The Best Western Group to open six hotels in Kenya
20 new hotel facilities are scheduled to open in Kenya’s 2018 Pipeline, with the Best Western Group leading the way with six projects under construction.
Between now and 2023, an additional 3,444 hotel rooms are to be constructed in the country.
70% of the proposed projects are anticipated to open by next year, with 14 of the 20 scheduled to launch in 2019.
From the Best Western Group’s six hotels, five will be located in Nairobi and one in Naivasha – the town north west of the capital situated on Lake Naivasha National Park.
The firm will open the hotels under the Best Western, BW Premier Collection, Best Western Plus and Executive Residency by Best Western brands.
The Radisson Hotel Group will be expanding its presence in the nation by opening its third hotel in Nairobi in 2019.
The company intends to launch three new brands in Kenya – RED Radisson, Radisson, and Radisson Collection.
“With our new brand segmentation, we have the potential to operate more than 10 hotels within cities such as Cape Town, Johannesburg and Lagos providing real scale and operational synergies while cities such as Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Abidjan, Dar es Salaam, Durban and Dakar have the potential to have more than five hotels under our various hotel brands,” stated Andrew Mclachlan, Senior Vice President for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa at the Radisson Hotel Group.
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.