Chairman of distribution giant Westcoast Holdings Joe Hemani has been recognised in a top international entrepreneur competition.
Last night Hemani (pictured) was awarded Big Four consultancy EY's overall, cross-industry Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 for London and the South as a result of his efforts making Westcoast, founded in 1984, a success.
Julie Carlyle, EY Entrepreneur Of the Year partner for London and the South, said Hemani is a "true entrepreneur".
"His dedication to delivering the best possible outcome for his customers, vendors, shareholders, and employees sets him above the competition," she said.
The judging panel, led by the chairman of donation website Justgiving, Jonathan McKay, praised his passion for the industry and its customers. Westcoast's revenue has seen a sharp increase over the past decade, with yearly revenue now exceeding £1bn.
Hemani reportedly founded Westcoast almost by accident while working as an 80s pirate radio DJ – having ordered some printers essentially on a whim, the supplier rang up and asked him for the name of his company. He looked out the window and replied "Westcoast".
He will now go on to compete in the UK final in October. Winners from each country will have a chance to try for international EY Entrepreneur of the Year, held annually at a glittering event in Monte Carlo.
There was also another winner from the IT sector: Colin Batt, Richard Wharton and Dave Floyd of Bullitt Group won the technology-services category, and are also eligible for the UK final.
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