Business & Finance Awards

“Winning the award showed us that our strategy for developing our business is correct.” – Cathal Hughes, Portwest, on the Business & Finance Elevation Award

By Business & Finance
16 October 2019
Pictured: Harry, Cathal and Owen Hughes.

As nominations open for this year’s Elevation Award, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, Cathal Hughes tells Business & Finance what their win in 2018 meant to Portwest.

Galway-based family business Portwest is the fastest growing workwear company in the world, designing, manufacturing and distributing flame-resistant workwear, high-visibility workwear and PPE.

It has global distribution from bases in the UK, Ireland, Poland, Dubai, Australia and the USA, manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh, Myanmar and China, and customer support staff in over 120 countries,

Portwest was the very worthy recipient of the Elevation Award at the 2018 Business & Finance Irish Business Awards in association with KPMG. 

Cathal Hughes, Portwest Chairman, told Business & Finance that receiving the Elevation Award in 2018 meant a lot to them: “Winning the award showed us that our strategy for developing our business is correct. Our emphasis on new products and new markets has helped drive our sales forward.” 

Discussing the elements that have been crucial to the success of Portwest’s business, he noted, “Designing new products with a competent team of designers and in being able to bring these to market at a competitive price is crucial. Having our own manufacturing plants and being able to source materials around the world make our growth possible.”

Company culture and values of Portwest have also helped it grow into the company it is today. Mr Hughes says, “Our company culture is one where everyone’s contribution is valued and where responsibility and resources is given to each person to help them perform their mission correctly and with enthusiasm.”

The Elevation Award category was launched in 2018, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland. This new award recognises Irish companies that are fast-growing and with significant potential to continue to scale globally, focused on Irish companies achieving up to €350m in revenue. The Award complements the well-established Company of the Year Award which recognises Irish companies above this revenue threshold.

The Business & Finance Irish Business Awards are judged by a panel of 23 experts drawn a cross sector of the highest calibre of business people in Ireland, and chaired by the inimitable Professor Frances Ruane. 

The Business & Finance Awards have been recognising excellence in Irish business for over 40 years and is the longest running and most coveted business awards programme in Ireland. This prestigious awards programme has celebrated the outstanding achievements of individuals such as JP McManus, Neville Isdell, Michael Smurfit, Tony Ryan, Dermot Desmond, Liam O’ Mahony, Willie Walsh, Philip Lynch, Peter Sutherland, T.K. Whitaker and Denis O’ Brien as recipients of the Business Person of the Year Award. 

This year’s Elevation Award, partnered by Enterprise Ireland is open for nominations until October 25th. Click here to nominate.