Our CEO Won The”Outstanding Achievement as a Businesswoman” Award

Referred to as the “standout submission, capturing the true essence of excellence” by the NAWIC MC, Premier’s CEO, Chi Shankar sensationally won the “Outstanding Achievement by a Businesswoman” award category at the VIC NAWIC awards in excellence on Friday 4th November, 2022! 

The award category recognises outstanding business women who have played a pivotal role in a company, partnership, or project directly related to the construction, infrastructure and development industries. It is assessed on a significant contribution in the creation, development or growth of the business. 

Chi has had an enormous impact on Premier Cranes & Rigging, resulting in demonstrated economic growth & workforce wellbeing since she joined the team 4 years ago. From Chi’s strategic planning in building the business to scale, capable of leading the current infrastructure boom, through to developing a sustainable growth plan, she leveraged her forward thinking, strong client engagement and negotiation skills, to help grow Premier from a handful of staff to a 3 level office, yard to a second depot with 160 team members. Throughout Chi’s executive leadership as our COO and now CEO, the business turnover increased by 53%. Chi helped achieve this by transforming the business structure and culture! She even led a multi bank debit approach to protect the business from the banks risk averse appetite throughout the pandemic.

None of this could be achieved without Premier’s #Teamlifting and people centric approach.  

As part of the transformation, a leadership team was created to champion all facets of our business. Chi is so grateful for Premier’s leaders, and supporting of their development. Through their empowerment, Premier underpins the capability and the sustainability of our leadership structure!

In her powerful acceptance speech, Chi’s said:

Thank you for the award, it is such an honor. I need to give a shoutout to our Directors. Whats really unique about Premier Cranes to me is that when I was approached to join the company, I had known Steve & Matt, the company’s Directors for about 5 years and I had just become a mum. I was burnt out at a company that wouldn’t pay me for when I wasn’t in the office (Pre-covid times) and Steve offered me a job at Premier. Worried about living across town at the time and being a new mum, I was hesitant. But with Steve’s faith in me, we moved forward. I was there for six months and they had already made it feel like home for me, so I moved across town and they knew I was going to have another kid and I did. So they said to me “You  dont have maternity leave in your contract, but we want to pay you. Tell us what you want, tell us what you need to come back.” Thats what they said to me, and you know what? I came back after 2 months because I love it too much! My husband took more paternity leave than I did, because I love this industry, I love our cranes, I love everything that we do and they are always supportive. They have given me this platform thats so amazing, every step of the way they have givem me opportunities – not because I am a female, not because I am one of the quota, but because I am amazing.

Every single day,  I have worked tirelessly with my mentor & Director – Steve Warton and every step of the way growing the business to what it currently is and what we want it to become. Four thirty am we are online talking about strategising (our kids were still in bed so we could talk) “What are we going to do next, who are we going to talk to, how are we going to make this happen” and the passion and the vision that these two owners – who joke about being country owners, but look at what we have done together and continue to achieve together, and you have given me this. 

To all the girls out there, “We are going to keep growing, I want to help grow your careers, every single one of you, whatever happens, we are going to do this together.” Thank you for giving me this platform.

Join us in congratulating Chi and Premier Cranes & Rigging on this well-deserved achievement!