20th National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA) to take place in October
The 20thAnniversary Event of the National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA), Sri Lanka’s only national competition to recognise ICT products developed locally, is due to take place on 19th October 2018. The official announcement of the competition took place at a special event organized at the Hotel Galadari recently.
The NBQSA is open to organizations, groups and individuals in Sri Lanka for locally-designed and developed ICT products.This year’s event will be organised under 19 categories for both student and commercial categories with 3 special awards. The BCS the Chartered Institute for IT Sri Lanka section (BCSSL) has been successfully organizing NBQSA since 1998.
Ruwan Amarasekara – The Chairman & Vajeendra Kandegamage – Secretary of the BCSSL expressed their opinions on the evolution of the competition and how it has impacted Sri Lanka’s fast-growing ICT industry. Within this context, given below are excerpts of the interview conducted with them.
Q) What is the National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA) all about?
The National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA) is the only national competition that is conducted to evaluate& recognise ICT products developed in Sri Lanka by commercial organizations, individuals and tertiary students. Further, NBQSA showcases and benchmarks the countries’ ICT innovations.
Q) What are the objectives of NBQSA?
From its inception the core objectives of the NBQSA were to uplift the quality and the standards of the ICT products developed in Sri Lanka, identify local talents and recognize the outstanding achievements of any commercial organizations, individuals or groups, to act as the gateway to the international market and to support them to improve the quality of the products so that they can compete in the international market.We have assisted the best of these organisations to participate in many international competitions and events to connect Sri Lanka talents with the global market.
Q) How has NBQSA grown over the years?
NBQSA has evolved considerably over the past 20years in terms of the number of participations, from only5 applications at the very 1st year to up to over 200 applications currently. Further, it was limited only to a handful of companies at the initial stage and due to the wide publicity provided, the awareness created in local media and extensive guidance given to the industry,today’s applications come from all parts of the island.
Q) How has NBQSA impacted the local IT industry?
I am proud to state that most of today’s ICT industry giants are past winners of the NBQSA. Over the years, the impact created by the NBQSA has been significant to the national economy. Products which have gone through the NBQSA process get valuable recognition than those that have not. Also, the individuals who lead the products have become key decision makers in the countries’ largest organizations. Many individuals and students have used the NBQSA experience, victories and recognition as a platform to transform themselves as real entrepreneurs within a very short period of time.
Q) What’s the process for picking the winners?
The process starts with basic filtering of the relevant applications according to the respective categories at the Application submissions. The applicants are taken through the NBQSA awareness and briefing sessions prior to the evaluation process. Finally, two levels of evaluations will be conducted by an eminent panel of judges appointed based on the experience andqualifications that suit the relevant categories.Final results are further taken to a validation process to guarantee the quality of judging and the entire process will be done using a well-tested online system developed in Sri Lanka.
Q) Could you describe the award categories?
The competition is open to more than 19 categories. Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are presented in these categories subject tothat there are winners in these categories.Winners are selected only if the products receive the required threshold marks against the judging criteria. We award 3 special recognition awards: An “ICT Lifetime Achiever Award” Or the “ICT Most Outstanding Contribution” presented to an outstanding personality for the invaluable services rendered to the development of the local ICT Industry for an extended period of time,an “ICT Entrepreneur of the year Award” presented to a budding entrepreneur who will be recognized for his or her effort for venturing into organizational development in an ICT organization and a “Public Sector Most Outstanding ICT Achievement Award” presented to a public sector organization in recognition and appreciation of the effort rendered towards the introduction, nurturing and development of the ICT environment to provide better quality services to the citizens in Sri Lanka.
Q) In what way would the 2018 NBQSA be different from previous years?
As we celebrate the 20th year of the NBQSA, we intend to extend the Post-event support provided to the winners by way of additional Business/product promotions in the countries where BCSSL has strong relations in addition to the introduction of the new changes with the evaluation process as we strive to continuously improve it. Further a new team appointed for the NBQSA project will take it to a different level. With these improvements, we expect the product quality and standards to rise while more winning opportunities will also be introduced to recognize the best products out there.
Q) What are the future plans for NBQSA?
NBQSA has already driven home the message that due recognition is an important element to uplift the industry talents and therefore initiatives have been taken to move forward with the international market to promote Sri Lankan products. The Initiative named“Biz2Biz”, introduced parallel to NBQSA, has evolved and connecting them together will be the next phase.