Arabtec Construction gets a new chief executive
Arabtec Construction, the leading construction company in the UAE, has appointed a new CEO to lead the firm, which is wholly owned by Arabtec Holding. Raja Ghanma has been promoted from his former post as chief operating officer to that of chief execuitive of Arabtec Construction, Arabtec Holding said in a statement. Ghanma started as a Construction Manager at Arabtec Construction L.L.C in the early 1990’s. During his career he has launched successful new divisions, among them the Arabtec Eastern Model, an architectural model division, Arabtec Precast; and Arabtec Slipform and Arabtec Trading.
A $40 billion deal to construct one million low-income housing units in Egypt ran into problems in June 2014 when Arabtec’s former chief executive Hasan Ismaik resigned unexpectedly. Under Mr Ismaik’s leadership, the Abu Dhabi-based construction firm had pursued a new strategy of expansion, establishing a property development company in December 2013 with the aim of entering the affordable housing sector across the region.
With Ghanma’s appointment the company will be in a position to leverage its position as the preferred contractor to the Abu Dhabi Government-owned finance house Aabar Investment, which in 2012 became the majority shareholder, taking a number of seats on the board.
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.