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Sri Lankan & Indian Entrepreneurs Win People’s Choice Award

Max MacBride (GEW global)

India,Sri Lanka

Nov 19, 2010

Congratulations to both Hitender Punyane from India and Fathuma Nisreen from Sri Lanka who have been chosen as the joint YBI People’s Choice award winners, with 7,000 votes each! Nearly 16,000 people voted in the competition which closed on 18 November.

The competition was so close it was extended for a further five hours, but still the two leading entrepreneurs both had exactly the same percentage of the vote.

So it’s a tie!

Wenhui Ma from China was the runner-up.

Here’s a bit more about both winning entrepreneurs:

Hitender’s business, SHN Enterprises, specialises in making small panel air conditioners which are lighter and more energy efficient than branded competitors. The design of the units, with sizes ranging up to half a ton, comprises tiny panels which emit less heat than other air conditioning units. This, along with cutting out the need for chlorine gas (CFC), helps reduce the company’s carbon footprint. SHN Enterprises is now an established and pioneering business enterprise creating 10 full time jobs in product manufacturing and installation.

Fathuma has become a role model in her community for her successes in overcoming the restrictions facing Muslim women entering into business by setting up a design and manufacturing enterprise specialising in traditional outfits and bags. This industry is a hugely competitive sector with markets dotted throughout Sri Lanka. To overcome competition, Fathuma has sought to create a niche product and identity by engaging directly with prospective customers, and subsequently ensures that her designs are in tune with each client’s requirements. Ramsi Fashion’s products are now highly sought after by young Sri Lankan women.

More on the competition
Global Entrepreneurship Week teamed up with Youth Business International to find out who you thought was the best young entrepreneur of 2010.

Part of YBI’s Entrepreneur of the Year competition, the People's Choice award gave you the opportunity to tell us who inspired you the most and who was the best role model for entrepreneurship.

The shortlisted candidates come from a range of countries and backgrounds, but all show how entrepreneurs can bring benefits to local communities. Each of them has been supported by one of YBI’s global members.

For more on the YBI Entrepreneur of the Year and how Youth Business International helped these young entrepreneurs get started in business, visit

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