For parents, there’s no better feeling than watching their children achieve their goals after years of hard work, and so was it was this year for Kurt Farrugia, CEO of Malta Enterprise.
“My best moment of the year was seeing my daughter wearing the MFA Academy national football team’s kit,” Kurt tells MaltaCEOs.mt
As the head of Malta Enterprise, the former OPM communications chief has also had his fair share of difficult moments this year, as businesses struggled to deal with the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
“Receiving calls for assistance from distressed businesses took a toll on my mental health,” he says.
Nevertheless, there were also positive moments during the job.
“The best moment at work was definitely closing a huge multi-million investment by De La Rue in Malta, as well as seeing businesses pick up after the difficult Covid period.”
Kurt is also optimistic about businesses’ prospects for the coming year.
I believe that all economic sectors will see a resurgence and, with the right approach, there are opportunities that will come their way especially if we push on the twin transition towards digital and more sustainable business models. Some challenges will remain for industry. Global materials shortages, transport and energy costs are biting all companies internationally.”
Despite being one of the country’s most important reference points for businesses, Kurt says he takes it easy over Christmas.
“Christmas is totally family time. I love decorating and cooking with, and for, the family while taking some time off. I rarely travel but when I do I prefer doing it before or after Christmas.”
Indeed, when asked what the best gift he’s ever given is, he points to his culinary skills, while adding that the best gift he has received himself, which also doubled as a graduation present, is an old map of Malta.
The festive season is also a time for nostalgia.
“It brings back a lot of nice childhood memories, since my parents used to make Christmas Day a special one, from opening presents early in the morning to meeting all the family at my grandma’s and sharing presents with cousins. I am trying to recreate that atmosphere for my children hoping to have as much success as my parents had on myself, brother and sister.”
As for New Year’s resolutions, Kurt admits to being somewhat of an agnostic.
“I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions but I always try to make the next year an even better one despite challenges that everyone invariably has. But for this coming year, I will try to keep regular gym sessions all year round.”
Kurt concludes with some advice for businesses going into a potentially challenging year:
“Agility and adapting to new realities is key to remain competitive. Malta Enterprise has tools available for all businesses to prepare themselves for what lies ahead. I urge all businesses, even those doing well, to never stop thinking of how to prepare for any future changes.”
This interview forms part of a series by MaltaCEOs.mt that catches up with the country’s business leaders to get a glimpse of how they’ll be celebrating this holiday season
He takes over from Alejandro Gosttuski, who will now take on the role of an Advisor.
The company, set to launch soon, will seek to provide clients with ‘customer-centric and innovative’ financial services.
The Malta Stock Exchange recently joined other exchanges for the inaugural Ring the Bell for Climate initiative.
Family businesses account for more than 70% of Malta’s SMEs, and are hence vital components of the local economy.