The Birmingham tech company celebrating triple win at the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Awards 2024

A Birmingham- based technology company won hat trick of wins at the 2024 Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Awards
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It is Birmingham’s biggest celebration of business with more than 1,000 people attending the annual dinner and ceremony at the ICC.

And this year saw one city business scoop an impressive triple win - walking away with gongs for three categories.

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Word 360, headquartered in Edgbaston,  took home the overall Greater Birmingham Business of the Year crown, having also won the Excellence in Contribution to the Community and Excellence in Customer Service categories.

The Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Awards, was hosted by broadcaster and comedienne Noreen Khan and supported by headline sponsors Birmingham City University and Elonex.

Co-founded in 2013 by husband and wife team Tiku Chauhan and Kavita Parmar, Word360 is a language technology company which works with public, private and not-for-profit organisations to help them deliver access to services through its own tech platform 'Wordskii'.

Word360's network of self-employed interpreters can help clients with translation services at any time and anywhere, either in-person or via video or telephone.

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The service is used by multiple sectors but the team has focused on health and social care and especially supporting local communities and people from disadvantaged and hard-to-reach backgrounds.

Word360 Co-Founder Kavita Parmar celebrates triple triumph at the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Awards 2024Word360 Co-Founder Kavita Parmar celebrates triple triumph at the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Awards 2024
Word360 Co-Founder Kavita Parmar celebrates triple triumph at the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Awards 2024

Judges described Word360 as “an excellent company that exemplifies Birmingham - combining tech, innovation and entrepreneurialism with diversity and wellbeing for communities.”

They added: “Word360 demonstrates a high level of flexibility and responsiveness to customer needs, using their data and understanding of communities to target provision and find out about emerging needs. Their innovative technology solutions change the experience of both patients and healthcare providers. 

“Word360 really understands what is needed to give the most diverse people access to health and care services and enable communications for all abilities.”

The winners:

  • Greater Birmingham Business of the Year - sponsored by Crowe UK LLP - Word360
  • Excellence in Contribution to the Community – sponsored by runyourfleet - Word360
  • Excellence in Customer Service – sponsored by Birmingham Airport - Word360
  • Excellence in Hospitality, Retail & Events – sponsored by Shakespeare Martineau - Millennium Point        
  • Excellence in Inclusive People Development - sponsored by South & City College Birmingham - Birmingham Hippodrome       
  • Excellence in International Business - sponsored by Gowling WLG - Ginho
  • Excellence in Manufacturing – sponsored by Thursfields - Evac+Chair International       
  • Excellence in Sales & Marketing – sponsored by Schumacher Packaging - Story
  • Excellence in Sustainability – sponsored by Aston University - National Memorial Arboretum
  • Excellence in Technology & Innovation – sponsored by Close Brothers Asset Management - Forensic Pathways Ltd          
  • Excellence in Third Sector – sponsored by Unity Trust Bank - Birmingham Hospice 
  • Excellence in Training & Education – sponsored by AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group - GuruYou         
  • President’s Award - Dr Hany El-Banna, founder of Islamic Relief 

Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Winner Kavita Parmar with host Noreen KhanGreater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Winner Kavita Parmar with host Noreen Khan
Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Winner Kavita Parmar with host Noreen Khan

Judging the 2024 awards were:

  • Zoe Bennett BEM, founder of Training Personified;
  • Andreas Antona, chef-owner at Simpsons restaurant;
  • Alex Nicholson-Evans, founder and director of Living For The Weekend;
  • Karl George, partner at RSM UK and GBCC board member;
  • Gurmit Kler, trustee of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust;
  • Raidene Carter, creative director, Birmingham Festival;
  • Omar Rashid, president of Asian Business Chamber of Commerce and managing director/owner of The HR Dept Bham Central & Wolves;
  • Suzie Branch-Haddow, vice principal - external development, Birmingham Metropolitan College;
  • Steve Allen, GBCC past president;
  • Rob Valentine, regional director – Birmingham at Bruntwood;
  • Nicola Beckford, BBC Midlands Today presenter and journalist;
  • Heike Schuster-James, head of partnership development at Birmingham City University.
  • Chair of the judges was the GBCC’s head of membership Lillian Elekan.

Why Word360 won the GBCC Contribution to the Community Award

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One of the highlights of the evening was Word360's recognition for its outstanding Contribution to the Community. From delivering a baby at Heartlands Hospital to supporting women in distress through Birmingham and Solihull Women's Aid, Word360 has been at the forefront of breaking down language barriers in the community. The company's co-founder, Kavita Parmar, expressed her gratitude for the acknowledgment, stating, "Our journey has always been about more than just business. It's about making a difference in disadvantaged communities and the lives of those around us."

Why Word360 won the GBCC Excellence in Customer Service Award

Word360's commitment to Excellence in Customer Service has been a cornerstone of its success. The company takes pride in its 4,000-strong network of linguists and in-house teams, delivering over 350 languages and dialects as well as communication support for the hearing and sight impaired.

"Improving the customer journey for non-English speakers has been one of our key advancements in the last year." Kavita remarks. "Our innovative Wordskii technology, developed in-house, today enables the delivery of any language, at any time, at the point of care. This is redefining the patient experience for thousands using the NHS, as well as for FTSE 100 companies internationally." This award reaffirms Word360's dedication to providing unparalleled service to its clients.

Why Word360 won GBCC Business of the Year

The pinnacle of the evening was Word360 being crowned Business of the Year, a testament to its overall excellence and positive impact on the Greater Birmingham community. This prestigious award recognises the company's outstanding achievements, innovation, and leadership within the language services industry. 

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Judges described Word360 as “an excellent company that exemplifies Birmingham - combining tech, innovation and entrepreneurialism with diversity and wellbeing for communities.”

They added: “Word360 demonstrate a high level of flexibility and responsiveness to customer needs, use their data and understanding of communities to target provision and find out about emerging needs.

“Word360 really understand what is needed to give the most diverse people access to health and care services and enable communications for all abilities.”

A Milestone for Diversity in Leadership

A spokesperson for GBCC added: “As an award-winning 'Woman in Tech' from a diverse background, Word360 Co-Founder Kavita Parmar is an active advocate for equal opportunities and promoting women entering the tech sector. Immersing herself in the male-dominated world of tech, she developed her business and technology skills to launch the Wordskii software platform in 2016.

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“The Business of the Year award is a milestone not just for Word360, but for the Birmingham business community recognising a trailblazing female leader in the tech and business arena. This award symbolises the breaking down of traditional barriers and serves as an example for aspiring female leaders in the industry.”

Kavita said: "Awards like this mean so much, especially for the underrepresented voices in tech. It reinforces the idea that diversity is not just a buzzword but a catalyst that drives innovation and success in the region."

About Word360

  • Word360 is the largest provider of tech-enabled interpreting, translation and accessibility services in the Midlands. With 30 years’ experience, it works with the public sector, NHS and a wide range of commercial organisations across the UK and internationally
  • Word360 offers more than 350 languages and dialects through a global network of linguists
  • In 2021 Word360 celebrated its 30th year, having delivered over 3 million hours of interpreting and 10million words to date
  • Its mission is to make communication universal and give everyone a voice. Word360 believes in taking a human-centred approach to combine its technology, network of community linguists and its passion for removing language barriers to facilitate accessibility for all.
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