May 19, 2020

Africa's top business school gains prestigious new Chair

Academic
Allan Gray Centre
values based leadership
University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Africa's top business school gains prestigious new Chair

The University of Cape Town has announced that Walter Baets, Director of the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (GSB), has been awarded the Allan Gray Chair in Values-based Leadership.

The Chair, located in the Allan Gray Centre for Values-based Leadership at the GSB which was funded by Allan Gray and his wife Gill, is the first of its kind in South Africa and will explore new ways of doing business, based on purpose and sustainability, that create dignity and belonging.

 Allan Gray is the founder of Allan Gray Limited and co-founder of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. 

According to Gray, values-based leadership involves a fundamental questioning of the principles by which the world has been doing business and the Chair will explore what is required for the generation of new business and economic practices that are geared towards adding more value to society.

Gray said: “I am extremely pleased with the committee’s decision to appoint Walter Baets. With Walter we have someone who is passionate about the subject of values-based leadership – and can put the Centre on the right path.

“Alongside this is his ability to inspire others – and considering that a main aim of the Centre is to ensure that the lessons are taken further into society, this is invaluable for the role.”

Baets’ responsibilities will include giving academic leadership and establishing a research agenda for the Centre.

 “The right questions need to be asked,” said Baets. “For example, what does it mean for a company to embrace values-based leadership – what are the tools, and the mindsets needed? The Centre will explore these questions and develop the appropriate responses.”

The Chair will be complemented by two senior lecturers and two PhD bursaries. It will focus on more than just research and development – there will be active interaction and collaboration between the Centre and the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation and to some extent with Allan Gray Limited.

At the same time, the foundation will benefit from the fresh research and input to improve its endeavours.

 Baets also hopes to spread the information into the operation of other businesses, by including research output on modules on the GSB’s acclaimed Executive Education programmes.

The position is effective from January 2014.

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Tapoly
Insurance
Leadership
Digital
Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.

Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills. 

What do you do, in a nutshell?

I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.

How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?

I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.

They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?

The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless. 

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.

 

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