Shawarma Shack wins "Franchise of the Year" at the 6th Burj CEO Awards

Much like the Oscars awards that acknowledges outstanding achievements in the film industry, the 6th Burj CEO Awards could be its equivalent in the business world.  This is an occasion that recognizes exceptional contributions that have shaped and inspired different industries. Entrepreneurs, humanitarian and business leaders from different parts of the globe were honored in an event held on an exclusive luxury Mediterranean cruise from Greece to Turkey last August 22-27, 2023. Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Juma Bin Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum, royal family member of Dubai, UAE, and sponsored by GTC, a global online-trading platform. The awards event recognized outstanding individuals and organizations across more than 50 different categories.

In photo (from L to R): Dr. Tariq Ahmed Nizami, Founder & CEO of CEO Clubs Network Worldwide, Walther E. Buenavista, CEO of The Shawarma Shack, Mr. Manzi Doro - Staff Captain of Norwegian Jade, Mr. Mirsad Bucuk - General Manager and Hotel Director of Norwegian Jade, and Sarah Dong, Managing Director

Philippines was honored as Shawarma Shack Corporation bagged this year’s award for the “Best Franchise of the Year” as received by President and CEO Walther Uzi E. Buenavista. Alongside with him are notable awardees such as Arjodita Mustali (CEO & co-founder of Vigan Group), Hatem Elsafty (CEO of Business Link), Dr. William Wraith, III (chairman and CEO of The Wraith Group, Inc.), Nazih Antonios Moufarrej (CEO of Business Experts Gulf), Brian Poe Llamanzares (president of Pantheon Holdings), Patrick Mensah (chairman and CEO of Wallstreet Investment), Dr. Nadiraa Iqbal (managing director of Nadiraa Couture & Hothur Ispat India), Senem Anataca (founder of 180UTC), Ralph Clemens Martin (founder & CEO of O! Millionaire) and many others. 

Walther Buenavista is a Filipino entrepreneur who founded and leads Shawarma Shack in 2015. Shawarma Shack is a prominent shawarma chain in the Philippines that stands out as the pioneer of the "Buy 1 Take 1" shawarma concept. Despite not completing his bachelor’s degree due to his pursuit of a basketball career, he discovered his faculty for business through dedicated effort and determination.

The Shawarma Shack takes pride in offering a delectable array of Mediterranean cuisine infused with unique Filipino nuances, all priced affordably for its valued customers. Their company’s mission goes beyond food – the company is committed to fostering employment, offering training and education opportunities, and nurturing entrepreneurship among the Filipino community. Through its distinctive business model, The Shawarma Shack aims to make a meaningful impact on the lives of enterprising individuals across the nation.

Walther E. Buenavista receiving the award for Shawarma Shack Corporation as the “Franchise of the Year”

Over time, Shawarma Shack has expanded rapidly, boasting over 750 stores across the Philippines. It has gained widespread acclaim for delivering affordable, top-quality food. Walther Buenavista stands as a shining example of a successful millennial entrepreneur, inspiring fellow young business aspirants. His journey underscores that achievement is attainable, and making him a beacon of motivation for those dedicated to creating a positive impact.

In an interview with Buenavista, “by combining hard work and perseverance, a Filipino brand can excel globally.”

Renowned for staging extraordinary celebrations to honor influential figures in global industry, the Burj CEO Awards is often referred to as the ‘Oscars’ of the business world. The event was pioneered by CEO Clubs Network Worldwide, an award-winning, membership-based international organization with representatives from various industries and chapters across the globe. The Burj CEO Awards gala was launched in 2016 in Washington, D.C., USA, with succeeding editions in London, UK, Shenzhen, China, and Mauritius, while its 5th edition was part of Expo 2020 Dubai. Over the years, the events have recognized and awarded more than 300 business leaders and organizations for their outstanding achievements.

Speaking about the significance of the awards, Dr. Tariq A. Nizami, founder & CEO of CEO Clubs Network Worldwide, said, “Excellence is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution, and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities. We celebrate the extraordinary achievements of international leaders who have embraced excellence and made a lasting impact on the world through their dedication, innovation, and unwavering commitment to success in business and other sectors.”

Ms. Sarah Dong, managing partner added, “After all, leadership is not just about reaching the top; it’s about empowering others to rise with you, creating jobs and manifesting dreams. We are very proud that CEO Clubs is one of great pillars supporting business partnerships and bridging billion- dollar deals.”

Attended by over 100 award nominees, VIP guests, senior government officials, CEOs and entrepreneurs from the international business community, this year’s Burj CEO Awards took participants on a unique journey, taking in beautiful destinations such as Athens, Mykonos, Bodrum and Marmaris. Delegates also joined the Burj CEO Summit, which staged a series of stimulating panel discussions and various industry-focused sessions, as well as powerful networking opportunities, and nightly star-studded concerts, as part of the first-of-its-kind awards event.

Dr. Nizami concluded, “Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to Go Turkey for their generous and pivotal support. Their engagement is poised to unleash a substantial, positive influence on both the present and future of Turkey's economy. “