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  KAZAKHSTAN №6, 2014
 Altyn Sapa as New Business Opportunities

Altyn Sapa as New Business Opportunities

In  2014 for the ninth time the national contest of Kazakhstan President award "Altyn Sapa” is to be held. The number of participants for this event in this year has grown to the record - 293 companies. 22nd of December will be the date for us to know who is the best in fields of quality and management efficiency.

Today, there is no need to convince Kazakh businessmen in constant improvement of their products quality and enhancement the production processes efficiency. The market persistently dictates for our enterprises to integrate advanced standards of management quality, environmental and social security.

According to the Committee for Technical Regulation and Metrology, in the first half of this year, the number of such companies reached 7,146, which is on 800 enterprises more than in 2013. Of these, 6,564 companies introduced the international standard ISO 9001, 1,864 companies the ISO 14001, 808 companies the OHSAS 18001, 96 companies the ISO 22000, and 5 companies the SA 8000. At the moment, 100 more companies are going to implement management standards. In the regional framework, the most number of enterprises certified for compliance with management standards in Kazakhstan, is concentrated in Almaty (19%), Karaganda region (9%), Astana (10.5%), South Kazakhstan region (8.4%), Zhambyl region (7.4%), Aktobe region (6%), and Mangistau region (5.3%).

President’s Altyn Sapa award played an important role in promoting the campaign to improve the products quality and services of domestic enterprises. History of the Kazakh analogue of the Deming Prize started on October 9, 2006, when the President signed the presidential decree on holding the above annual competition. In 2009, the prize model was harmonized with the model of the European Quality Award, which takes into account the latest trends in the modern management development. Today, the Altyn Sapa award is based on principles such as the focus on the customer, leadership and consistency in achieving the goals, management based on the understanding of processes and facts, involvement of personnel, continuous innovation, interaction with the community, and focus on results.

Owing to the contest, a sort of podium appeared, on which every domestic producer would like to be. However, to become a contester for the President’s prize Altyn Sapa, a company has to comply with and strive for the best performance on all quality criteria. That is why this contest has won a reputation as one of the most powerful incentives for the development of businesses in Kazakhstan.

Legal entities which have implemented management standards and have been operating in the market for more than three years may take part in the contest. Their achievements are assessed by two groups of criteria. The first of them is "Opportunities", designed to assess how the company achieves results in terms of quality. The second group is "Results", showing what has already been achieved and what the company is aspiring to at the moment.

For each criterion to be presented clearly, it is expressed in a numeric form and has weight in the overall assessment. The latter can reach a maximum of one thousand points. The contest is held in four stages. At the first stage, the company carries out self-assessment of its compliance with the established model. This stimulates the company to improve performance, allowing it to identify those areas where they can improve their efficiency – starting from the issues requiring policy decisions, and ending with the specific production processes. At the second stage, the commissions check the contestants on the place. The commissions are composed of representatives of state bodies and public organizations. The third stage is the examination and preparation of materials by the Ministry for Investment and Development as the working body. And only then the list of potential winners is submitted to the President.

However, as the Vice-Minister for Investment and Development Albert Rau noted recently, next year the government plans to withdraw from active participation in determining the best of the best. According to him, now the Presidential Decree is under preparation, imposing the responsibility to conduct the Altyn Sapa contest on the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, so that businesses can evaluate themselves.

Recall winners of the contest are determined in three categories: "Best Production Company", "The Best Enterprise Producing Goods for the Population," and "The Best Service Provider." Starting from 2010, in connection with the launch of the state FIID program, two more special awards, "Leader of Industrialization" and "Leader of Innovation" were set up. This year, with the purpose of attracting as many Kazakh companies as possible to take part in the contest,  individual entrepreneurs are for the first time allowed. In this regard, on each of the three categories three awards will be given: in the category of "Small-Sized Business", "Medium-Sized Business" and "Large-Sized Business."

One more alteration is that in the past the winners of the Altyn Sapa award had the right to use the logo of the contest for promotional purposes for two years. But now, starting from 2014, this term was extended to four years. However, this is not the most important thing. Participation in the contest makes it possible to track the dynamics,  improve management standards,  analyze ongoing changes in the company, and to find new ways of development.

Speaking about the President’s award, it is worth mentioning its official satellite – the Republican contest & exhibition "Best Product of Kazakhstan." The main objective of this event is to promote products Made in Kazakhstan, as well as the involvement of domestic producers in competition and the adoption of international standards.

The contest & exhibition is held in three categories: "Best Industrial Goods", "The Best Goods for the Population," and "Best Foodstuff." Selection of the best of the above-said is made in two stages. First of all, the governorates of all the regions, as well as of the cities of Almaty and Astana, organize regional exhibitions, and then 9 winners from each region come to take part in the final contest in Astana. The winners are awarded the emblem and diplomas of the Republican contest & exhibition "Best Product of Kazakhstan” 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade in each category.

Over the years of conducting the contest & exhibition, 97 companies have been awarded the title of best domestic producers. Recall the names of last year's winners. In the category "Best Industrial Goods", the winners were Ecoton+ (Astana), a subsidiary Chevron Munaygas Inc. the Atyrau Plant of Pipeline Fittings (Atyrau), and Hlopkoprom-Cellulose (South Kazakhstan region). In the category The Best Goods for the Population, the winners were KazSPO-N (Almaty), Innovative Production Company Yutariya Ltd (Karaganda region), and Sole Entrepreneur Valery E. Makarov (North Kazakhstan region). In the category "Best Foodstuff" the winners were DEP (Kostanay region), Astana Agroproduk (Akmola region), and Zhanaozen Dairy Plant (Mangistau region).

Considering the winners in the regional context over the past eight years, most often companies from the following regions returned home victorious: Almaty city and South Kazakhstan region (8 awards), and Astana city, Almaty region, Pavlodar and Karaganda regions (5 awards). Zhambyl region has 4 awards. Companies from the East Kazakhstan region, North Kazakhstan region and Atyrau region three times were called the best. At the bottom of the list are the companies from the West Kazakhstan region, Akmola region, Mangistau region, Kostanai and Kyzylorda regions who have 2 awards each.

As for the "Individual Classification", here the leaders are still the same: Tsesna-Astyk, Rakhat, UNIX, Khimfarm, and Kazphosphate, each of which was twice called the best producer in Kazakhstan.

Returning to the Altyn Sapa contest, we recall that 197 companies fought for the title of the strongest in 2013. With this, awards in the category "Best Production Company" were given to Neftekhim (Pavlodar region) and Membrane Technology (Almaty). In the category "The Best Enterprise Producing Goods for the Population", Khimfarm (South Kazakhstan region) and Kublei (West Kazakhstan region) won. "The Best Service Provider” award was given to KazTransGasAymak (Astana) and Republican Scientific Center for Neurosurgery (Astana).

The winners of special prizes from the President of Kazakhstan were called the TNC Kazchrome ("Leader of Innovation") and Sary-Arka AutoProm ("Leader of Industrialization").

It is worthy of noting that to date, 51 Kazakh companies have been given a golden eagle statuette. In the regional context, far ahead is Almaty with its 11 awards, followed by Astana (8 awards) and Almaty region (5 awards). Last year, the long-awaited prize for the first time was given to the West Kazakhstan region. As a result, the list of regions whose enterprises have never become winners fell to the North-Kazakhstan and Kyzylorda regions.

This year, 293 companies have filed applications for participation in the contest that is the largest number in the history of this contest. Very soon the winners of the national award Altyn Sapa and the contest & exhibition "Best Product of Kazakhstan 2014" will be announced. We wish all the applicants good luck and let the strongest of them win!


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Administrative Reform Is Needed  Askarbek Makhmutov 
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