has been selling hybrids for the last

twenty years. Nowadays, in models offering

the option, hybrids accounts for over 30%

of volume. Customers can even obtain more

advantageous government incentives if they

scrap their old cars in order to purchase a

hybrid engine vehicle.

MBR: How does Michael Debono Ltd seek

to hire individuals who have a keen interest

in the automobile industry?

PC: The company’s employee welfare

is of paramount importance and it’s HR

department actively works to maximize

motivation and passion in the team

periodically gauging employee satisfaction.

We consider ourselves to be an “employer of

choice” and this helps us attract people who

are passionate about the work they do, to join

our dynamic team.

MBR: Toyota is privately and family owned

dealership. Is it getting harder to compete

with dealerships that are part of larger

groups?

PC: The limitations of the automobile

market in Malta have necessitated that low

volume brand dealerships merge to create

synergies that make better financial sense.

The challenge is to give each brand in a multibrand

portfolio its due focus. Here at MDL,

the success of the Toyota brand scoring first in

the market in eight of the last ten years meant

that we could keep the focus on one brand

giving it the required support.

MBR: The big issue is trade. Why is it so

important to dealers selling international

brands?

PC: Technology and globalization has and

is still changing the way the world does

business. In the automotive world there are a

The limitations of the

automobile market in Malta

have necessitated that low

volume brand dealerships

merge to create synergies that

make better financial sense.

number of examples of this. Malta’s EU status

implies that cars can be purchased anywhere

in the EU and registered locally. Used cars

and parts can be bought off auctions in Japan

over the internet and shipped over to Malta.

Probably the biggest recent example of this

is the advent of online trading of new cars

where pilot projects are underway in some

European countries to sell new cars over

the internet. There are still some legislative

obstacles to overcome but this is surely a

development that we will see more of in the

years ahead, whether in Malta remains to be

seen.

MBR: As you look to the future, what

are some of the trends you are watching

closely?

PC: The automotive world is set for a revolution

of un-paralleled precedent in its history.

Under pressure from global environmental

needs, technological developments and the

finite nature of fossil fuels, all manufacturers

are investing heavily in alternative propulsion

systems. The diffusion of electric cars will be

the first major advancement in the medium

term. Once cost and range/charging issues are

addressed to a level that the market will deem

acceptable, they will gradually replace fossil

fuelled cars. This will have a very big impact on

aftersales business with far fewer mechanical

parts requiring servicing and replacement.

Some manufacturers have developed the fuel

cell technology with Toyota launching the first

commercially available Mirai hydrogen fuel

cell car in the US, Japan and UK. A hydrogen

supply network is being gradually installed

in these countries and Europe but this is a

long-term project and seems a distant while

away. Also, fast developing is the concept of

driverless cars with a host of tech companies

entering the fray aggressively competing with

the establish car manufacturers.

At current levels of global car population

growth, the number of cars on the road

will double by 2050. Obviously, this is

unsustainable, so manufacturers foresee that

the concept of car ownership will change to

one of (autonomous) car sharing.

In Malta, the issue of mobility is already a

hard reality. Much is being said and proposed

about a mass transportation system and

other measure to lessen the use of private

vehicles. All these have a potential impact on

the business and we must be ready to adapt.

MBR: How do you view your sponsorship of

Malta’s Best Entrepreneur Awards 2017 and

why is this significant?

PC: Sponsoring the Malta’s Best Entrepreneur

Awards gives us an opportunity to participate

in the recognition of some of the best

entrepreneurial talent in Malta. It’s important

to reward and recognise these achievements

in business and also their contributions to

society, as well as their efforts to take their

businesses to the next level of success.

Activities such as this may help inspire existing

and future entrepreneurs to aim high and

innovate in the way they do business with

the ultimate aim to be profitable, socially and

environmentally responsible and with the

highest of ethical standards. MBR

16 17

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS

EXPRESS TRAILERS STRENGTHENS GROUPAGE SERVICES

to and from Poland and Turkey

Express Trailers is announcing improvements

and developments in its consolidated weekly

groupage services to and from Poland and

Turkey.

“Express Trailers has already been assisting

Maltese businesses in their trade relations

with business partners in Turkey and Poland

for a number of years. However, we have

been noticing increased activity from these

countries, specifically in the import of

furniture, food & beverage, retail and other

products,” explains David Fleri Soler, Head of

Sales and Business Development at Express

Tailers.

“We wanted to help Maltese businesses be in

a position to offer more commitment to their

business partners and this is why we decided

to organise an advanced consolidated weekly

groupage service between Malta and Turkey

by sea loading on the first available vessel

as well as a fixed departure on Thursday

between Poland and Malta by road arriving

on Monday.”

“We are offering guaranteed weekly

departures, easy booking and tracking

facilities, competitive tariffs and five-day

transit time. We also offer door to door

collections and deliveries, customs clearance

and transportation of hazardous and

temperature-controlled foodstuffs from both

countries thanks to our partnership with

reputable partners in Turkey and in Poland,”

Express Trailers’ agents in Turkey are Yusen

İnci Logistics whereas in Poland, they are

Piast Cargo. The reliability of these new

consolidated groupage services can only be

guaranteed through our collaboration with

our respective agents in Turkey and Poland.

Only by working with reliable and trusted

partners in the respective countries we can

ensure peace of mind to all our clients.

Only by working with reliable

and trusted partners in the

respective countries we can

ensure peace of mind to all our

clients.

Franco Azzopardi, Chairman and CEO of

Express Trailers said that, “the experience and

backup that a trusted transport and logistics

partner such as Express Trailers can offer, has

become a crucial factor when companies

decide to start doing business with relatively

new markets to Malta.”

“Whereas Poland is within the EU, Turkey is

not and therefore, certain regulations, health

and safety conditions, documentation and

procedures are best handled by those who

have the know-how and the experience

to ensure that all the risks involved can be

handled effectively,” said Franco Azzopardi.

“Being able to service new markets and

routes is the result of the experience, the

capabilities and the people that who over the

years have made Express Trailers the most

trusted company when it comes to transport

and logistics,” added Franco Azzopardi. MBR

At times, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

This is when the collective becomes a bigger strength.

This is us.

We achieve because we achieve together.

This is why we are One.

This is why we are ORANGE.

#WeAreOrange

We deliver your cargo from wherever to anywhere, and however,

whether by road, sea freight, airfreight or multimodal

We are experts in total logistics.

PHOTO: IN THE SPORTS EVENTS WE SUPPORT, WE RUN AS A TEAM. THE WE ARE ORANGE TEAM

Express Group Malta

Velbro House, Qormi Road,

Luqa LQA 9040,

MALTA

Tel: (+356) 21 242311

Email: info@expressgroup.com

www.expressgroup.com

18


Malta Business Review

ENERGY/TRANSPORT

ENERGY/TRANSPORT

Malta Business Review

Kevin Kelly

If you are a virtual reality enthusiast, you

probably read Kevin Kelly’s April Wired cover

story on Magic Leap, “The World’s Most

Secretive Startup.” Kelly is one of the few

people who have seen the much-hyped

mixed reality technology being produced

by the Fort Lauderdale company and was

suitably impressed by it. “While Magic Leap

has yet to achieve the immersion of The

Void,” he wrote (referring to the Utah-based

immersive experience company), “it is still,

by far, the most impressive on the visual

front — the best at creating the illusion that

virtual objects truly exist.”

As the co-founder of Wired, publisher of the

Cool Tools website, and former publisher and

editor of The Whole Earth Review, Kelly has

always been prescient about these things. In

his new book, The Inevitable: Understanding

12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our

Future, he compellingly outlines a set of

behaviours and trends that will change the

way we live. We recently spoke with Kelly

about the themes of the book, and of course,

the latest developments in VR.

[The interview below has been edited for

clarity, and condensed.]

MBR: There Is Only R: The first question

I have to ask: what do you think of the

Pokemon Go phenomenon? Given what

you have written about the VR and AR,

what’s your take on it?

KK: I think it’s just wonderfully thrilling to

see — I think perhaps the only unexpected

thing about it is its apparent suddenness.

I was just walking around last night in our

neighborhood, and there were all these

little Poke stores and everything. It was kind

of piggybacking on [prior AR app] Ingress

sort of like, I don’t know, like a sleeper cell or

something. People including me have been

talking about GoogleEarth and GoogleMaps

as kind of a bed for VR for a long time, and

I think what it’s shown is how you could do

mixed reality and what that might be like.

And I think no matter what happens to

Pokemon Go, I think there will now be a

lot more tries, a lot more attempts to do

something on top of it. I am trying to think

what the equivalent would be. It’s sort of like

OUR INEVITABLE

FUTURE:

A conversation with Kevin Kelly about VR, Digital Socialism, and his new book

the early days of video arcade games, where

they were good enough to improve. You had

Pong and you had Pac-Man, and people saw

that people would pay money for those, and

then we had this explosion where everybody

else was trying to do something better.

MBR: I wonder if just the simplicity of

Pokemon Go made it popular. You can pretty

much figure out how to play Pokemon Go

if you know nothing about Pokemon or AR

even.

KK: I’m assuming they just tapped into the

interface in a way that Ingress did not. And

there obviously were network effects. You

saw people doing it and that propelled you to

try it, and the more people that tried it, the

more obvious it became.

So that wonderful thing about the public

aspect of it is, I don’t know if it’s going to be

repeated again. Because later when people

are doing it, you will not know what they are

doing. There will be all these games and right

now when you see somebody out on the

street looking at [a device], there’s only one

thing they could be doing.

MBR: When you write books like this where

you are making some hard predictions about

the future, I would imagine that somewhere

between the book going to press and it

actually coming out, some of the things

you write about actually happened. Is there

anything that happened with this book?

KK: Well, I did a lot more on VR which is

your kind of domain, that I wish New York

publishing was fast enough to put into the

book. The text for The Inevitable was actually

completed a year ago. I finished writing the

stuff for VR in December. So I had a lot more

first-hand experience and additional thoughts

on what VR and AR mean to the world that’s

not in the book. I wish I could’ve included it.

There are lots of different ways to deal with

complex ideas. I think, and I write about this

in my book under the screen chapter, where

there’s this marriage of text and moving

images — video that you read, books that you

watch. I think there’s something there that I

want to explore, this convergence marriage

by Elizabeth Spiers

of text and moving images together. I have

another project that I’m thinking of for VR.

It’s really hard to kind of invent both the

medium and content at the same time, and

I’m not actually that interested in inventing

the medium. I would prefer to take some of

that stuff that exists and make content for

it because every attempt I have seen in the

past for someone to try and do both, it just

does not work. They are really two different

mindsets, I think. And my inclination right

now is to let others invent the medium and I’ll

try and make some content.

MBR: When I see VR experiences that are

a little bit less impressive, I always think it’s

because the creators are trying to take 2D

formats and translate them directly.

KK: Yeah, absolutely, and in the early

days of the internet, we used to call [that

phenomenon] shovel-ware, because you

would take content from your magazine and

you would just shovel it onto the web. And it

was very evident to everybody that that was

not going to work. So we actually had a whole

separate editorial team working on content

for the digital side of Wired, completely

independent of the magazine side because

we just knew it was going to require a

different logic, a different workflow, different

frequency.

With VR, there’s definitely a tendency to

make some of these narratives like movies

and movie people are making them. And it

will take some years before we figure out

what the new norms are — what works, what

doesn’t work.

And this is something you can’t figure out by

thinking about it. The smartest genius in the

world could be applied to figuring this out

in theory, but it is something that we only

figure out by using VR. And no amount of

preconception, pre-visualizing it is going to

be able to solve this. I think we are going to

need like 10,000 hours of experience in order

to make any changes, to move in the right

direction.

MBR: So who do you think is going to be on

the forefront of that? Who do you think is

going to do the really innovative stuff and

most experimental content creators are

going to be?

KK: My bias is that the studios will spend a lot

of money trying this, but it’s the Buzzfeeds

of the world that will come along and make

something that will actually work. I think we

are far from even seeing, even formation of

these companies that will succeed. I think

they haven’t been formed yet, or maybe

they’re forming in the basement right now as

we speak, but it’s still years away.

My bias is that the studios will spend a lot

of money trying this, but it’s the Buzzfeeds

of the world that will come along and make

something that will actually work.

I think some of the gaming companies,

people you know, might have the first round

of successes, but I think it’s going take five

years for the other forms. It’s going be a little

slow in the beginning. I don’t see any kind of

VR unicorns happening within five years.

MBR: When you submitted the book — had

you seen Magic Leap yet?

KK: No, I had not. I had not seen Magic Leap

when the book was done. I had not seen Meta,

and I had not seen Hololens and I had not seen

The Void, so I had not seen the major players

when I wrote the chapter on VR in my book.

I’d only seen The Oculus prototypes — the

DK2. And I had seen the early stuff of Jaron

[Lanier]’s. So that’s something I would like to

have updated.

MBR: Yeah, you talk a little about being in

Jaron’s lab in ’89 or ’90. [Jaron Lanier was

an early VR pioneer who coined the term

“virtual reality.”] What do you think he

really got right at the time and what were

people working in VR at that stage wrong

about?

KK: I do not think they were wrong about very

much. The quality of the experience at that

time was actually not that far off from say, the

Oculus. The resolution was not as great, but

depth of feel was not that different. You had

hands [in the experience] — you had gloves

which were actually higher resolution than

Oculus. And it was social. You had more than

one person, and they had an articulated body.

Other experiments that were going on were

pretty sophisticated. The thing that they sort

of did not get right or the thing they did not

have was that they were not cheap. They

were just way too experimental and also they

were too expensive in two ways — one was

the money, and two was the maintenance.

So keeping those systems going required

professional hacking help. You needed a

person to maintain them, so it wasn’t just

My take on a lot of the anger,

frustration that’s being

represented by both the British

exit and Trump, is that they are

derived from the fact that we

have technological changes

the purchase price, it was the fact that these

things were temperamental and the tracking

was always going off. It was not plug and

play level. The thing that happened in those

intervening years was not so much that

the quality drastically improved, but simply

that the price changed by three orders of

magnitude. So now we’re at this level where

they you have a great flywheel effect.

MBR: Earlier I read an interview with Ray

Kurzweil in Playboy from a few months ago.

He has kind of a different scenario for AI

and VR that’s a little bit more sci-fi. He says

that by 2030 we’ll have VR tech embedded

in our nervous system, like chipped into the

neocortex or something like that. What do

you think of that scenario? Does that seem

plausible to you?

KK: Not in 2030. There are none of the

precursors necessary for that to happen in

2030. I think as soon as you start messing

with the human body, you are talking about a

different time scale. Digital stuff can progress

at this exponential rate, but if you’re messing

with the human body, you have to do more.

We are susceptible to what I call “thinkism”,

which is this idea that thinking about things

can solve problems — that if you had an AI

that was smart enough, you could solve

cancer because you could think about it.

But we do not know enough. We do not

have enough data, we do not have enough

experiments. You have to actually do a whole

lot more experiments on cells, and human

biology, and humans before you could solve

it. You can’t just solve it by thinking about it.

And so then it’s same thing with this implant

idea. It doesn’t take into any account the fact

that you have to experiment on animals long

before you get to humans, and that just takes

biological time. [Kurzweil] will say, well, you

can simulate them. But that doesn’t work.

We just don’t know enough. I think someday

we’ll figure this out, but not anywhere near

the ’30 year because we don’t have enough

experimental data to do that.

MBR: Speaking of those politics, when you

talk about digital socialism, how do you

envision that affecting, for instance, social

justice movements like Black Lives Matter?

KK: I think it’s a very complicated answer

because on one level it doesn’t have a direct

effect. On other levels, it’s obvious that there

are things like tracking, ubiquitous cameras

everywhere, and that makes a difference.

The technological environment in which

everything is filmed all the time will have a

huge impact. In the end the cops are filming,

and they should be filming, and the citizens

should be filming — and citizens should have

access to everything the cops film. The net

effect will be good overall if everything is

captured. Over time the greater good would

be served by having that evidence. But at the

same time, it doesn’t address the fundamental

problems, so I think it’s complicated.

MBR: It’s a little bit of a subversion of the

way we think about surveillance, where

it’s always state down. And we think of it

as a way for the state will hold the citizenry

accountable, but it seems like what we’re

seeing now is a reversal of that. Given that

you turned in the book about a year ago,

is there anything you thinking about while

you were writing that seems particularly

poignant right now, given the very odd

political environment we’re in?

KK: My take on a lot of the anger, frustration

that’s being represented by both the British

exit and Trump, is that they are derived from

the fact that we have technological changes,

changes in people’s livelihoods. Technology is

taking away some of their jobs, and makes it

hard for them to find work and have meaning

in life. And they’re frustrated, and it has

nothing to do with Mexico, or China or the

immigrants in Syria. It has everything to do

with the fact that automation is coming, will

continue to come and that some of those

changes will continue to happen.

The most common occupation in America is

truck driving. There are three million truck

drivers and their lives and livelihoods are

going to be disrupted hugely by AI automated

cars, so we are not at the end of this. This is

still going to continue. So I don’t think we’ve

heard the end of it. MBR

Creditline: LinkedIN

EDITOR’S

Note

Elizabeth Spiers (born

December 11, 1976) is an

American Web publisher

and journalist, the founder

of Gawker.com, a media

gossip blog, and of Dead

Horse Media, now called

Breaking Media, which

has published blogs and

websites in the fields of Wall Street, the law,

fashion industry, and business management:

Dealbreaker.com, AboveTheLaw.com and

Fashionista.com.

20 21

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

ENVIRONMENT

THE OCEAN IS

EVERYBODY’S

BUSINESS

by Sir Richard Branson

I love the ocean. Most people around the

world love the ocean too. That’s a great

starting point for us all, but it is not enough.

We need to put our time, our energy, and our

money where our hearts are to protect and

restore our most precious natural asset, the

blue in our blue planet.

The Ocean is probably the biggest business

in the world. It provides half the oxygen we

breathe, it has absorbed a quarter of our CO2

emissions, and puts food on our plates.

But it is in danger. You may not be able to see

it from above the surface, but the threats

are many and the risks are real: plastics are

choking our sea life; pollution is causing ‘dead

zones’; our corals are dying; climate change is

heating our Ocean, making it more acidic; and

too many boats are chasing fewer and fewer

fish.

Yet it’s not too late to solve this crisis. The

Ocean is amazingly resilient and could recover,

but it needs each and every one of us to play a

part. We need business leadership more than

ever in the absence of political leadership

and will. Whether your company’s business

activities are linked directly to the Ocean or

not, there are many actions that can be taken

that will have a direct impact on promoting a

healthier, cleaner, safer and more productive

Ocean.

The Ocean is amazingly

resilient and could recover, but

it needs each and every one of

us to play a part.

The only way we will solve the Ocean crisis is by

working together, with businesses involved as

part of the solution. Our goal in launching the

“The Ocean is Everybody’s Business” initiative

is to raise awareness within the corporate

sector of the impact businesses have been

having on the Ocean, and to encourage as

many companies as possible to get involved

in Ocean conservation and sustainability – to

enable us to reverse the current trajectory of

decline to one of recovery.

To assist companies on their voyage to a

healthier Ocean, there are a number of key

activities that will help achieve the Ocean

Sustainable Development Goal targets (SDG

14: Life Below Water) and go further towards

adopting the measures needed to secure a

sustainable and fair “blue” future.

We believe that many companies are eager

to meet these challenges and to take bold

actions to “blue” their businesses. They need

to hold themselves accountable, by being

transparent about their activities. MBR

To begin their ‘blue voyage’, businesses can commit to at

least one or more of the following:

Take Action

Companies can play a huge role in driving

positive change for the Ocean

Committing to adopt a business model that is

both environmentally and socially responsible

will have multiple positive effects for the

planet, its people and the economy. The

private sector has a strong and compelling

voice and major reach in terms of its

consumers, staff and business partners.

Net-Zero carbon

emission by

2050

Significantly

reduce plastic

waste

Support ocean

regeneration

zones

Only consume

sustainable

seafood

Today, more than ever, we need business

leadership to drive positive change. Whether

your company’s business activities are directly

linked to the Ocean or not, there are many

actions you can take that will have a direct

impact on promoting a healthier, cleaner,

safer and more productive Ocean for people

and the planet.

Ocean Corporate

Social

Responsibility

Reduce marine

water pollution

Support innovation

and science and

share best practices

Courtesy: Virgin Group Digital © 2017. The Ocean is Everybody's Business - All Rights Reserved.

22


Malta Business Review

MSE

Brighter future for the Malta Stock Exchange

Availability of credit in Malta and in the EU is

constrained by the willingness of the banks to

extend it to those seeking it. A stronger capital

market will seek to address such shortfall,

Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna

said.

Speaking at the Malta Stock Exchange,

Minister Scicluna addressed the importance

of facilitating access to credit to entrepreneurs

through various avenues, such as rendering

the Stock Exchange more accessible through

a well thought-out strategic plan.

Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna made

reference to the harmful campaign against

the Maltese Financial Sector in the European

Parliament, which campaign was spearheaded

for partisan gains. He mentioned that on

Tuesday and Wednesday he is accompanying

the Prime Minister for meetings in Strasbourg

to defend the country’s reputation.

Minister Scicluna concluded by stating that

he will be giving more attention to the Stock

Exchange than ever before, to make sure that

the initiatives which were proposed by the

present Board will be implemented. MBR

End of roaming charges in the

EU: Joint statement by three

As of tomorrow, 15 June 2017, roaming

charges in the European Union will no longer

apply. President of the European Parliament

Antonio Tajani, Prime Minister of Malta

Joseph Muscat on behalf of the Maltese

Presidency of the Council of the European

Union, and President of the European

Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, issued the

following statement:

“The European Union is about bringing

people together and making their lives

easier. The end of roaming charges is a true

European success story.

From now on, citizens who travel within the

EU will be able to call, text and connect on their

mobile devices at the same price as they pay

at home. Eliminating roaming charges is one

of the greatest and most tangible successes of

the EU. Over the last 10 years, our institutions

have been working hard together to fix this

market failure. Each time a European citizen

crossed an EU border, be it for holidays, work,

studies or just for a day, they had to worry

about using their mobile phones and a high

phone bill from the roaming charges when

they came home. Roaming charges will now

be a thing of the past. As of tomorrow, you will

be able to remain connected while travelling

in the EU, for the same price as at home.

It has been a long time coming, with many

actors involved. By working closely together,

the European Union has delivered a concrete,

positive result for European citizens. We are

proud that the EU has put an end to very high

roaming prices and thankful to those who

EU institutions

showed the determination to overcome the

many challenges and pursue this goal.

At the same time, the EU has managed to find

the right balance between the end of roaming

charges and the need to keep domestic

mobile packages competitive and attractive.

Operators have had 2 years to prepare for the

end of roaming charges, and we are confident

that they will seize the opportunities the new

rules bring to the benefit of their customers.

The end of roaming charges is at the

foundation of the EU's Digital Single Market

and is another step towards building a united

and sustainable European digital society,

accessible for all our citizens.” MBR

Credit: DOI/Government of Malta

Special

Feature

MBEOTYA 2017

MBR: You have said recently that DataByte

Ltd’s now focusing on the “new style” of IT?

What does that mean for DataByte and its

focus for 2017/18?

FM: The ‘new style’ is based on harnessing the

cloud technology and building cloud software

systems which are offered as a service to our

clients. This ‘new style’ gives us the ability to:

• deploy to any local or foreign client

immediately;

• enable streamlined support;

• interact with a client to support/train

online;

• deploy without limitation of location,

hardware platform, operating system,

etc.;

• push frequent update to our clients;

• monitor the performance of our systems

and scale our infrastructure resources

accordingly;

• offer a completely new way for

management of client data, backups and

recovery;

To be able to do this we needed to:

• select a serious cloud platform to deliver

the scalability, features and performance

we wanted;

• develop our own core framework to

provide the security and features we

needed;

• adopt a new approach to how we sell

our software (Software as a Service

(SaaS))

• adopt a new way of developing and

updating software;

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Increasing Performance

and Usability

WORKFORCE – our very latest cloud HR

suite offered as a SaaS, is testament to this.

We are very happy and proud of the initial

market response about this product. This

should propel us to a challenging and bright

2017/2018 market reality.

Innovation is about being ahead

of the curve, quickly identifying

new trends, understanding

what our products are and how

to make them better

MBR: How does DataByte deliver IT

infrastructure efficiency for businesses?

FM: Mindful of the features listed above,

the benefits of the new infrastructure to our

clients are:

• no need to buy specific hardware;

• no need for database/application

servers;

• offer online evaluation of demos;

• allow our clients to procure software

licenses and pay online;

• give our clients global reach to our

systems;

• remove on premise implementations;

• employ a far smaller IT admin footprint

and headcount;

• increased managed data backups;

• offer enhanced audit trails to our clients;

• improved performance with fully

integrated systems with a standard

intuitive interface throughout;

MBR: What has DataByte done to focus

on small and medium-sized enterprises?

(SMEs)

FM: Our experience in working with SMEs

taught us that SMEs want:

• secure and cost effective solutions that

work and are reliable;

• to avoid infrastructure procurement and

management;

• to remove administration and training

headaches;

Malta Business Review

By George Carol

Frederick Micallef, Managing Director with Databyte Limited tells us why we

need to adhere to a policy that our solutions need to be smart, practical and

useable, which in turn enables us to interact with clients while we make their

journey more successful.

• want to be up and running in a fast

turnover cycle;

• cost effective software solutions;

• more affordable automation;

• software that is easy to use and leads

the user on without excessive training

requirements;

WORKFORCE is built on these SME

considerations as a primary focus but would

benefit the larger enterprises as well.

MBR: How has DataByte continued to

innovate to compete and what are the new

types of legacy business lines?

FM: Innovation is about being ahead of

the curve, quickly identifying new trends,

understanding what our products are and

how to make them better in a continuous way.

Innovation is about effectively addressing the

customer’s dynamic story and how we can

help make it a greater story. To achieve this

we need to:

• do continuous research on what our

customers need;

• listen carefully to new ideas and

suggestions from our clients;

• encourage employee dynamic

participation with innovative ideas;

• adhere to a policy that our solutions

need to be smart, practical and useable;

• constantly optimise our system to

increase performance and usability;

• encourage continuous technology

updates and internal competence;

MBR: What is your favourite part of working

at DataByte?

FM: Every customer has his own journey in

business and we feel that we can help make

that journey easier by providing software

tools that make sense. The favourite part of

working for DataByte comes from interacting

with clients while we make their journey

more successful. MBR

24

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25


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL PULL-AND-KEEP SUPPLEMENT:

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Delivering Excellence

Special

Feature

MBEOTYA 2017

Special

Feature

MBEOTYA 2017

SPECIAL FEATURE: MBEOTYA 2017

Malta Business Review

Global Tech Managing

Director Neal Azzopardi

sat with MBR to

explain how the

company has become

an independent

and economically

empowered multiservice

company

specialising in energy,

fire and security

solutions and

engineering services,

comprising also in

general procurements.

Global Tech Managing Director Neal Azzopardi

MBR: Was technology and solar energy

something you had wanted to do or was

it just the easiest option open to you to

embark in this sector?

NA: My first experience as an entrepreneur

was in a completely different sector; my

natural choice was catering. Embarking on

this venture actually came by accident and it

started off with me extending a helping hand

to an old friend. I never imagined that I would

venture in this sector but it was a challenge

that gradually hauled me in. The projects

we get entrusted with have that special thrill

about them that keeps you coming for more.

MBR: What was it about you personally and

professionally that made you take the next

step, one that many entrepreneurs think

about but never follow?

NA: I have always ranked amongst the high

achievers when I was an employee with other

Fear is what stands between a

man and his dreams, so I stare

fear in the face and I take the

plunge

companies. My mother always said that I was

born business minded and I think that same

instinct made me reason that if I can do so

well for others, I can probably do even better

for myself. Personally, I believe that fear is

what stands between a man and his dreams,

so I stare fear in the face and I take the plunge.

MBR: What makes Global Tech a different

proposition from other players tackling this

space?

NA: What I believe sets Global Tech apart

from the rest, is the way we present ourselves.

Coming from a catering background I am very

adamant on presentation. Secondly, but not

less important, is seeing things through with

attention to service and detail. I stress a lot on

delivering excellence to our clients, whoever

they are. Last but not least, are the brands

we have partnered with. Being entrusted by

leading global brands such as LG is an honour

that helps us level the playing field with our

competitors and more often than not we

manage to exceed expectations.

MBR: What difficulties with setting up a

business in Malta surprised you most and

what problems do you still face today?

NA: Setting up the business is an easy task

compared to the rest, the trick lies in running

the business and doing so successfully. The

employees are the pillars to a successful

business and I believe that the most

challenging aspect every entrepreneur faces

is finding and keeping the right talent. You

have a baby and you trust it in the hands of

your employees, so you must choose well and

you need to constantly invest in your people

so that they are happy enough to share your

dream; to stay and grow with you.

MBR: Has the way sales is taught changed

over the years? How would you describe

the methods used today?

NA: Sales techniques are in a constant state

of flux, they are always evolving to meet the

demands of consumers. In a market where

social media has become such a dominant

medium of communication, we have seen the

rise of the social media salesperson. A huge

chunk of sales are nowadays generated online

with the general likelihood of closing a sale

through a Facebook chat following a series of

online interactions through posts and blogs.

Regardless of this phenomenon, we still

believe in the power of human contact and

we always strive to make ourselves available

to meet people in the comfort of their homes

and offices.

MBR: What are some of the most important

aspects of the company’s culture at the

moment?

NA: Our company culture is driven by our

values, which are passion, determination,

positive attitude, family spirit, delivering

excellence, adopting a professional

approach, pursuing lasting relationships and

transparency. Our passion, determination

and positive attitude together with our aim of

delivering excellence are the most important

facet of our culture at the moment as these

keep us abreast of the numerous challenges

that a business growing at a fast pace is faced

with on a day to day basis.

MBR: How important is that social element

in keeping people going, keeping them

participating, helping with those full

participation rates?

NA: Having built a company with a family

spirit, naturally fosters a sense of belonging.

We spend 80% of our time together and we

relate to each other just like a family does.

We work hard, we have a good laugh, we

argue and we support each other through

rough times be it a personal or a professional

Our passion, determination

and positive attitude together

with our aim of delivering

excellence are the most

important facet of our culture

struggle. The social element here is the sense

of belonging to this ‘extended family’ with

one common goal; fighting for the same goal

is second nature to us.

MBR: What does the future hold for you

and your aspirations?

NA: Our motto is “the sky is the limit”. We

aspire to become one of the key players in

the local market with Europe on the horizon.

Our goal is to open branches around Europe,

a goal that we are actively pursuing since

we have recently opened our first overseas

branch in Montenegro.

MBR: How do you decide where you want

to focus your philanthropic efforts?

NA: Deciding who you are going to help is not

an easy decision. There’s a lot to take into

consideration and one would always like to do

more than they actually can. We try to focus

our resources on who needs it more and

where we hope it will make most fruition. We

are currently working on an important project

for a leading NGO, the nature of which we

cannot yet reveal and to which we are very

proud contributors. MBR

26

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27


Malta Business Review

SPECIAL PULL-AND-KEEP SUPPLEMENT:

MALTA'S BEST ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR 2017

Developing Business

ENSURING SUCCESS

Special

Feature

MBEOTYA 2017

Special

Feature

MBEOTYA 2017

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MALTA'S BEST ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR 2017

Malta Business Review

MBR: How do you define the role of

a shipping, transport and logistics

entrepreneur today?

Jimmy Cutajar, Managing Director, Global Freight Solutions

Settled over the centuries by tradespeople from across

the region, Malta’s outstanding economic performance

stems from the entrepreneurial spirit of its population,

which continues to this day. Jimmy Cutajar, Managing

Director, Global Freight Solutions is a shining example

of the Maltese entrepreneurial drive to succeed. He spoke

to the Malta Business Review about his experiences.

JC: From my standpoint, today’s shipping,

transport and logistics entrepreneur does

not have an easy task. Being an entrepreneur

is about focusing on what is essential to the

business and above all to the customer.

Logistics in itself is very vast and challenging

and today’s entrepreneur has to decide which

part of Logistics he will venture and excel in.

A good entrepreneur knows how to engineer

his scope of works, align performance and

services according to his/her knowledge and

abilities which have been achieved during the

work experience.

MBR: When you took over at GFS as M/

Director you stressed the need ‘to put a

face behind the organisation’, the need for

innovation and renewal. What initiatives

have you implemented so far?

JC: The Company is in the initial stages, only

three years old. We can say it is an infant,

however all the experience gained over 20

years of working in this sector is being put to

good use. The company is emerging into the

cut-throat market as a reliable, efficient, trust

worthy and an excellent service provider.

We are not selling just a brand name; my

belief is that we are selling our reputation

to our clients. Therefore, a face is of utmost

importance in my humble opinion. It shows

to our present and prospective clientele

that behind the name there is a person full

of expertise which will make the utmost to

satisfy the client’s requirements without fail

MBR: What are the core issues that motivate

you and can you define the personality of

GFS?

JC: GFS believes that when our clients are given

an excellent service, good value for money,

reliability and a face-to-a-voice commitment,

it will self-emit the professionalism that we

strive to achieve. Our core values dictate that

we are available to the client when issues

arise, discussing viable options, offer solutions

to the problems, and give reliable solutions

and alternatives to ensure client is satisfied

at the end. All these factors combined are

defining the personality of GFS.

MBR: What is your entrepreneurial strategy

to attract and retain talent?

JC: I will quote one of the best entrepreneurs

Sir Richard Branson- “Train people well

enough so they can leave, treat them well

enough so they don’t want to leave”. I believe

in this philosophy. A talented person must

enjoy what he/she is doing. We spend a

minimum of eight hours at work, why should

it not be fun?

MBR: In terms of entrepreneurship, where

does the company look to expand its

product offering and further strengthen its

brand position?

JC: Our company name is a statement in itself

“Global Freight Solutions”. We have invested

heavily to be part of a global network that is

covered globally. Our strength is being able

to offer services worldwide through our

network. A prospective niche market for me is

the North African Continent. The potentiality

of that market is astounding, although the

situation at the moment is not as desirable

for business as one would wish.

MBR: What issues should entrepreneurs be

aware of today, and what further obligations

do you see coming down the line?

JC: In my point of view the entrepreneur has

to have a defined objective, be passionate and

proud of what he/she is doing. Being a startup

is the hardest of it all, and putting thoughts

and ideas to action is somehow an astounding

feat. Obtaining finances to start with is a huge

feat in itself. Once the business start growing

the enterprises and entrepreneur obligations

will develop according to the growth, he/she

should focus on building solid foundations,

ensure that the finances are strong and can

sustain growth. Not the least however and

We treat failure as a way to

learn and improve our chances

of success

an entrepreneur should not be sitting behind

his/her desk, he should be obliged to develop

the business to ensure success.

MBR: Is there a good understanding among

the talent pool about the type of innovative

career that you offer?

JC: Unfortunately, the local market is limited in

terms of talented people in the Logistics field.

Most businesses are family run companies

and the amount of employees are limited.

Inappropriately, we have to poach talented

people from other logistical companies, which

really and truly is not ideal. Logistics is not

seen as a career nowadays, and regrettably

the younger generation are not seeing our

industry as an innovative career.

MBR: What else, besides your core values,

differentiates GFS’s from some of the larger

firms? How do you compete?

JC: I believe that the knowledge we emanate

to our customers and the “can do” attitude

are the main contributors of our success story.

When a client calls our office, we answer

back with the possibilities and can produce

an immediate reply to his/her queries.

Accordingly, the one-to-one contact and the

positive attitude, outstanding performance,

and reliability together with trustworthiness

that we offer to our clients is the essence

to our success. We treat failure as a way to

learn and improve our chances of success,

thus ensuring that customer’s satisfaction is

guaranteed at all times.

Michael Quattromani

MBR: It seems like culture is a chiefly

important element of GFS’s mantra. Can you

outline this culture?

JC: I believe that our mantra is quite unique.

We try to cultivate the ideology that we enjoy

what we are doing. I believe that being happy

and dedicated at the work place provides the

feel good factor to our esteemed clientele.

We have invested heavily to be a one-stop

shop. Client satisfaction is our selling point

and literally our clients are becoming an

extension of our sales team.

MBR: What would you highlight as GFS’s

biggest achievement during 2016/17?

JC: 2016/2017 are very challenging for us.

We are seeing a constant growth which

have driven us to continually invest in our

infrastructure. We have invested in one of

the latest designed software applications to

ensure continuity in our activity. However

I believe that the biggest achievement is to

have successful been awarded ISO9001:2015

certification.

MBR: Looking across what core values

should a winning entrepreneur uphold?

JC: Having fun at what an entrepreneur is

going to do or doing is the key ingredient

which is often underrated and is the key to

achieving success. If you do not enjoy what

you do, than the entrepreneur should venture

elsewhere.

By being passionate about your objectives,

and a strong believer in your business, this

means all the difference between failure

and success. The fundamental question one

has to ask him/herself is: “If I am not proud

of what I am doing, why should anybody else

be?” MBR

28

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29


Malta Business Review

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Ideas, Energy

and Enthusiasm

A R C H I T E C T U R E A N D D E S I G N

PERITI

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Malta Business Review

KEIRO Architects have risen to become one of the most celebrated and well-respected architects locally working today. Their

architectural work is widely recognised and covers extensive ground ranging from educational facilities, residences, retail

design, office design, public utilities and master planning. Keith Schembri, Architect co-founder of KEIRO A RArchitects, C H I T E C T U R E A N D shares

D E S I G N

his insight with us, telling us that despite entrepreneurial knowledge and experience can be gained, there are some intrinsic

personal aspects such as the love to take risk which are hard-wired in an individual and difficult to teach.

ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN

complimented by ensuring that our work

is the best it can be through our service to

others and contribution to a more sustainably

built world.

Every day we are fortunate enough to see

creativity bring projects to life through work

in portfolios but also the stories behind these

jobs. Knowing that we have fulfilled clients’

hopes and dreams gives us the drive to

embark on new projects.

In essence we are privileged to be able to

make a difference.

MBR: How challenging is it to show

differentiation in a business like this?

Husband and wife duo, Perit Keith and Perit Rosianne Schembri, co-founders of KEIRO Architects (photo by Brian Grech)

Architect Keith Schembri (photo by Brian Grech)

MBR: What has been the secret of your

success?

KS: The secret to success at the multifocused

KEIRO studio is the ability to benefit from

having various service models under one

house umbrella. Using a network of multidisciplinary

consultants to provide a versatile

team with an extensive knowledge helps

KEIRO meet its aim to design buildings that

improve the owner’s life quality through our

consistent efficient production of high quality

design.

Success in this industry is related to personal

as well as professional preferences which is

facilitated when natural talent and skill meet

personal passion. KEIRO’s ethos is building

a lasting relationship with each customer by

embracing the ideas, energy and enthusiasm

of our clients.

MBR: What is it about your make-up that

compels you to both create and build

business?

KS: At KEIRO we use a simple and collaborative

approach to ensure that our clients’ needs

are fully understood which includes offering

personal insight and expertise. We keep a

close eye on the developments during the

building phase so that the project is delivered

to the tiniest detail of the client’s specification.

While good relationships lie at the heart of

success across all professional and personal

ventures, the design and construction

industry is one that is fundamentally built on

strong relationships. KEIRO and clients agree

on the critical nature of these relationships,

and this approach has proved successful

in securing a substantial amount of repeat

business.

MBR: How do you define purpose in your

work, and how do you measure the impact

when you are looking at that type of an

objective?

KS: Architecture is about serving others

through the design of the built environment

KS: We are working in a multicultural

world, with distinct value systems, requiring

architects to be open to an enormous

multiplicity of values, interpretations, and

readings. We need to be intellectual and

follow set standards, but at the same time

relativist.

The easiest building to design is a cube, but

KEIRO Architects do not design cubes. We

aim at turning conventions and assumptions

upside down, and combine contrasting

possibilities in imaginative and playful ways.

Taking risks to do something out of the

ordinary is part of KEIRO’s creative field by

rethinking, reimagining, and inventing new

ways of doing the same old thing. This is not

to say that everything requires innovation

or bold action, but looking at a challenge

through a different lens.

Every architect’s design process is extremely

personal and nuanced.

MBR: For a company of KA’ size and scale,

where do you see your growth coming

from?

KS: In the past years, KEIRO has grown in

size as well as reputation. The launch of its

new Studio in Zebbug follows the team’s

adaptability to a multi-professional approach

which has enabled this start-up set up to

embark projects of different natures and

scale.

MBR: Is the message out about the critical

role that companies like KA play and about

how dynamic this industry is?

KS: Younger generations tend to appreciate

more the benefits of teaming up with startup

practices lead by young professionals

who harness energy and enthusiasm

whilst enriching their portfolios with new

ideas. Exposure to internet, travel and

multiculturalism has lead people venturing

to new styles and expanded its frame of

reference far beyond accustomed ‘safe-zone’

horizons leading to more shopping around for

specific professionals.

MBR: Behind that employee base, you

have also put diversity and inclusion at

the forefront. How critical is it that your

consumer profile is mirrored within the

workforce?

KS: At KEIRO, we love bringing the individuality

out of a project and we can only do that when

we understand our clients’ journey. Clients

are prepared to invest trust in those who

can deliver their vision and collaboration is

essential between a client and an architect. If

We are working in a

multicultural world, with

distinct value systems, requiring

architects to be open to an

enormous multiplicity of values,

interpretations, and readings.

all parties involved have similar likes and ideas,

the project can be an exciting time filled with

brain storming sessions and site visits.

Co-founded by two architects, each bringing

to the drawing table different academic

backgrounds, KEIRO’s work eclipses each of

their prior resumes. Between the two, rather

varied, approaches and the onboarding of

other professionals in the team lies a wealth

of success in the architectural environment.

MBR: Is it hard to not become so engaged

when you see something done differently

than how you would do it, and do you have

to take a step back?

KS: In our industry, we come across

uncomfortable situations where it might be

difficult to guide the client to accept that the

design presented is the best outcome to their

wish list and site potential. This may be the

result of clients’ lack of experience in the field

which ultimately affects the quality of the

design or also unfamiliarity with local policies.

This is about getting them to see that the

design satisfies their requirements and

contains everything they want. The final

decision falls to the client, but we have a

responsibility to do everything in our power

to convince the client that the design meets

their expectations in the best appropriate

ways.

MBR: Is an entrepreneurial spirit something

you are born with or it can be taught?

KS: The entrepreneur gene is debatable

but experience does lead to believe that

people with certain genetic characteristics

and personality traits are more likely to

be successful entrepreneurs than others.

Personality and the ability to bear risk are

key factors. In this industry, passion and

determination also help to focus energy

around a project which leads to rewarding

success. The ability to seeing 'outside the

box' to imagine new and innovative ways of

solving current and forthcoming issues help

the enriching and continuous development

of one’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Most startups go through challenging periods

in their growth, and if you are not persistent

enough to 'slog through the mud', the project

may never live long enough to succeed. MBR

30

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31


Malta Business Review

Accessible and

Affordable Property

by Martin Vella

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MBR: Can you please give us a brief

overview of NotGreedy?

John Luke Zammit, director and co-founder of NotGreedy

John Luke Zammit and Keith Camilleri, directors and

co-founders of NotGreedy chat with Martin Vella

about their real estate start-up, explaining how the

innovative property company offers buyers affordable

property powered by technology, honest culture and a

commitment to social good.

NG: NotGreedy is a real estate company

created with the sole purpose of helping

property buyers save thousands of euros

when purchasing their property. This, in turn,

also helps property sellers sell their property

faster as it becomes more affordable to

buyers and therefore increases viewings and

the chance of a sale. Our business model is

simple- charge the buyer only a fixed fee of

less than 1% vs. the customary high street

real estate agencies who charge 5%- leaving

an incredible saving.

MBR: How does NotGreedy not

compromise on service when it comes to

guiding their clients through the buying

process?

NG: NotGreedy would not and never will

compromise on client service. In fact, a great

personal service to each and every client

is paramount to our business. We guide

our clients from their initial enquiry to the

potential final sale. We do this by being cost

effective and removing totally conventional

tools which we feel are not necessarily

important today ex. the opening of expensive

offices all around the Island. We let our state

of the art website do most, if not all, of the

work itself, yet still maintain personal client

interaction.

MBR: How are you aiming to disrupt Malta’s

already booming property industry?

NG: Our aim is not to disrupt the property

market but simply to change it. We believe

that our business model makes property

more accessible and affordable to everyoneespecially

to first time buyers who now have

a realistic chance to get onto the property

ladder. Anyway, rich or not so rich, everyone

likes to save money and that is exactly what

we are doing. Ultimately all concerned are

winners.

MBR: Why should someone already

struggling to buy a property pay an extra

five per cent to a real estate agency?

John Luke Zammit and Keith Camilleri, directors & co-founders of NotGreedy

NG: NotGreedy was created for this very

reason, especially when one considers that

5% commission on even a modestly priced

property could mean a whole years salary for

some. Ultimately, it is not for us to judge, but

for the property purchasers themselves.

MBR: Do you think there is a lack of

transparency, and unjustified agency

profitability in Malta?

NG: We do believe there is a lack of

transparency in the whole process. We have

met many clients who were not even aware

that the listed price of a property they were

interested in already included the 5% real

estate fee. At NotGreedy we've addressed

that problem by listing the actual property

price, our fee including VAT (less than 1%) as

well as the total savings. You can't be more

transparent than that. Again, it's not for us to

judge about how other companies derive their

profitability, and we leave that judgement to

the real estate agencies themselves and their

clients.

MBR: Can you explain the NotGreedy

model?

NG: The NotGreedy model is not only one

which saves money for our clients but also

one which assists our clients throughout

the buying or selling process with some

very innovative tools. With the use of our

one of a kinds website, one may not only

With regards to leadership in

business it is paramount for

every entity to have leadership

that inspires, excites and

energizes all aspects of the

business.

sift through the properties listed, but also

arrange viewings with our agents, list their

property directly online and even negotiate

between themselves. A notary is also

available to answer any questions. Our model

ensures that, since property prices are everrising

and wages are remaining the same, a

property is offered to buyers at the best price

possible. We don’t believe in making more at

the unjustified expense of others and would

rather sacrifice that extra profit and gain your

respect in the long run instead.

MBR: How do you define success and how

do you measure impact of what leadership

means in the business world of today?

NG: Success in business is seeing ones hard

work, ideas and determination bearing the

fruit you desire. On the other hand, personal

success is different and in our opinion it means

getting your life balance just right. As regards

to leadership in business, we believe it is

paramount for every entity to have leadership

that inspires, excites and energizes all aspects

of the business. Without leadership there

simply can be no success.

MBR: How important is corporate social

responsibility to NotGreedy?

NG: Very important- it's who and what we

are. We believe that our company’s business

model of saving property buyers, especially

first time buyers, thousands of euros and

keeping property prices to the public

constantly lower is a strong statement of our

corporate social responsibility to everyone

concerned.

MBR: How important is it for you to maintain

client interaction?

NG: Client interaction is of vital importance

to NotGreedy. As a real estate company our

main objective is to be there for our clients

from start to finish. Interaction comes in many

different forms from using our state of the art

website to social media and most importantly

meeting our clients personally for thorough

viewings. We are not just a website and are

there for the client in every way possible.

MBR: How do you define your brand and

how critical is it for your message to be

consistent?

NG: Our brand is what it is , a real estate

company that saves people thousands. Our

direction will never waver so we are confident

our message will get through. MBR

32

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33


Malta Business Review

Pushing the Boundaries

By George Carol

Jonathan Azzopardi, founder of Springbox Media

MBR: How do you define the role of a media,

PR and marketing entrepreneur today?

JA: That’s a very expansive question but in it’s

simplest form I define it as being an expert in

gaining the right kind of attention in a world

filled with noise, constant distraction and

competition. Our role is about mastering

several marketing channels, be able to pick

the right ones for a particular campaign,

communicate clearly with consumers in order

to create disruption, maximize the Return of

Investment and achieve the desired results.

MBR: What innovative initiatives have you

implemented when growing Springbox

Media?

JA: Innovation is what you will find at the

core of Springbox Media. Automation has

been a big part of our growth. If the exact

same process is repeated fivetimes then it

probably can be automated and having good

developers surely helps with this. Instead of

hiring another developer we have developed

applications that can build applications. We

use CRM and marketing automation where

it serves and this way we can do much more

with less. It keeps our team lean and everyone

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gets to work on what they’re supposed to and

avoid mundane tasks as much as possible.

MBR: What are the core issues that motivate

you and can you define the Springbox

philosophy?

JA: The Springbox Philosophy is one of

limitless possibilities. It’s about constantly

improving and finding new ways to challenge

ourselves, whether it’s improving an internal

process or breaking a record. It’s about doing

good business and building long lasting

relationships with our clients, being proud of

the work we do, being proactive rather than

reactive and remaining reliable to our clients.

Being a digital marketing agency means

having to get immersed into various different

business verticals, finding unique ways

to reach an audience, drawing up with a

strategy, executing and excelling possibly

without having any previous experience in

that particular market. This motivates me.

Coming in with no experience to figure out

what makes a market tick and delivering

outstanding results to our clients in a few

months is a great feeling. But it doesn’t stop

there. What works today will not necessarily

Jonathan Azzopardi, founder

of Springbox Media, truly

believes the most important

business strategy is to make

every person on your team

feel appreciated and valued,

and that they must feel that

there is a sense of growth as

an individual and as part of

the team.

work in four months’ time, and we have

to constantly find new ways to reach new

audiences.

MBR: What is your entrepreneurial strategy

to attract and retain talent?

JA: What works well for me is for me to be as

good as humanly possible in all facets of our

business in order to set a high bar from the

get-go. Being a small business I don’t mind

rolling my sleeves and getting in the trenches

with my team and this creates a bond, a

camaraderie and ultimately respect for being

an expert in the field.

Good retention starts before the hiring

process. I only choose to work with people

with a very good work ethic, a passion for

what they do and a good combination of

confidence and humility. It’s this concoction

of personal traits that is key to success as an

individual and as part of my team.

In terms of remuneration I believe in paying

what they are worth to my business, and I

always reward good performance. When we

had an unpaid intern with us last summer

who did outstanding work, I made sure she

got a bonus as well. If the business does well,

everyone does well, and everyone who works

with Springbox knows this.

MBR: In terms of entrepreneurship, where

does the company look to expand its

product offering and further strengthen its

brand position?

JA: We are gaining traction in highly

competitive fields such as the retail and

hospitality industry and our clientele is

growing rapidly. We intend to keep growing in

those areas internationally.

We are excelling in lead generation services

and we have come up with a new service this

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year that is going to take Malta by storm. It’s

an amazing service that’s going to flip the old

and outdated advertising model on its head

and so many companies we are speaking to

are getting on board at lightning speed. I’ve

never seen anything quite like it and I’m very

exciting to launch it in the coming months.

MBR: What issues should entrepreneurs be

aware of today, and what further obligations

do you see coming down the line?

JA: While the core principles of business, sales

and marketing have remained practically the

same since the beginning of time, there are

many more opportunities and channels that

can benefit your business and your clients’

businesses. The game is constantly changing

and we are obligated to be on the lookout, to

test and optimize our business processes and

our strategies. Keep fixing until it’s broken and

then take a step back. It’s amazing what can

be achieved.

MBR: What else, besides your core values,

differentiates Springbox from some of the

larger firms?

JA: Being a small business (by choice) means

less overheads and therefore we don’t need

a large volume of clients to cover our costs.

Because of this we get to choose who we

work with and work with who we want

to, not because we have to. This creates a

very special relationship with our clients.

Every client is our favourite client. We get

to immerse ourselves in their businesses

including getting involved in their day-today

to truly understand their business, their

motivations and their customers’ motivations

and needs. We see what’s working great for

Ben, Jonathan, Steve & Chris

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I truly believe that the definition

of a winning entrepreneur

means being able to win in both

business and in life and not

sacrifice one for the other, it’s a

great balancing act.

them and we put it on steroids or we fix and

optimize what’s not.

It’s business but it’s also personal. We don’t

have contracts which are longer than six

months and the reason is simple. You keep

working with us because you like what we

are achieving for you not because you are

contractually obligated. I am proud to say

that all businesses who have given us the

opportunity to work with them for six months

never changed us with another marketing

agency. High retention due to high results.

Being a small business who also invests in

creating their own products and business

ventures means that we practice what we

preach, we put our money where our mouth

is and we apply the same principles to our

clients.

MBR: What would you highlight as

Springbox’s biggest achievement during

2016/17?

JA: Springbox’s biggest achievement is that

we keep pushing the boundaries of what’s

possible. I am very proud that we broke all

our records from previous years including

most traffic generated, most leads/business

generated and most importantly, projects

we were involved in generated over a million

Malta Business Review

Euros in digital sales; all this while keeping a

very small.

We have also worked on a campaign for

Springfield where we did one week of Social

Media Marketing strictly in Maltese. The

campaign went viral, people were going

nuts over it and engaged heavily, tagging and

sharing with friends, some of our followers

even wrote poems about Springfield in

Maltese. It brings a smile to my face just talking

about it. It was disruptive in its uniqueness,

brought a lot of joy and reached a 3rd of the

Maltese population with a very small budget.

That’s what I call outstanding success.

MBR: What are the core values that a

winning entrepreneur should uphold?

JA: I truly believe that the definition of a

winning entrepreneur means being able

to win in both business and in life and

not sacrifice one for the other, it’s a great

balancing act. Therefore the values a winning

entrepreneur should uphold are:

Think Long Term but stay laser focused on the

present. Be Accountable, make big promises

to your clients, your partners and your team,

and work hard and smart to (over) achieve

them. Be Flexible, learn to adapt quickly. Be

Fearless but remain cautious. Make money

with your clients not off them. Be a Winner

who’s not afraid to lose. Be a leader but

also follow feedback and advice to improve

and grow. Enjoy your success but don’t

get complacent. Make sure you are happy

and enjoying the process. Be Ambitious at

attaining your goals but not at the expense of

your integrity. MBR

34

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35


Malta Business Review

DataByte Workforce

The Cloud HR suite

High-Flying Dentistry:

The patient’s choice!

HEALTHCARE

Malta Business Review

By Dr Jean Paul Demajo

The Modules

Leave Management

Time and Attendance

Payroll

Rostering and Scheduling

Timesheets

Visitors’ Management

HR Management

Performance Appraisal

The Benefits

DataByte Ltd

Ewropa Business Centre, Dun Karm Street, Birkirkara Bypass, Birkirkara BKR 9034 - Malta

Tel: +356 23456 300 | Email: info@databyte.com.mt

w Accessible – Cloud based solution

w Easy to use – User friendly design

w Multi-Tenant (Multi Company) design

w Efficient – Online processes

w Flexible – Handles any type of process

w Intuitive – User friendly calendar and user interface

w Complete – Many reports and dashboards to work with

w Secure – Covered by full audit trail

w Integrated – all modules within the WorkForce

HR Suite are fully integrated.

www.databyte.com.mt

Porcelain veneers are thin slivers of porcelain

used to recreate the natural look of teeth,

while also providing strength and resilience

comparable to natural tooth enamel. Your

dentist will most likely begin by consulting you

on your smile and requests, determining what

steps are necessary to achieve the smile you

desire. In addition, your dentist may create a

diagnostic mock-up that will allow you to “try

on” veneers and other procedures to see if the

final result is actually what you’re looking for.

A computer-generated image or a provisional

fitting of veneers may also allow you to view

your new smile prior to commencement.

USES OF VENEERS

1. Straighten teeth: often due to age or

timeframe patients do not wish to go down

the road of braces. As a result veneers

offer patients an immediate quick fix

straightening misaligned teeth.

2. Tooth colour: Patients might not respond

well to tooth whitening procedures.

Veneering teeth gives an immediate

permanent colour to your teeth.

3. Close gaps in between teeth: In some cases

even when teeth are already aligned, with

time spaces appear. This is often due to the

small size of the teeth or large size of the

jaw. In either of these cases veneers fix this

very elegantly.

4. Angulation: Rotated or inclined teeth may

be aligned with veneers

5. Irregularly shaped and sized teeth: Some

patients have micro-teeth or so-called

micro-donts, often irregularly shaped and

sized. Bonded veneers restore them back

to normality.

6. Bruxism: Bruxists, or patients who grind

their teeth often display unaesthetic wear

facets with reduced tooth height. Veneers

may restore these teeth to their natural

dimensions and prevent further toothwear.

ADVANTAGES OF VENEERS

1. Custom-made veneers are almost

impossible to tell from your natural teeth.

2. Veneers resist coffee, wine, tea and

cigarette stains thanks to the high caliber

materials used and are the only permanent

method of tooth whitening.

3. Veneers are very conservative of the tooth

structure as a minimal tooth preparation is

required

4. For teeth that resist whitening, veneers can

make even the darkest teeth appear bright

white.

Extra-Oral pre-operative

Intra-oral pre-operative

Extra-oral post-operative

DIS-ADVANTAGES OF VENEERS

1. Removal of tooth tissue is irreversible

2. Cost: veneers may be quite costly.

3. Some initial sensitivity to hot and cold. This

typically disappears within a few days.

4. Although they’re very strong, veneers are

also brittle.

5. De-bonding of veneers: If you have a habit

of grinding or clenching your teeth, your

dentist may fit you with a night time bite

guard so you do not damage your veneers.

Veneers offer great results to those patients

who wish to have a perfectly symmetrical set

of teeth, but also to those patients who wish a

more natural even look, not necessarily polar

white but graded according to the natural

aesthetics of their adjacent teeth. Of course

beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Ask your

dentist! MBR

A Case Study:

A young woman in

her late 20s who

refuses to undergo

orthodontic

(brace) treatment

due to timeframes

opts for a

quick fix and a

simultaneous laser

whitening of her

teeth. The photos

show before and

after images

following the

placement of four

porcelain veneers

and whitening.

DR JEAN PAUL DEMAJO

Dental and Implant Surgeon,

Trained in London working in

private practice in Malta

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37


Malta Business Review

Committed to Providing the

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eie educational group

Malta Business Review

OUR MISSION

To enhance the level of Academic

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Learning a language or obtaining an academic

qualification is more important than ever in

the global economy. eie Educational Group

provide students with a first-class educational

teaching and training service at a fair price.

Students ask for an excellent teaching

environment so that they quickly progress

through their course, but also that they will

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At eie Educational Group, you will have a

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social interaction trough regular, fun and

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eie Educational Group, was established in

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organisations, invests in its facilities and in

social commitments. The eie Educational

Group is redefining the landscape of modern

education.

The eie Educational Group aims to develop the

appropriate competencies and knowledge

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eie the key to be competitive and to share

38

the collective experience and continuous

professional development with their cilients.

In a fast moving world, challenges are

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Tomorrow’s future depends on today’s

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For more information about eie’s degree programmes,

English language courses or other business related

courses you can e-mail at info@eie-group.com,

phone on +35621332804/5

• Contributing actively towards the

propagation of equal opportunities

for all.

• Continually engaging in the pursuit of

excellence.

• Continually investing in its own

people.

• Striving to afford the best service to all

our clients.

• Establishing itself as a leader in the

international education field.

• Contributing towards the social

welfare of the community.

Through its companies, the EIE EDUCATIONAL GROUP is able to

offer the following services:

Academic programmes

Training programmes

English Language courses

Student Accommodation

Internships

Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor, Master degrees in various

subjects for young and mature adults are offered through eie

Institute of Education (Licensed by the NCFHE as an institute

of Further and Higher Education – License Number 2005-TC-

001);

Business courses, thematic seminars for business excecutives

offered through eie Mangement Centre;

English courses at Beginner, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate,

Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, Business English and

Advanced levels are offered through Unilang International

School of Languages, Valletta (Licensed by the EFL Monitoring

Board – License Number 249/MB16)

Provision of quality accommodation around Malta ideal for

students offered through eie Residences

Organisation of Work placement and Internships for

international students offered through eie internships.

Commitment to

EXCELLENCE

The eie

Educational

Group

eie Educational Group, Valletta Buildings, South Street, Valletta

Tel: +356 21 332804/5 info@eie-group.com

www.eieEducationalGroup.com

is an acknowledged leader

in international education

Higher Educational courses - eie Institute of Education

(NCFHE License Number 2005 - TC - 001)

English Language Courses - Unilang International

School of Languages (EFL License Number 249/MB16)

Executive and Business courses - eie Management

Centre

Internship services - eie Internships

Student Accommodation - eie Residences

International Educational services - eie International

www.maltabusinessreview.net

39


Malta Business Review

INTERIOR DESIGN

BANKING

Malta Business Review

COMMERCIAL INTERIOR DESIGN

VERA SANT

FOURNIER -

DESIGN STUDIO

will create a

stimulating and

avant garde work

environment.

"WE ARE A FAMILY, IT'S OUR PASSION THAT TRULY BRINGS OUT SOME

OF THE MOST UNIQUE INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECTS IN MALTA"

Commercial Interior Design work on projects

such as retail, corporate, hospitality, events,

exhibition and communication, and public

buildings are much larger and more complex.

Vera Sant Fournier collaborates with builders,

joiners, plasterers, textile designers, artists,

and furniture designers, as well as architects,

engineers and technicians to fulfil the job.

It takes skill in order to create interior

environments that are functional, safe, and

adhere to building codes, regulations and

requirements, all to ensure that people

can work, live, and learn in an innocuous

environment that is also aesthetically

pleasing.

Creating working environments that are

stimulating and avant garde, The team at

Vera Sant Fournier - Interior Design Studio

can guide clients in the latest approach to

pursuing the project from a holistic point of

view. Together we can develop and maximise

not only your space but the performance of

your team by creating a stimulating and avant

garde work environment.

The studio at Vera Sant Fournier - Interior

Design, is precisely how a design studio

should be, adorned with samples of various

materials, movement with uplifting and

inspirational music, the latest catalogues of

the best brands in the industry, walls with

barely any blank space.

Art in all mediums, organised chaos, ringing

telephone lines, emails and those long hours

of team chatter where all put there thinking

hats on to bring out the best potential

creative new approach to one's home or

one's business. We have been known to

'read' clients, to help them learn more about

themselves and their wishes, needs and

wants. The studio educates clients in what

is the latest approach & the best solutions

which are suitable for them and their lifestyle.

We are a family, it's our passion that truly

brings out some of the best Interior Design

projects in Malta. Our flagship Studio

Boutique will open its doors in 2016, our new

studio will have exclusive brands on display

and our permanent Art Gallery. MBR

FIMBANK launches digital banking platform

FIMBank announces the launch of FIMBank

Direct, a secure digital banking platform

targeting the evolving needs of both personal

and corporate customers. This channel

provides an integrated solution where

customers can manage their finances and

banking requirements in a secure, versatile

and easily accessible manner. FIMBank Direct

comes with a comprehensive service suite

which includes savings accounts, fixed term

deposits, and local and cross border payments

with a selection of available currencies.

The Bank’s CEO, Mr Murali Subramanian,

explained that “FIMBank Direct will enable

us to better adapt to the needs of today’s

online consumers, who are actively seeking

more convenient, efficient, and secure ways

to manage their finances.” Mr Subramanian

also highlighted FIMBank Direct’s importance

in strengthening the FIMBank brand, “The

Bank’s goal remains that of building a loyal

customer base by offering a wide range of

trade finance products, now boosted by an

efficient internet banking platform covering

all general banking services, including deposit

products offered at attractive rates and

supported by an excellent customer service.”

FIMBank Direct also comes with a high-level

protection security technology, provided by

its authentication app, the FIMBank CAM.

With this app customers have the added

benefit of accessing FIMBank Direct and

performing online transactions wherever

they are, without the need for a physical

internet key or hardware token.

Direct

Meanwhile, the established Easisave platform

has also been integrated within FIMBank

Direct, providing customers with competitive

interest rates on their savings accounts and

fixed term deposits, in both Euro and USD

currencies. “Through the introduction of

FIMBank Direct, we aim to provide a platform

which further establishes the FIMBank brand,

and which is well equipped to meet current

demands, while continuing to invest further

in the development of its capabilities”,

concluded Mr Subramanian.

For more information about FIMBank Direct,

one can visit www.fimbank.com/direct, or

contact the dedicated FIMBank Helpdesk

on [+356] 21322102, or email: helpdesk@

fimbank.com MBR

Renault Crossovers

Fall in love with driving all over again.

KADJAR

Starting at €24,500

DY 1.2 Turbo 130 BHP

CAPTuR

Starting at €18,800

EX 1.5 CDI 90BHP

Scrappage scheme available

Models shown for demonstration purposes only

Reg. No. S063

Kind’s, Auto Sales Ltd

Mosta Road, Lija LJA 9011. Tel: 23311126 / 23311131

Mgarr Road, Xewkija XWK 9012. Tel: 21550962

Kind’s

www.renault.com.mt

Vera Sant Fournier

40

www.maltabusinessreview.net

41


Malta Business Review

Malta Business Review

HERTZ MALTA CELEBRATES 20 YEARS

OF CAR LEASING SERVICES

LEASE WITH EASE

THE RIGHT SOLUTION

FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Hertz Malta is celebrating its 20th anniversary

in the car leasing sector, providing individual

and corporate customers with flexible long

term car rental products.

“Hertz has been successfully operating its

business in Malta for 55 years, having added

its leasing services 20 years ago to ensure

customers’ long term car rental needs were

also fulfilled. United Garage Ltd., the company

that operates Hertz in the country, boasts

a longstanding experience in the leasing

business, which was certainly instrumental to

consolidate our brand portfolio,” explains Ron

Scerri, General Manager, Hertz Malta.

Hertz Malta’s leasing business and professional

fleet management service offer customers

bespoke, complete leasing packages, totally

shaped as per their specific needs.

“Clients want flexibility and a personalized

approach through the complete freedom

of choosing the model, leasing plans and

packages that best suit their requirements.

Strengthening our leasing service means

putting customers in the driving seat,

matching their requests for preferred model,

leasing plans and packages and supporting

them with additional practicality, convenience

and added-value.”

“Our corporate lease offer and professional

fleet management service help customers

optimise costs and efficiencies while freeing

up their time and resources so they can

concentrate on running their business,”

added Ron Scerri.

Further information about Hertz Leasing can

be found on the new website

www.hertzlease.com.mt

Why Lease?

Many people, once they buy a car, a new

one is on the market and they wish they had

waited a bit more before buying. One of the

main advantages of leasing a car is that when

you feel the need to upgrade to a newer,

nicer model, you can just do so without the

hassle of having to first sell your car before

upgrading.

For businesses considering a new fleet of

cars, leasing will never entail a huge capital

outlay and therefore, the saved capital can

be invested in other core business activities

without risking that such capital gets locked

into expensive depreciating assets that

require constant maintenance.

As an individual, your personal requirements

or preferences may change from time to

time. And if you are an organisation, you want

to operate according to the particular nature

of your business

Why Hertz?

At HERTZ MALTA, our Leasing solution can

be the ideal one you rare looking for because

we have recognized the advantages brought

by leasing and we have built a Leasing

proposition round this reality because we

want to put out customers in the driving seat,

matching their requests for preferred model,

leasing plans and packages and supporting

them with additional practicality, convenience

and added-value. Moreover, you get to enjoy

Hertz’s long years of experience in helping

you choosing the right lease solution for you

or your business. MBR

United Garage Ltd,

HERTZ INTERNATIONAL FRANCHISEE

62, Qormi Road

Luqa LQA9042 Malta

Phone: +356 2247 5910

E-mail: info@hertzlease.com.mt

HERTZLEASE.COM.MT

42 43

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

ERC STORY

ERC STORY

Malta Business Review

WHEN TECHNOLOGY EMPOWERS

MIGRANT WOMEN

CAN ALGORITHMS STEAL

ELECTIONS?

PROJECT DETAILS

PROJECT DETAILS

Researcher (PI): Phil Howard

Social networking platforms and other

online activities can enable women

migrants to maintain the links with their

home countries, but also to connect

to each other, thus encouraging their

emancipation. Digital media could hence

be rethought as a tool for participation

and integration. These are preliminary

findings of Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi’s study

focusing on migrant women in three

different European countries.

In recent decades, the migration of women

to and within Europe has increased.

In specific waves - for instance, those

connected to family reunion, arranged

marriages, and care demand - women are

more numerous than men to migrate.

While they are often autonomous migrants,

they are underrepresented in the news

or perceived as victims of the migration

process, which is usually portrayed as

violent and men-dominated.

New communication technologies not only

help migrant women overcome isolation

and distance from their home countries, but

they seem to provide them with novel tools

of active participation and emancipation.

With the project CONNECTINGEUROPE

a team of researchers based at Utrecht

University, aims to understand if and how

digital technologies enhance European

integration or foster segregation.

To do so, Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi, who leads

the project, is analysing the online activities

of migrant women aged 18-40 from Somali,

Turkish and Romanian backgrounds, living

in London, Amsterdam and Rome. The

internet is not always a safe space for

women and according to the researcher,

it can reflect, if not magnify, dynamics

of exploitation and racism, most notably

through racist hashtags on social networks.

At the same time though, digital platforms

allow women to connect around specific

topics that identify them as an online

community and to share information to

which they would otherwise not have

access.

The internet is not always a safe

space for women and according

to the researcher, it can reflect,

if not magnify, dynamics of

exploitation and racism

Prof. Ponzanesi, for example, has examined

with her team the feminist poetry of

Somali-British writer Warsan Shire. After

going viral for being quoted in pop singer

Beyonce’s latest album Lemonade, her

work has connected and mobilized women

from African and Somali diasporas in

digital media platforms worldwide, on

issues of race and womanhood, but also of

immigration and refugees.

By combining media and communication

studies with gender and postcolonial

studies, Prof. Ponzanesi will further examine

how digital connectedness influences the

interaction among and between different

Researcher (PI): Sandra Ponzanesi

Title:

CONNECTINGEUROPE

Digital Crossings in Europe: Gender,

Diaspora and Belonging

Host Institution:

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT,

Netherlands

ERC call details:

ERC-2014-CoG, SH5

Max ERC Funding:

1 992 809 €

diasporic groups, as well as new forms of

participation and citizenship in postcolonial

Europe. Her research will thus contribute

to the development of postcolonial digital

humanities.

Sandra Ponzanesi is Professor of Gender

and Postcolonial Studies at Utrecht

University (The Netherlands), and Head

of Department Humanities at University

College Utrecht. She specialises in gender

and postcolonial studies, cinema, and

digital media studies, among other fields.

Prof. Ponzanesi is also founder and director

of the Postcolonial Studies Initiative (PCI),

a platform for research into postcolonial

issues.

Find more examples of projects in the

brochure: Migration and asylum: The

contribution of frontier research to the

understanding of human mobility across

frontiers. MBR

The effect social media have on political

discourse has been subject of intense

discussion, especially since the UK

referendum and US elections in 2016.

A researcher funded by the European

Research Council (ERC) is trying to shed

light onto the ways politicians use online

social networks and the murky world of

political algorithms.

"The majority of young people these days get

their political news over the social media,"

says Phil Howard, Professor of Internet

Studies and ERC grantee at the Oxford

Internet Institute. "It's very difficult to grow

up without developing so political opinion

that has been shaped by the content you

see from your friends and family over a social

network platform."

Social media offer a medium where everyone

can express and distribute their views,

changing the way we share and absorb

information.

(View Computational propaganda and fake

news from European Research Council on

Vimeo: https://erc.europa.eu/projectsfigures/stories/can-algorithms-stealelections)

But for all the benefits these platforms bring,

they do have their drawbacks. Professor

Howard, who leads an ERC-funded research

project on computation propaganda, studies

how politicians manipulate people on

internet. His team, consisting of IT experts and

social scientists, specialises in the processes of

using algorithms to deliver messages to large

numbers of people over social media.

Algorithms and fake news go hand in hand

Hoaxes and misinformation cause harm

because of the automatic distribution by

social media bots. Automated political bots,

unlike human beings, are able to disseminate

information and opinions throughout the

day quickly, strategically and without rest.

They can influence public opinion and drive

political agenda. "Algorithms and fake news

go hand in hand," says Prof. Howard.

The consequences of online

misinformation are serious and

spill over also outside politics

The team at Oxford Internet Institute has

monitored three major votes in the UK, US

and France and collected data from the weeks

leading up to them. In a recently published

paper they showed for example that French

voters share less fake news than voters in the

US or Germany.

The consequences of online misinformation

are serious and spill over also outside politics,

according to Professor Howard. For instance,

the number of people who think climate

change may not be so real is increasing, as

the number of people who are not sure that

tobacco causes cancer, explains Howard.

Title:

COMPROP

Computational Propaganda:

Investigating the Impact of

Algorithms and Bots on Political

Discourse in Europe

Host Institution:

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND

SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF

OXFORD, United Kingdom

ERC call details:

ERC-2014-CoG, SH2

Max ERC Funding:

1 980 112 €

"In part this is because of very effective social

media campaigns that erode the contributions

of science. There are very important public

health issues that are being impacted by the

combination of fake news and social media."

In April 2017, Professor Howard received a

top-up funding from the ERC through a Proof

of Concept grant. Using the data his team has

collected over the last few years, Howard's

next project is to design an online tool that

would allow social media users to evaluate

the authenticity of suspicious social media

accounts. MBR

Courtesy: European Research Council

44 45

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

INDUSTRY & TECHNOLOGY

CHALLENGE INTERNATIONAL DU VIN

Malta Business Review

Dealing with the Fourth Industrial Revolution

by Pierre Mallia

Amongst a number of proponents of the

concept of “Waves of Innovation” one finds a

number of Marxist and Soviet economists and

thinkers. One of these is the Soviet economist

Nikolai Kondratieff, who was the first to bring

these observations to international attention

in his book ‘Major Economic Cycles’ (1925),

alongside other works written in the same

decade.

Since the early part of last century,

technological progress has marched forward

at sharp rate, albeit with the so called “waves”

coming hard and fast as a north easterly storm

on the coast. After a surge in innovation in the

field of information technology dating back

to the 1970s, with the emergence of the first

“personal” device – the PC and stretching

well into the early years of this century, we

seem poised on what could become a very

big wave. Some economists have posited

the idea that we are about to embark on the

“Fourth Industrial Revolution”. Personally, I

don’t think it will be just an industrial one, but

will have huge long term societal impact and

implications.

I am referring to the rise of Artificial

Intelligence (AI). For the past few decades

of wide scale diffusion of information

technology, companies invested in

automating routine and repetitive tasks.

In the past two decades, as market access

has been liberalised and globalisation has

facilitated free trade, businesses have found

themselves competing on an international

scale often with companies far larger than

them. This drove companies to think how

they could “globalise” cost efficiently by

taking to the online world and differentiating

on customer service with a strong degree

of personalisation. This latter trend has

driven the CRM (customer relationship

management) wave and continues to do so

today.

Fundamentally though, many companies

have not undergone the transformation

which may be required, to see them survive,

as the Fourth Industrial Revolution begins.

Largely, for companies it has been a case of

bolting on “band-aid” type of technology

investments.

Will this be enough as the dawn of the age

of AI glimmers in the distance?

AI has been with us for a long time. Alan

Turing, the father of computing, dreamt of a

thinking or intelligent machine. AI was already

an active area of research in the 1960s and

by the 1980s was an area of considerable

academic interest, but still very much not in

the mainstream of what was going on in the

industry.

Over time a number of developments,

independently brought about the ingredients:

ever powerful computer processors and

miniaturisation led to a situation that today

most of us, carry around a considerable

amount of computing power in our pockets

and on our wrists.

The standard mantra that

technological change would

indeed destroy some jobs but

in the process create new ones

higher up the skill chain is very

likely to break.

The widespread deployment of networks and

bandwidth followed by the huge growth in

available data sets in the public domain put in

place some of the final missing parts of the

puzzle for AI. Combining all these elements

with “learning” algorithms (also commonly

referred to as deep learning AI) brought about

situations that these voracious programmes

are enabling computers to handle far more

complex and non-routine tasks. The standard

mantra that technological change would

indeed destroy some jobs but in the process

create new ones higher up the skill chain is

very likely to break.

The writing is on the wall; reports of financial

institutions going completely virtual are NOT

vastly exaggerated. Whether blue collar or

white collar – AI is colour blind in this respect.

So in business terms, this is leading to a

new “arms race”. This is not the incremental

improvement that most companies are used

to making. Also, in a rare paradox, by combing

big data and deep learning, AI threatens many

technology companies themselves.

What does it mean for you as a business

leader/owner?

First off, choose wisely! I am referring to

the selection of who you choose to partner

with in terms of your plans to prepare for the

Fourth Industrial Revolution.

You ought to be looking at the long term and

seeing how to leverage tech/change experts

in areas which you most probably don’t

have in-house. You ought to be focusing less

on buying a product – than on choosing to

work with someone with the right vision and

strategy in terms of where they are going with

their own business.

A good sign of being in discussion with the

right sort of partner, is if they have their own

survival strategy for this new age.

You need to have access to people who

have more than just technical prowess –

ideally they have the right mix of approach,

experience as well as technology with an

acute understanding of how to graft emerging

tech with business.

Once you’ve made a choice of strategic

partner, you have to work hard on the

relationship. The traditional arm’s length of

supplier / customer will not stand the test.

Build close relationships and virtual teams

which span your collective human capital.

This also means you need to have the right

people on your side of the table – managers

need to be savvy, risk takers and ideally with

a visionary streak too – but they also crucially

need to be team players.

This is a tall order, I know. Some of what I have

proposed may not sit comfortably with our

culture of not trusting “outsiders” with the

intimate nature of our business. But do you

have a choice? Either hire everyone you think

you need or watch paralysed the wave as it

comes gradually towards your shore. MBR

Creditline: Imovo

Gold and Bronze for Delicata’s

Topflight 2016 white wines

Their passion and craftsmanship earned

Delicata, Malta’s most-awarded family of

winemakers two prestigious medals at

The 2017 Challenge International du Vin

in Bordeaux, France, which is probably the

longest running major international wine

competition.

Delicata’s Gran Cavalier Chardonnay won

Gold whereas their Grand Vin de Hauteville

Viognier earned a well-deserved Bronze.

The two Delicata wines were Malta’s only

medallists.

Both superior dry white wines are of the

D.O.K. Malta appellation and made from

hand-picked bunches and sorted grape

berries of the challenging 2016 vintage.

The coveted medals are testimonial to

Delicata’s ever-growing reputation for being

craftsmen of top-notch boutique wines.

This is again excellent news for team

Delicata. It follows hot on the heels of the

commendations for two other wines in the

winery’s Gran Cavalier flagship range, firstly

by Europe’s largest wine magazine Vinum

for the 2015 barrel-matured Syrah, and also

for the 2014 Merlot served together with

the 2013 Grand Vin de Hauteville Moscato

at a gala dinner at one of Milan’s best 2-star

Michelin restaurants.

Since his maiden vintage, chief winemaker

Matthew Delicata has taken an impactful

lead with consistently high-scoring premium

Maltese wines and Delicata’s signature labels

have gained recognition as sought-after

quality wine gems.

But the recent Bronze Medal for the Grand

Vin de Hauteville Viognier is especially close

to the winemaker’s heart since it shows that

Viognier can thrive in deeper Maltese soils.

Tasting Notes

GRAND VIN DE HAUTEVILLE VIOGNIER,

D.O.K. MALTA, SUPERIOR, 2016

Maltese Viognier grape bunches

You’ll love the wine’s scent of sweet pie crust,

its aromas of honeysuckle and lily, the delicate

flavours of green melon, mango and lychee,

which will get more distinctive with a few

months of bottle age.

Enjoy this unique Maltese Viognier well

chilled, on its own or match it with firm fish,

lobster and crab, noodle dishes like Pad Thai,

of best of all, a fruity chicken tajine.

by Georges Meekers

Delicata’s Gran Cavalier Chardonnay is

another real uplift of a wine which is skilfully

vinified from quality grapes from only two

specially earmarked Maltese clos or walled

vineyard parcels, one in Wied ta’l-Isqof and

the other in Buqana.

Both the Gran Cavalier Chardonnay and the

Grand Vin de Hauteville Viognier are rich, ripe

and expertly recommended. MBR

GRAN CAVALIER CHARDONNAY,

D.O.K. MALTA, SUPERIOR, 2016

This flavour-packed dry white premium is

a creamy, barrel-fermented Malta-grown

Chardonnay with a pleasant whiff of wet

gravel and dewy hay and delectable hints

of brioche and buttercream in fine contrast

with an invigorating zesty lime and pear drop

palate.

Malta’s Gold-winning Chardonnay is packed

with flavour and complements fine rich fish,

pumpkin ravioli and late summer vegetables,

seared or roast shellfish, and mild curries

such as Chicken Makhani.

46 47

www.maltabusinessreview.net


Malta Business Review

CRN’S 2017 WOMEN OF THE CHANNEL

THE MALTESE PRESIDENCY of the council of the European Union

Malta Business Review

Simonetta Mercieca of Parallels

Honored as one of CRN’s 2017 Women of the Channel

RAS. We accomplished this by offering them

higher margins, more direction, and more

resources to communicate with their clients.

Now, with this program in place, we have

managed to drive Parallels RAS sales higher

than ever. We have been especially effective

in the EMEA region, which is where I focused

our team's efforts.

Maltese Presidency secures common rights

for EU consumers of digital content –

one of four deals struck by Malta in a single meeting

CRN: What are your goals for your

company's channel business over the next

year?

Simonetta Mercieca, Director of Sales for Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS)

Parallels is honored that CRN®, a brand of

The Channel Company, has named Simonetta

Mercieca, Director of Sales for Parallels

Remote Application Server (RAS), to its

prestigious 2017 Women of the Channel

list. Last year, Maria Dinallo, Parallels Senior

Director of Channel Sales, was also named

by CRN as one of the 2016 Women of the

Channel. The executives who comprise this

annual list span the IT channel, representing

vendors, distributors, solution providers and

other organizations that figure prominently in

the channel ecosystem. Each is recognized for

her outstanding leadership, vision and unique

role in driving channel growth and innovation.

CRN editors select the Women of the Channel

honorees based on their professional

accomplishments, demonstrated expertise

and ongoing dedication to the IT channel.

Mercieca, who was born and is based in

Malta, has been director of EMEA sales

at Parallels for the past four years. Before

joining Parallels, Simonetta graduated from

the Chartered Institute of Marketing and

already had over a decade's experience in

the channel by working her way up through

GFI Software's sales department. In her

current role, Mercieca supervises and directs

the sales efforts for Parallels, especially

with regard to Parallels RAS. Her efforts and

leadership have led to Parallels RAS becoming

one of the company's leading solutions. She

has also been instrumental in launching

the new and free Parallels Partner Program

which provides several levels of benefits and

resources to all registered partners, including

access to training and marketing materials

and dedicated partner email sales support.

“These extraordinary executives support

every aspect of the channel ecosystem,

from technical innovation to marketing to

business development, working tirelessly to

keep the channel moving into the future,”

said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel

Company “They are creating and elevating

channel partner programs, developing fresh

go-to-market strategies, strengthening

the channel’s network of partnerships and

building creative new IT solutions, among

many other contributions. We congratulate

all the 2017 Women of the Channel on their

stellar accomplishments and look forward to

their future success.”

CRN’s 2017 Women of the Channel issue

features an interview with Mercieca about

her professional experience, as well as advice

for women who want to begin careers in

technology. Highlights of some of her answers

to CRN’s questions include:

CRN: How have you personally helped

advance your company's channel business

over the past year?

Mercieca: Following our transition from 2X

to Parallels in 2015, 2016 was the first year

we could move our application and desktop

virtualization solution, Parallels RAS, into the

market with full force. To best do this, I spent

the past year helping out as best I could with

the channel, strategizing with my colleagues

to find leads and then turning them into sales.

After some research and client liaising, I found

that the best way to further our growth was

to increase the benefits to our partners. As a

result, we started formulating a new partner

program that made it more advantageous for

people to join us. This was my main project

for the year, and by its end, my colleagues and

I launched a program that greatly increased

the number of partners interested in Parallels

Mercieca: After such a successful year, we

cannot afford to take our foot off the pedal.

It is important for us to keep on pushing

forward, capitalizing on the goodwill we

managed to create and making Parallels RAS

as popular as it can be. To do this, we are

looking at continuing to support our partners,

increasing awareness of our solutions,

marrying Parallels RAS to popular solutions as

we did with Microsoft Azure, and dispersing

more information to our channel to keep

empowering them through their offerings for

the private, hybrid, and public cloud.

CRN: What advice would you give to young

women who want to begin careers in

technology?

Mercieca: Be prepared for the challenge,

but don't be afraid. It is becoming easier

for women to do more, even in this maledominated

industry. I firmly believe that we

women offer unique qualities for building

relationships, and in a business built on

relationships, that gives us a tremendous

advantage. So, take heart in the women who

have succeeded before you, and be ready

for a challenge, but also be very confident in

yourselves and in the changing times.

CRN: If you could be any movie character

for one day in real life, who would you be

and why?

Mercieca: I'm a big fan of Erin Brockovich

from the movie of the same name. I've

always really admired her as a person and

am very grateful to be living in a world she

has changed. As a bit of an environmentalist

myself, and someone who wants to enjoy

nature in as clean a state as possible, I am

so grateful for her work. As a woman, seeing

her overcome adversity while maintaining

her independence and mastering such a

challenging job, I can't help but feel inspired

by her. This drives me to do more. MBR

Photos: Maltese Presidency

The Maltese Presidency of the Council of

the EU marked its last Council meeting of EU

Justice ministers by securing the successful

approval of no less than four separate and

important legislative files.

At the beginning of its semester, the Maltese

Presidency committed to prioritise legislation

which brings tangible results to EU citizens.

Following many months of negotiations led

by Maltese officials, today ministers agreed

to adopt a Council position, based on a

compromise text of the Maltese Presidency,

setting out new rules for business-toconsumer

contracts for the supply of digital

content and digital services.

The objective of the new rules is to provide

a high level of protection and legal certainty

to European consumers, in particular when

buying cross-border, as well as to make it

easier for businesses, especially SMEs, to sell

throughout the EU.

Be it online music and films, Apps, services

such as Facebook or YouTube, these new

rules will give more certainty to consumers

and suppliers when purchasing and selling

cross-border. It is an ambitious, yet delicate

and balanced, compromise that is about

guaranteeing rights for European consumers,

while allowing for the possibility to create

new business opportunities for EU companies

through the promotion of innovation and

competition.

Another important agreement at today’s

meeting was the approval of legislation setting

out the details of the functioning and role of

a new European Public Prosecutors Office

(EPPO). While Malta, together with several

other Member States, will not participate

in the EPPO due to its bipartisan domestic

opposition to EU competency in fiscal

policies, the Maltese Presidency nonetheless

committed to ensure that today’s agreement

would be reached during its term.

EPPO has been under negotiation within

Council for about four years, and the Maltese

Presidency took it on itself to ensure that talks

did not drag on any longer. Today’s agreement

fulfils this commitment, and will see the EU

have more tools to prosecute EU fraud and

other crimes affecting the Union's financial

interests.

The third agreement secured by the Maltese

Presidency was on a Council position on a

proposed Directive on countering money

laundering by criminal law. This new legislation

will target those who carry out terrorist or

other criminal activities by eliminating their

access to money. The objective is thus to

disrupt and effectively cut off the financial

sources of criminals. It is a key dimension of

the EU fight against terrorism, and that is why

the Maltese Presidency has set a high priority

on this file.

Finally, the Maltese Presidency secured a

Council position on a Regulation on the

processing of personal data by EU institutions

and bodies. This legislation will ensure that

the personal data amongst EU institutions

is protected, in line with the very highest of

standards, and is an important element in

ensuring that the EU respects everyone’s right

to privacy.

All these agreements will now be negotiated

with the European Parliament, with a view

to having them enter into force as soon as

possible.

The Maltese Presidency is delighted with the

outstanding results achieved today. They are

a true testament to the dedication and hard

work of so many Maltese officials in seeking

to bring about real results that benefit all

Maltese, and Europeans, alike. MBR

Credit: DOI

48

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49


Malta Business Review

ICT CLOUD

Malta Business Review

J.M. Vassallo Vibro Steel Ltd

Mdina Road, Zebbug, ZBG 9019, Malta www.jmvibro.com sales@jmvibro.com 2146 7421

Rearchitecting the Capital Markets:

The Cloud Cometh

By Brad Bailey and Arin Ray

Green products for structural strengthening

Celent has released a new report titled

Rearchitecting the Capital Markets: The

Cloud Cometh. The report was written by

Brad Bailey and Arin Ray, both with Celent’s

Securities & Investments practice.

Cloud-based models are transforming capital

markets. The report examines where major

transformation is taking place, and how

market participants and solution providers

are utilizing the cloud to create new models

for market data, trading, risk, and operations.

The cloud has emerged to solve

many of the current challenges,

such as cost pressure, lack

of scalability, flexibility, and

innovation

As the capital markets move forward, cloud is

proving to be a great enabler in creating an

automated, data-centric, AI future. The cloud

has emerged to solve many of the current

challenges, such as cost pressure, lack of

scalability, flexibility, and innovation. It offers

firms a more agile infrastructure that enables

them to address ever-evolving regulatory

requirements and the proliferation of trading

applications, as well as the need to rapidly

connect to multiple liquidity sources.

The implications for core IT infrastructure are

profound. The cloud model is becoming the

blueprint for infrastructure transformation

across the front, middle, and back offices. In

parallel, the capital market space is seeing

a need for better connectivity. Private,

dedicated cloud access is better suited

for capital market requirements, offering

better speed and latency as well as superior

performance and security.

The public cloud is also gaining traction in

strategically chosen functions and segments.

The cloud cuts the cost of failure and allows

firms large and small, as well as fintech

providers, to test alternative business models

in a low-risk manner.

“Saving money is only the starting point with

the cloud. The end game is a new type of

data-centric, analytically robust capital market

firm,” commented Bailey, a Research Director.

“The cloud sits at the center of all major trends we

see today in the capital markets: cost reduction,

focus on core, automation, operational efficiency,

data primacy, analytics, and machine learning,”

added Ray, an Analyst. MBR

Credit: Celent

ABOUT CELENT

Celent is a research and advisory firm

dedicated to helping financial institutions

formulate comprehensive business and

technology strategies.

Celent publishes reports identifying trends

and best practices in financial services

technology and conducts consulting

engagements for financial institutions

looking to use technology to enhance

existing business processes or launch new

business strategies.

With a team of internationally experienced

analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to

offer strategic advice and market insights

on a global basis. Celent is a member

of Oliver Wyman Group, which is a

wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh &

McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

KERAKOLL.

Products and services

to build healthy homes

that are kind to the

environment.

INNOVATIVE

ECO-FRIENDLY

RECYCLABLE

HEALTHY

50 51

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Malta Business Review

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

CLIMATE CHANGE

Malta Business Review

INFOGRAPHIC

The Evolution of

Underfloor Heating

# 1

#2 2,500 BC-1,400 ad

5,000 BC

by Amy Blackwell

The earliest example of underfloor heating was found in Korea.

There is evidence to suggest they had baked or heated floors called Ondol meaning "warm stone".

In 500 BC the Greeks and Romans began usign hypocausts, a system that involved the floor being built

on pillars so that hot air could pass through the spaces beneath.

In 700 AD you could find hypocausts in wealthy homes and public baths in the Mediterranean.

In 1400 AD hypocausts were being used for Turkish baths in the Ottoman Empire.

# 3

#4 early 20th century

19th century

Research in to surgace reflectivity, thermal conductivity and surface emissivity was conducted.

Aiming to develop the first water boilers and piping systems in Europe.

In 1899 German scientist Hans von Pechmann accidentally discovered polymethylene.

This plastic would go on to be an important component of all wet underfloor heating systems.

European Parliament's President Antonio Tajani

European Parliament's President Antonio

Tajani reacted to the announcement by U.S.

President Donald J. Trump to withdraw from

the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“Pacta sunt servanda. The Paris Agreement

must be respected. It is a matter of trust

and leadership” said European Parliament

President Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT). "This

Agreement is alive and we will take it forward

with or without the US administration" he

said.

"Those who choose to remain on the outside

will miss a historic opportunity for citizens, the

EP President Tajani: “the Paris agreement

is alive and we will take it forward”

planet and the economy. The EU will continue

to lead efforts against climate change and

be a global pole of attraction for investment,

innovation and technology, creating new jobs

and boosting competitiveness" he added.

Environment Committee Chair Adina-

Ioana Vălean (EPP, RO) also reacted to the

announcement: "We deeply regret this

decision, and hope that this is only ‘see

you soon’ and not ‘farewell’ from our U.S.

friends", said Ms. Vălean. "To ease the

transition to a low-carbon economy is simply

to be pragmatic. The global community is

committed to the Paris Agreement. Civil

society, industry and public awareness have

evolved. The United States still shares our

planet, and we are entitled to hope that,

beyond the decision of just one man – even

if he is the President of the United States –

America will, in the end, come back on our

side in the fight against climate change”, she

added.

“In the meantime, we shall continue

leading, together with China and the High

Ambition Coalition. What is more, given the

threat of global warming, this is a fight for

multilateralism, for international cooperation,

and for peace. And for we Europeans, an

existential one", she concluded.

Facts

The European Parliament is currently

working on three legislative measures

implementing the Paris Agreement: the

post-2020 carbon market (EU ETS) reform

(rapporteur Julie Girling), the 2030 targets

Effort Sharing Regulation (rapporteur

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy) and the Regulation

on greenhouse gas emissions and removals

from land-use, land-use change and forestry

(rapporteur Norbert Lins). MBR

In 1907 English Professor Arthur H. Barker invented a system to warm panels using small pipes.

In 1930 Oscar Faber started heating and cooling homes with water pipes, inspiring Frank Lloyd Wright.

He designed the first Usonian home in 1937 using underfloor radiant heating.

A feature of all Usonian homes.

In 1945 the first big development using water based heating was developed by designer William Levitt.

# 5

lATE 20TH CENTURY

Following research in to potential heating materials by Dr J. Bjorksten the first polyethylene plant was

built in Canada in 1953. The first underfloor heating system using water pipes was installed in Canada

in 1960. In 1965 Thomas Engel managed to cross-link molecules to stabilise polyethylene, an idea that

he later sold to pipe producers in 1967. In 1980 floor heating became fairly common in residential and

non-residential developments across Europe.

#6 2000 and beyond

Since the millennium HVAC systems have been introduced in Europe.

Underfloor heating and cooling systems are used for integrated climate control in many developments.

Adding luxury and improved comfort to homes and public spaces.

About the author

Amy Blackwell is an Editorial

Account Manager.

Creditline: LinkedIn

52 53

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Malta Business Review

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

Malta Business Review

Waterproofing

when the heat is on

By Antoine Bonello

them with technical assistance should the

need arise. The more you know the better,

especially when it comes to waterproofing.

Every job is different from the previous one

and different supports require different

preparations. The ability to know which

materials are to be used and for what reason

is the secret of a successful Installer.

The Malta Waterproofing and Resin Flooring

Association provide technical knowledge and

professional formation to all Maltese installers

who wish to improve their workmanship or

start a carrier in the waterproofing business.

The Association also assists its members

by providing the services of a profession

advisor when facing challenging situations

or other difficulties during their works.

The Association also provides its qualified

members the Certified Installers Card. This

is done to reassure the general public that

the person is able to carry out the requested

job at its best. All this is being made possible

thanks to the Resin and Membrane Centre

and NAICI International Academy.

For further information with regards the

Malta Professional Waterproofing and Resin

Flooring Association visit the website on

www.maltawaterproofing.com or call on

27477647 MBR

Malta is an island with little rainfall and

plenty of sunshine, needless to stress on the

importance of solar panels, however two

important issues must be addressed before

installing them. We must first install a very

good waterproofing membrane made from

quality resins and reinforced with fiberglass as

it would be very difficult to apply between the

panels afterwards. While the second avoid

fixing the panels directly to the roof with bolts

and nuts. It should always be mounted on

separate elevated metal structures.

Nowadays thermal insulation in buildings

is another important factor as it reduces

unwanted heat loss or gain and can decrease

the energy demands of heating and cooling

systems. All this change in the building industry

brings new opportunities and new solutions. It

is these unaware problems that drive serious

pro-environment companies like NAICI to find

simple yet innovative and effective solutions

for this havoc. We were ecstatic when

we heard about the new GUAINA REFLEX

thermal membrane; it is a simple yet effective

solution. This revolutionary product is the

perfect answer for our flat roofs here in Malta.

Besides its strong waterproofing properties,

this new resin liquid membrane has thermal

properties, making it unique and hence

reduces by far heat intake inside buildings by

90%. Better environments in our houses or

workplace. But the most astonishing property

of this innovative product is the ability to

increase the efficiency and the intake of solar

panels by redirecting the sunrays horizontally

towards them. This means more money in

the owner’s pocket and an increase of cleaner

energy.

The following standards and certifications

should be clearly visible on each and every

can for reassurance of a good quality product.

• UV stability – the ability to withstand sun

rays.

• Elongation - the elasticity of the product.

It is measured in percentages. Elongation

of 150% means that the membrane can

stretch to one and half times its length

when pulled.

• Tear Resistance - it gives a fair idea of

tearing resistance

• Chemical stability -. If it is harmful to the

environment and to humans during

application

• Case Studies - visit the manufacturer

internet site or ask the importer to see

the product data sheet to determine

the right application modalities, also if

possible inquire where and why that

particular product was implemented.

• CE Mark- European Standard.

Preparation and proper product application

are the secret to prevent a piss poor

performance. It sounds simple when you read

it but it requires dedicated people with a lot of

good will and the desire to always learn new

things in order to be achieved.

One also has to consider who will implement

the waterproofing works. REMEMBER

never let anyone experiment with your

home. Delicate works like waterproofing

should be carried out by professionals

and properly trained people. Always make

sure that the persons commissioned for

the works are affiliated with the Malta

Professional Waterproofing and Resin

Flooring Association and in possession of

the Certified Installers Card. This way you

are assured of their trustworthiness to carry

out the waterproofing works to the stringent

requirements of the trade.

The Malta Professional Waterproofing and

Resin Flooring Association was established

to teach all its members the proper working

modalities, product knowledge and provides

54 55

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Malta Business Review

FOOTBALL BRANDS

Real Madrid becomes

Football’s Most Powerful Brand

· Real overtakes Barça as the most powerful club brand

· However, a superior commercial strategy makes Man United the most valuable brand at US$1.733 billion

· Premier League clubs account for 46% of total football brand value, more than double other leagues

· Newcastle is the fastest growing brand, up 92% from 2016, following promotion

Valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance

conducts an annual study, calculating the power and

value of the world’s leading football club brands. A

brand’s power/strength is assessed (based on metrics

such as stadium capacity, squad size and value,

social media presence, on-pitch performance, fan

satisfaction, fair-play rating, stadium utilization, and

revenue) to create a ‘Brand Strength Index’ (BSI) score

out of 100. This is used to determine what proportion

of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand,

which is projected into perpetuity and discounted

to determine the brand’s value. The Brand Finance

Football 50 report is the first of any kind to take

into account the full sporting results of the 2016/17

season.

Real Madrid’s superb season sees Los Blancos eclipse

rivals Barcelona to become the world’s most powerful

football club brand. The brand power of both clubs

was already formidable and unmatched worldwide.

The fierce rivalry of El Clásico, their dominance on

the European stage and footballing styles, that are as

beautiful as they are effective, served to create brands

that are unparalleled by German, French, English

or Italian rivals. Barça had remained just fractionally

ahead of Real in recent years, until now. After claiming

yet another La Liga title and a record 12th Champions

League victory, Real’s Brand Strength Index score is up

from 94.6 to 96.1, edging ahead of Barcelona on 95.4.

However, whilst Real can bask in the glory of its

unparalleled reputation, it could be doing a lot more

to capitalise on its on-pitch success. Despite being

football’s most powerful brand, in terms of brand

value, it still trails Manchester United by a considerable

margin. United, despite finishing a disappointing 6th

in the Premier League, is the most valuable brand in

football, worth US$1.733 billion to Real’s US$1.419

billion.

United’s success is partly the result of an enduring

halo effect from the good times under Alex Ferguson.

However, the most crucial ingredient has been the

club’s commercial nous and ability to convert its

success into lucrative deals across dozens of industry

sectors and national territories. In contrast, while Real

has blockbuster deals such as its reported billion euro

agreement with Adidas, it has not leveraged its brand

equity to the same extent as United, failing to pursue

the same range of partnerships.

Real could perform significantly better in growth

markets outside Europe too. In some, such as the

Middle East, Real is popular, yet Brand Finance

research into the vast and therefore critical Chinese

market demonstrates that Real has a lot of work to do;

it lags behind not just United but also Bayern Munich

in popularity.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“Real must now pay as careful attention to its off-

pitch strategy as it does to its on-pitch performance.

Newfound status as the world’s most powerful brand

ought to provide the club with ammunition in ongoing

discussions with Emirates to renegotiate the shirt

sponsorship; Real must not miss the opportunity.”

Premier League clubs continue to lead the world when

it comes to commercialising their brands; six of the top

ten most valuable football brands are English. Title

rivals Chelsea and Tottenham have recorded some of

the biggest gains this year after successful seasons that

saw Chelsea regain its status as England’s best, under

dynamic new manager Antonio Conte. Commercially,

Chelsea stand to gain significantly through a reported

£900 million, 15 year deal with Nike as well as from a

near 50% increase to the capacity of Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham is also expanding its home; the new White

Hart Lane has been innovatively designed and will

offer 61,000 spectators the opportunity to see Spurs

on home turf. Tottenham’s brand value is up 58% on

last year and Chelsea’s 61% to US$1.248 billion.

All Premier League teams continue to benefit from the

vast revenues brought in by the latest broadcasting

rights deal with Sky and BT. The relatively equitable

split is particularly helpful to smaller clubs and helps to

explain how a club such as Bournemouth (which joined

the Premier League just two years ago and comes

from a town of just 180,000 inhabitants) controls a

more valuable brand than much longer established

European top tier clubs such as Olympique Lyonnais,

Inter Milan, and AS Roma. The costs of missing out on

Premier League status are clear too. Another season

in the Championship for Aston Villa and relegation for

Sunderland see both drop out of this year’s list.

Sunderland’s loss has been Newcastle’s gain. The

Magpies’ promotion will see revenues return and

restore international exposure to the Tyneside club.

As a result, brand value is up 92% to US$247 million,

making Newcastle this year’s fastest growing brand.

Juventus’ Serie A win and full Champions League

run helped improve brand strength by three points,

putting the Italian club in the top 5 for brand strength.

Brand value has improved significantly too, growing

72% since 2016. However, like Real Madrid, Juventus

has not fully leveraged the strength of its brand for

commercial purposes. Foreign tours, marketing

investment, strategic partnerships with brands and

even non-commercial organisations can all help to

improve willingness to purchase, whether that is

merchandise, match-day tickets, or subscriptions to

broadcasters of Serie A matches. Juve is somewhat

constrained in its ability to strike marquee deals by the

duration of its existing partnerships with Adidas and

Fiat. Nonetheless, Italy’s most valuable football club

could do better.

Bayern Munich has stayed level in 5th. The Bundesliga

title has increasingly come to seem Bayern’s by

right. The club is so dominant locally that glory can

really only come from the international stage, so a

failure to reach the Champions League semi-finals

could mean 2017 is interpreted as a rather mediocre

season. Though this year’s on-pitch performance

might possibly be seen as underwhelming, Bayern is

making great strides off the pitch to enhance the value

of its brand. The club is trying to make up for financial

differences with European rivals by investing in China.

Its new Shanghai office is the first of any European

football club to open in mainland China. The club has

also launched two football schools in Qingdao and

Shenzhen this year, which has increased the brand’s

familiarity among young players, as has its intensive

investment in social media. Bayern’s hard work is

paying off. Brand Finance’s research shows that the

club has a very strong presence in China, while the

Bundesliga (generally less widely broadcast than La

Liga or even Serie A) is China’s most watched foreign

competition after the Premier League.

Zenit St Petersburg is Russia’s only entry in the top 50.

Its €168 million commercial revenues (led by headline

sponsor Gazprom) are the primary driver of brand

value, putting it significantly ahead of the two major

Moscow clubs CSKA and Spartak. The soon to open

Krestovsky Stadium should help Zenit pull further

ahead of the pack; its 68,000 capacity is more than

50% larger than any other club arena, allowing Zenit

to leverage its brand through enhanced match-day

revenue. The stadium will be a key venue for next

year’s FIFA World Cup.

At present, the Russian Premier League creates limited

interest outside the CIS, however as billions of fans

focus their attention on the country, 2018 could be the

perfect opportunity for Russia’s clubs to strengthen

their brands and build a following in Asia in particular.

There are risks too though. Hooliganism was once

known as the English Disease but is now more closely

associated with Russia, which is also seen as a laggard

on issues such as racism and homophobia in sport.

Russian clubs must be mindful of the fragility of this

once-in-a-generation opportunity, plan carefully to

improve awareness, win fans, and secure commercial

partnerships. MBR

Media Credits: Robert Haigh, Marketing & Communications Director,

Brand Finance

EDITOR’S

Note

For more definitions of key terms, methodology,

and more stories, including the profiles of top 10

club brands, please consult the Brand Finance

Football 50 report document.

Brand values are reported in USD. For

conversions into other currencies, please hover

over the ‘i’ button on the web version of the table

and select.

World

Next Top

Model

Malta

Today Gaffiero Productions proudly

announced that Christina Ellul Vincenti will

be representing Malta in the World Top

Model contest that will be held in Lebanon

next July. This news was announced by

the Director of Gaffiero Productions Ivan

Gaffiero after a meeting he had with Cristina

the second runner up in the World Top

Model contest held last April.

Due to personal reasons and other

commitments, Ms Qormi the winner of the

Christina Ellul Vincenti

title World Top Model 2017 will be unable

to represent Malta in Lebanon. During this

prestigious contest, Cristina Ellul Vincenti will

compete with other models representing

fifty different nations. She is honoured and

excited to represent Malta and she will

continue to work hard to make Malta proud.

Good luck Christina.

MBR

FASHION & LIFESTYLE

Malta Business Review

Food festival happening at Palazzo Castelletti

Local gastronomes will have the chance

to snack their way through the culinary

offerings at Palazzo Castelletti’s first food

festival on Sunday 2 July 2017.

“Our goal is that our diners could taste their

way through the best food and signature

cocktails while promising a Summer roof top

experience like no other,” explained Kim Pace,

General Manager, Palazzo Castelletti.

Our food philosophy is simple. We make

really tasty food that people want to eat again

and again. We steer clear of gimmicks and

stick to delicious, satisfying food made with

the finest ingredients. Our food festival menu

is no different – the quality is fabulous and it

tastes fantastic- the difference is in the style

and presentation.

Live music will be provided throughout the

evening. MBR

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Malta Business Review

GARDENING & LANDSCAPING

JONATHAN CALLUS

the man behind some of the most

beautiful gardens

What had started off as a "playful hobby"

for young Jonathan, playing with plant seeds

along with his father years ago, has now

evolved into one of Malta’s garden centres.

Jonathan Callus, Managing Director of Callus

Garden Centre explains about his love affair

with plants, and the journey towards the

growth of his landscaping business.

Prompted by his father’s job and passion for

gardening, Jonathan started out by offering

grass-cutting services at a very young age. He

began with one client and within a couple of

months, had a gradual increase. He started

working for a number of clients – his goal

was to service a number of clients every day

by taking care of their garden maintenance.

Twelve years down the line his vision had

changed into the creation of Callus Garden

Centre - a company that offers quality work

to achieve the total satisfaction of our

customers.

Speaking about the landscaping business,

Jonathan explains how at Callus Garden

Centre one understands the various nuances

associated with pairing the correct landscape

to one’s home, property and surroundings.

Simply put, that means we believe that less

is more and one has to avoid over planting.

We make sure that one’s landscaping always

accentuates one home’s architecture while

striving to create a colourful landscape for

the home that is easy to maintain. We know

there’s more to landscaping than meets the

eye. We pride ourselves in providing custom

landscaping solutions utilizing the latest

techniques.

For someone who grew up growing plants at

his family, Jonathan attributes his success to

his upbringing, discipline and family admitting

that starting a business does not come

without any challenge. He explains that there

are hard days and one needs to push through

as long as one understands and believe in

his own venture. Starting my own business

has made me realise the various challenges

one has to face in order to keep up with the

business – the administration aspect whilst

ensuring a seamless customer experience.

Nowadays, at Callus Garden Centre we have

set our roots in providing a reliable service

Jonathan Callus, Managing Director of Callus Garden Centre

with competitive prices. The Company is

gradually growing to the point where we

can supply a single plant for a terrace, or

design and install an entire landscaped

garden for a villa. Since our opening we have

developed into a more retail focused garden

centre offering a broader, seasonal range

of products. Set in the stunning outskirts of

Siggiewi, Callus Garden Centre offers a wide

range of trees, plants and outdoor products

thus being the ideal place for everything to

make one garden grow.

Callus Garden Centre, way more than a

garden centre and plant nursery, is literally

an inspired collection that includes unusual

plants, artisan-created decorative pieces

and a constantly changing array of items that

bring beauty and flavour to the home and

garden. The garden centre is one’s entry to a

symphony of colours and fragrance that can

infuse one’s indoor and outdoor living spaces

with personal warmth and beauty. “Hard work

and determination are all vital ingredients to

a successful way forward,” explains Jonathan.

“We thank all our customers for the ongoing

support; we always strive to bring to our

customers the best experience possible

whilst making constant innovations and

improvements to ensure we can achieve a

high level of service”. MBR

THE VERA SANT FOURNIER

BRAND HAS EVOLVED TO

FLEXIBLE ECLECTIC ELEGANCE...

SUCCESSFUL IN ANY ENVIRONMENT, ON ANY PLATFORM

Our one stop solution is ideal for individuals who

do not have the creative vision or time to trawl the

internet or go from one shop to another coordinating

all that is needed to create beauty and practicality in

order to achieve that unique look.

Vera Sant Fournier - Design Studio can tend to

every single detail of your project, from residential to

commercial, from private events to wedding décor, We

will create your personal space, from the positioning of

electrical sockets to suitable artwork, light fittings, soft

furnishings etc. With meticulous care we ensure that

elements such as the correct blend of materials, the

feel of a particular texture as well as the specific mood a

colour evokes combine in unison to create your very own

personal space.

No assignment is too big or small for Vera Sant Fournier

- Design Studio, our costs are based on how much

involvement you require from us. Our fee structure and

project approach allows our clients to decide precisely

the level of involvement Vera Sant Fournier - Design

Studio has in their envisaged project. Additionally, our

clients benefit from the good prices afforded by trade

accounts with various manufacturers and distributors we

use across the globe & whole budget spectrum.

58


LG CI_2D_cm100y72k19_C

Solar Partner Program

Authorised Partner

Smart

Business

Technology

SECURITY CCTV FIRE SAFETY PV PANELS AIR CONDITIONING

LED LIGHTING

Global Tech provides state-of-the-art, technology solutions for the

domestic and commercial marketplace. We have partnered with the

world’s best brands to provide Malta’s homes and businesses with

cutting edge, secure technology, which is energy efficient and easy

to use. Our product and service categories include PV Panels, Air

Conditioning, LED Lighting, Fire Safety, CCTV and Security Systems.

i (+356) 21 389 389

info@gtm.com.mt

a www.gtm.com.mt

M /gtmalta

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