Africa’s Leading Industry Players Receive Employment Recognition
All week we have been documenting the fall-out from The Top Employers Institutes’ ratings in Africa, establishing the top companies to work for in both South Africa and more generally, across the entire continent.
In this final instalment, we take a look at each individual sector’s winning business with an intricate insight into what makes each of these organisations the best employer in their sector in Africa.
READ MORE ON THIS WEEK’S TOP EMPLOYERS INSTITUTE RESULTS HERE:
Automotive/Transport: Imperial Group Ltd
Imperial Group long ago mastered its core operations and has always aimed to continuously improve its role in the community in parallel with this. Here, the Group’s I-Pledge initiative is explained, epitomising the company’s commitment to people, not necessarily just within the organisation.
Healthcare: Becton Dickinson Ltd
Shared value is the key buzzword being driven at Becton Dickinson and the company’s CEO, Vince Forlenza pinpointed the company’s commitment towards to sustainability two years ago.
Being a model employer is one thing, but it should come as no surprise that Pfizer tops the contingent in the pharmaceutical sector, with care engrained in the company’s ethos.
As one of the most recognisable names in African business, there is a pressure associated with MTN to act in a socially responsible manner, and the accolade of being named the top employer in the telecoms industry in Africa is just the latest in a long line of sector-leading attributes.
Chemicals: BASF South Africa
BASF’s influence in Africa has been largely epitomised b the company’s approach to environmental and CSR strategies, with the global stature of the organisation then acting as the perfect platform to improve the skill sets of Africans in the chemical sector.
Technology: Dimension Data
Dimension Data is renowned for always being on the cusp of the latest innovations or trend changes in the technology sector, and applies the same philosophy to its forward-thinking employment strategy. Here, the company proves its general business nous in predicting 2014’s top tech trends.
Health and safety is never more prevalent than in the construction sector and nobody has addressed the specific requirements that employees need more than Hilti South Africa over the past 12 months.
Public Sector: Coega Development Corporation
Kumba Iron ore will no doubt be in the good books of its esteemed parent company, Anglo American having made the list off the back of its ability to nurture talent throughout all levels of the organisation. Topping the mining list is a major feather in the company’s cap given the levels of competition in that sector across the continent.
Sasol has received special praise for its inclusive operations, epitomised by the recent announcement of its partnership with Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, NPO and in association with the Department of Mineral Affairs, launching an innovative ‘boot camp’.
This programme is specifically designed to equip women with the mental and physical fitness necessary to work underground
Finance: Old Mutual
It should come as no surprise than Old Mutual makes the list under the finance sector, having been a mainstay of the African business scene for well over a century.
Here, we see an external review of what makes the company such a supportive and valuable business to work for.
Professional Services: Accenture SA
Accenture role in South Africa is intrinsically linked with the success of people development in the country, so naturally, the business will feel their efforts have been justified by its recognition from the Top Employers Institute moving towards 2015.
For a company as globally prominent as Microsoft, building a positive influence in a rapidly expanding IT market such as Africa’s is imperitive and, as is the case for many companies, Microsoft achieves this through its dedication to the people of Africa; both internally and through CSR initiative such as Microsoft 4Afrika.
Retail: Clicks Group
Manufacturing/Consumer Goods: Unilever South Africa
Leading the continent’s top employers as it has done throughout our focus on the ratings this week, is Unilever.
Inevitably coming top of the manufacturing and consumer goods rankings too, here we take a look at how the company is nurturing talent, from the point of view of one of the business’s ‘Future Leaders’, Portia Gumede.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
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.