L-R: Dr. Oscar Odibo, Automobile marketing specialist and a Senior lecturer, Covenant University; Gautam Hathiramani, Deputy Managing Director, Kia Nigeria [receiving the award on behalf of Jacky Hathiramani, CEO, Kia Nigeria; and Mike Ochonma, President, Nigeria Auto Journalists Association during the award presentation at Eko Hotels, Lagos.

Mr. Jacky Hathiramani, Chief Executive Officer, Kia Nigeria, the leading automobile brand in Nigeria has once again added another highly coveted award to his trophy cabinet this year. The astute businessman was crowned the Auto Personality of the Year in the 2021 edition of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association [NAJA] Awards held on Wednesday, the 1st of December, 2021 at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos, Nigeria.

The Auto Personality of the Year [APOTY] Award is the main individual award of NAJA’s annual ceremony, which takes place at the end of the year. The APOTY winner is the auto company CEO, judged by the journalists, to have contributed the most to the development of the auto industry in Nigeria that year. Having been singled out and publicly recognized for his outstanding contributions to the development of the industry and his unalloyed commitment to the industrialization of the economy, undoubtedly, Jacky has remained an industrialist who continuously advances the nation’s economy.

A keenly anticipated award ceremony in the auto industry, NAJA Awards continue to be the auto industry’s barometer to measure the contribution of companies and individuals to the development of the sector. This year’s edition is a special one as it’s a combination of last year’s award which couldn’t hold owing to the COVID-19 pandemic with this year. Deservingly, Jacky towered above other nominees to win this highly coveted award. This is largely due to his resilience and innovative strides towards the growth of the auto industry. Highly respected amongst his contemporaries for his rare ingenuity, there’s no gainsaying that this award is befitting for his contribution.

Jacky has been outstanding in leading the Kia brand to consistently roll out innovative products and services to the delight of the customers and industry stakeholders in the country. His contribution continues to make waves in the industry and further the nation’s economic diversification through car assembling and the localization of auto manufacturing. The distinctive contributions he has made in the auto industry set the benchmark for innovative and pragmatic approaches to delivering value, providing gainful employment, and above all developing the nation’s economy.

In response to being the recipient of the Auto Personality of the Year award, Jacky said: “This award is a testament of our resilience and commitment to nation-building and the economic development of Nigeria through the auto industry”. Barring all the challenges posed by the COVID-19 and its unprecedented global effect that lasted way beyond what we had all initially assumed, Jacky’s exemplary contributions has made the Kia brand stay strong under such trying times.

“In order to excel and to be an integral part of the nation’s economy, a company like ours has to, through the years, continue to innovate, to improve, to find our strength, our niche, and to really dedicate ourselves to the development of the auto industry and the delivering of top-of-the-segments models in the industry aimed at developing the economy. This award is a validation of the company’s philosophy and our commitment to service” Jacky said.

Chairman of the planning committee of the 2021 NAJA Awards, Theodore Opara explained that this year’s awards covered 2020 and 2021 because the event did not hold last year due to covid-19 restrictions.

In the same vein, the Chairman of NAJA, Mike Ochonma stated that the awards remain a credible means to review and reward players in the automotive industry in both the public and private sectors.

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