May 18, 2020

The Bedouin businessman takes top award

EY
Bedouin
Altad
Pinelli
John O'Hanlon
2 min
The Bedouin businessman takes top award
Mohed Altrad, the founder and CEO of Montpellier-based Altrad Group, was last night named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 at an awards ceremony held in Monaco’s Salle des Etoiles. Mohed was picked from among the 65 country winners from 53 countries vying for the title. Mohed Altrad, who was born into a Bedouin tribe in Syria, moved to France aged 17 and went on to gain a PhD in Computer Sciences. He and a partner bought a nearly bankrupt scaffolding maker in 1985 to form the basis of what is now Altrad Group. Mohed developed the company through acquisitions and organic growth and in 2014 generated nearly US$1b in sales and employed nearly 7,000 people in 110 subsidiaries throughout the world. The company, which is the world leader in cement mixers and a European leader in scaffolding and wheelbarrows, will reach US$1.13b in revenues by 2016. Mohed is also President of Montpellier Hérault Rugby Club. Rebecca MacDonald, founder and Executive Chair of Just Energy Group, Chair of the World Entrepreneur Of The Year judging panel says: “This year it was a tough but ultimately unanimous decision. Mohed has built a hugely successful, fast-growing international business having overcome a humble and very challenging upbringing. He was forbidden from going to school as a child, moved to France to set up a new life and is now one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs. The judges were impressed by his ability to build and sustain growth over 30 years and by his humility and character.” Mohed Altrad, says: “I’m so honoured to receive this prestigious award, especially as there was strong competition from such outstanding entrepreneurs around the world. I want to dedicate this award to everyone, as the objective of life is to help humanity. My story should tell anyone that you can change your destiny.” Maria Pinelli, EY’s Global Vice Chair – Strategic Growth Markets, says: “Mohed is an inspirational entrepreneur who demonstrates that determination and perseverance can overcome adversity. He has grown his businesses consistently over a long period of time and is now a beacon for other entrepreneurs in France and beyond to follow.” Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman & CEO of EY, concludes: “Entrepreneurs are a crucial engine of economic recovery and job growth. Mohed is a truly inspiring World Entrepreneur Of The Year winner. He demonstrates the tenacity and sense of purpose that so many of our 64 other country winners possess and which helps them build a better working world.

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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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