Poonam Gupta OBE, the founder and chief executive of global export firm PG Paper, has been named 'Business Woman of the Year' at the annual Business Women Scotland and Women's Enterprise Scotland Awards 2018.

Poonam, who started the company from her kitchen table in 2003, has grown it into a leading distributor of paper-based products in 55 countries around the world with an annual turnover of £35 million.

PG Paper have been a long-term tenant of Riverside Inverclyde's and are based at the historic Custom House building in Greenock.

Poonam also does a lot of work supporting a variety of worthy causes, helping to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years, and was awarded an OBE for services to business and charity in the 2017 Queen's New Year's Honours List.

But the modest entrepreneur credited her staff for her latest award success and says it is worthy recognition for the hard work of the close-knit group.

Poonam said:

"I'm grateful that in spite of great competition, I am the winner and I'm always humbled and privileged that me and my team's achievements have been recognised in such a wonderful way."

The PG Paper boss was announced as the winner at a ceremony in Glasgow's Grand Central Hotel.

Poonam continued:

"I can't speak for the judges but I do believe my team is important and I believe in gender equality to the extent that it was said at the awards that seventy per cent of my team are women.

"There's huge talk about working flexibility for female workers with young families and that's something we strive for.

"Since last October, the industry has been tough overall but our numbers every quarter are telling us we're on track and doing very well.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the award and so are the team."

Above: Jillian Anderson, Chief Executive of KBS Controls

Also representing Inverclyde at the event was Jillian Anderson, CEO of Greenock window ventilation firm Kilpatrick Blane Services, based in Crawfurd Street.

Jillian was also shortlisted in the 'Business Woman of the Year' category, while the company was up for the 'Employer of the Year' prize.

This article appeared in the Greenock Telegraph on 7 November 2018.