Episode 107 – Featuring a Look at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Entrepreneurship is Its Own Reward….But Sometimes, It’s Nice To Be Recognized: Inside The EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

“To Follow My Passion”

“To Create Jobs and Make a Difference in the World”

“To Become Rich”

Ask most any entrepreneur why he or she starts a business, and you’ll get one of these, or a variety of other answers in response.  One answer you probably won’t hear anytime soon:

“To Win An Award”

Fact is, most entrepreneurs are likely more concerned with more critical elements of the business experience, from making a payroll to handling that pesky vendor to working around the clock to make sure the latest product line gets released on time.

But from time to time, it’s helpful for entrepreneurs of any sized company, large or small, in any industry, to take a step back, look at the big picture, celebrate the idea of entrepreneurship with contemporaries who spend their day-to-day lives in the trenches themselves, and acknowledge those who have gone above and beyond with their endeavors.

Enter the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

2015 marks the 30th year that Ernst and Young has hosted its annual award celebration, honoring the best and brightest entrepreneurs who reflect the entrepreneurial experience to the utmost.  In addition to its National Award recipients,both in the U.S. as well as dozens more countries around the world,, EY has honored standout entrepreneurs on a regional level as well, with 25 U.S. regions represented with their own annual ceremony.   One such region, Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia, also happens to be the home base of “The Raja Show“.

Regular listeners to the show, and followers of Raja’s career, are likely aware that Raja himself is a proud recipient of an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award, having received the Integrated Technology Category Award for his company, CEI, in 2008, an honor of which Raja remains very proud seven years later.

On this edition of “The Raja Show”, Raja takes an inside look at this annual celebration of entrepreneurship.  In addition to discussing his own experiences as an Entrepreneur of the Year alumni, Raja talks with Darrell Smalley, Principal at EY and a Program Director for the Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia regional awards, who puts hours upon hours of effort every year into making the event possible.  Darrell will discuss the history of the award presentation, the selection process, and the criteria that a business would need to achieve for nomination.

Plus, we’ll talk with a pair of recipients from the 2015 event, recently held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburgh.   Bob Tudi, CEO of Tudi Mechanical Systems (the recipient in the Industrial Services category) and Parag Batavia, Founder and President of Neya Systems (the recipient in the Robotics category), join Raja to talk about their companies, share their thoughts on business and leadership, and reflect on what the EN Entrepreneur of the Year honor means to them.