Business Leaders Honoured at Region’s CEO Awards
The Middle East’s brightest business leaders have been recognised at the CEO Awards at a lavish event held at the Emirates Towers in Dubai.
Among the winners were Spark Group chairman Brigadier Abdulla Mohamed Al Mulla, who picked up the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.
The evening also featured a keynote speech by the UN’s UAE representative, His Excellence Sayed Aqa.
Editor of CEO Middle East, Neil King, said: “Nights like this show just how high the quality of business leadership is across the Middle East, not to mention varied.
“Being able to recognise and celebrate the achievements of so many big names, as well as some who are making waves early in their career, is a privilege for CEO Middle East, and we look forward to seeing how this group of winners will shape the business landscape in the next 12 months.”
See below a full list of winners:
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Brigadier Abdulla Mohamed Al Mulla
- Outstanding Contribution to Business: Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free
- Healthcare CEO of the Year: Ziad Makhzoumi, Fakih IVF
- Real Estate CEO of the Year: His Excellency Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim, Wasl
- Female CEO of the Year: Majida Ali Rashid, Dubai Land Department
- Consumer Goods CEO of the Year: Omar Farid, PepsiCo
- Retail CEO of the Year: Anan Fakhreddin, Damas
- CEO of the Year, Law: Abdul Aziz Al-Yaqout, DLA Piper
- E-Commerce CEO of the Year: Ronaldo Mouchawar, souq.com
- Telecoms CEO of the Year: Ahmed Mekky, GBI
- Construction CEO of the Year: Bob Hope, SSH
- Real Estate Borkerage CEO of the Year: Mahendra Singh, SPF Realty
- Outsourcing CEO of the Year: Mahesh Shahdadpuri, TASC Outsourcing
- Small Business CEO of the Year: Sarah Appleton, Mini Exchange
- Young CEO of the Year: Mohammed Abdulsalam, MENA Holding
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.