Jenson Prasad

Company: Envelope Engineering

Job title: Strategy/Business Development Leader

About Jenson

I'm a seasoned professional with more than 23 years of experience in the industry. Born in Fiji, I moved to New Zealand at a young age and completed my schooling in my hometown of Levin. From an early age, I was fascinated with science and technology and its potential to enhance and influence the lives of people and communities. Fuelled by this passion, as well as my thirst for knowledge and my drive to make a positive impact, I gravitated towards a career in civil engineering.

Having spent the past eight years in senior leadership roles, I have acquired invaluable insights and expertise in leading teams and achieving outcomes. I have had the opportunity to collaborate closely with executive teams and form strategic partnerships with stakeholders, contributing to the development and execution of enterprise-level transformation initiatives. I have also had the privilege of being a Board member and Trustee.

In late 2023, I joined Envelope in a senior leader capacity, leveraging my extensive experience and passion for collaborating with individuals and organisations to assist them in accomplishing their objectives. Presently, I play an active role in strengthening the overall business by spearheading initiatives that foster leadership, operational excellence, and shape the company's strategic direction.

Outside of work, I find comfort in nature, taking leisurely walks with family, running the trails around Auckland, or mountain biking. When it's time to unwind, you'll find me planning my next overseas adventure, accompanied by a glass of fine wine and some cheese. And when seeking a bit more work-life balance, you'll find me at the beach or engaging in home DIY projects.

I'm driven by the belief that collaboration and personal growth are key to achieving success. I'm excited to continue making a positive impact in the industry and beyond.

Pepeha or whakapapa/family history 

My family are third generation Fijian Indians, and our family's roots can be traced back to Northern India. In the mid-1800s, my first-generation ancestors migrated to Fiji and the Caribbean in search of better employment prospects and eventually settled down to work in the sugar industry. Over time, as successive generations came into being, our family shifted from agricultural farming to pursuing professional careers, just like my parents' generation. Despite being born in Fiji, my family decided to relocate to New Zealand during my early childhood.

What is your strategic vision for ACE New Zealand?

My strategic vision for ACE is centered on establishing ACE as a leading and influential body in the industry, advocating for the interests of its members, and emphasising the importance of engineering. I feel one of its objectives should be to foster partnerships with SMEs to drive innovation and sustainability within the sector, while concurrently acting as a central platform for networking and knowledge sharing among all its members.

What strengths would you bring to the ACE Board?

As an experienced senior leader, I have extensive expertise in strategy, governance and operational excellence while navigating complex and competitive environments. My capacity for independent thinking, staying abreast of trends and challenging the status quo will help achieve best outcomes, not only for ACE but also for the future success of its members. I have a proven ability to cultivate strong relationships with individuals and stakeholders in my capability to support ACE on its journey. Further, through the latter part of my career journey, I have executed strategic initiatives across organisational strategy, business performance, people and culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as health and safety leadership.

I also had the privilege of attending Melbourne Business School, which complemented my hands-on experience in strategy, leadership and organisational management. This education further enabled me to focus on technological disruption, digital transformation and its impacts on the future landscape.

I believe there is a genuine opportunity to uplift the industry, particularly SMEs, by ensuring that all our members and business leaders have access to essential tools, resources and platforms.

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

Diversity and inclusion encompass the creation of an environment in which individuals are valued and respected for the unique perspectives and qualities they bring to the table. Regardless of one's ethnicity, background, disability, age and other factors, it is crucial that we foster a culture that appreciates and embraces these differences. However, I believe our efforts should not stop there. We must actively engage and empower every individual in our society to truly advance diversity and inclusion.

I strongly advocate for taking our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion even further. It is essential that we strive for “better equity” by ensuring that everyone starts from the same place and is not disadvantaged in any way. For instance, we must address the inherent disadvantages faced by individuals with disabilities and strive to minimise the disparities that exist. Achieving equity and inclusion means working towards acknowledging and adjusting to these disparities for equal opportunities for all.

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