ZMQ honoured with UNDP's World Business and Development Awards 2008
In support of Millennium Development Goals

UN Millennium Plaza, New York City, 24 September 2008
ZMQ Software Systems, India received the prestigious UNDP's World Business and Development Awards 2008 at a glittering ceremony at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel in New York on September 24, 2008 - on the eve of UN's High-level Event on the MDGs convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the General Assembly.

ZMQ was honored during the Awards ceremony under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal. Other dignitaries present in the ceremony were Kemal Dervis, UNDP Administrator; Douglas Alexander, UK Secretary of State for International Development; and Guy Sebban, ICC Secretary General.

ZMQ was recognized for its commitment to combat HIV/AIDS, and other global problems like global warming, illiteracy and poverty using sustainable ICT tools and solutions. Nine other companies from different parts of the world were recognized for their work in improving lives of the world's most disadvantaged people.

ZMQ has raised awareness about HIV/AIDS across India and Africa using mobile technology. Under the banner "Freedom HIV/AIDS", on December 1 2005, ZMQ released four mobile phone games to help combat the spread of the virus and fight stigma and discrimination. In the span of 15 months, the four games reached 42 million people in India, with a download of 10.3 million game sessions. ZMQ was able to replicate its model in Africa under the Africa Reach Program in the countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique and Botswana.

"The new socio-business model of ZMQ is a blend of its core competency with social development, which is a step beyond corporate social responsibility," said Subhi Quraishi, Chief Executive of ZMQ. "In the fight against poverty and disease, businesses should move from being responsible corporate citizens to being agents of transformation."

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan

"Today, business leaders like all of you are rewriting the value equation to show that true worth comes not only from profits but from making a positive difference," said Queen Rania in her address to the awardees. "More and more, when we look at some of the cruelest challenges our human family faces, we find it is business leading the charge of innovation for human development - inventing new tools, initiating new partnerships, re-imagining service delivery - to bring life-saving vaccines and life-altering technologies into the hands of the poor."

"Government is certainly responsible for piloting the great ships that our nations are, and heads of state certainly need to navigate them well," added President Wade. "But government is not the whole ship. The health of the vessel depends on the determination, will, creativity and productivity of the passengers it carries. This I see as the greatest role of business. Participate, build, lead, grow and be the wind in the sails or the bio fuel in our national engine."

President Abdoulaye Wade of
"As the world becomes more interdependent, doing business with the poor has shown not only to be a potential boost to a company's competiveness, but also -with the right business model- to be a force in the fight against poverty," said Kemal Dervis, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). "We are presenting a new approach to develop long-term business initiatives to harness the resources and talents that are the central strength of global business. This is a potent demonstration of our collective commitment to being a strong partner to the private sector in furthering shared aims."

The World Business and Development Awards 2008 (WBDA) is one of the central events this year that recognizes the key contributions of the private sector to development. The biennial Awards are the first worldwide business awards to recognize the crucial role of the private sector, large and small, in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through their core business. The spirit of the awards lies in the pursuit of innovative and productive core business practices to sustainable development and to help make the societies where they operate better places to live and work. This year's winners improved lives of millions of poor people across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The eminent international panel of judges headed by Rajat Gupta, senior partner emeritus McKinsey & Co. also included Poonam Ahluwalia, Executive Director, Youth Employment Summit; Khalid Alnahdi, Chief of Staff, Dallah Alberaka; Lisa Dreier, Associate Director, Public-Private Partnerships, World Economic Forum; Oby Ezekwesili, former Nigerian Minister of Education, current Vice-President for Africa, World Bank; Muni Figueres, former Costa Rican Minister for Foreign Trade; Jane Nelson, Director, Harvard Kennedy School Corporate Responsibility Initiative; Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute and Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University; and Guy Sebban, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce.

The MDGs, endorsed by 189 countries, are eight goals that promote poverty reduction, education, maternal health, gender equality, and aim at combating child mortality, AIDS and other diseases. The United Nations has devoted the year 2008 to build a renewed momentum around the MDGs, including special attention for the role of business in development through an initiative known as the Business Call to Action. The WBDA and the Business Call to Action are not about philanthropy. They challenge companies to use their core business --whether it be manufacturing, finance or telecommunications-- in a way that contributes both to sustainable development and to their own commercial success. They aim to inspire CEOs and companies to realize that reducing poverty also makes good business sense.

Introduced by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in 2000, the WBDA have become increasingly successful each year. In 2004, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) joined with ICC to organize the awards. The true spirit of the awards lies in the pursuit of productive and innovative business-driven solutions to sustainable development.

The 2008 World Business and Development Awards are presented in association with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Harvard Kennedy School Corporate Responsibility Initiative and the Financial Times.

About ZMQ: (
ZMQ Software Systems is a Technology for Development company. The company develops innovative ICT solutions, software, and applications for empowering people and enabling sustainable development. The company is also focused on developing innovative ICT products for new markets of the world at the Bottom-of-the-Pyramid (BOP) by successfully reaching out to grass-root, under-privileged, and marginalized communities; based on viable and self-sustaining business models in support of the social cause.

About UNDP: (
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. Working on the ground in 166 countries, the organization supports national partners to address development challenges and achieve the MDG.

About ICC: (
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the voice of world business, championing the global economy as a force for economic growth, job creation and prosperity. ICC activities cover a broad spectrum, from arbitration and dispute resolution to making the case for open trade and the market economy system, business self-regulation, fighting corruption and combating commercial crime.
The International Chamber of Commerce

About IBLF: (
The International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) works with business, governments and civil society to enhance the contribution that companies can make to sustainable development. Founded by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, the IBLF is an independent, not-for-profit organization currently supported by over 100 of the world's leading businesses.


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Click to download the WBDA brochure: 2008 WBDA Brochure

UNDP Press Release: Click Here