May 19, 2020

Cars that drive you to a new level of luxury

African Business Review
Melissa Rudd
Bentley Mulsanne
Maybach Guard
Bizclik Editor
4 min
Cars that drive you to a new level of luxury

Your choice of car can say a lot about you as a person. Just like the clothes you wear or the house you live in, the vehicle you travel in should reflect your personality and characteristics.

So, as you can imagine, rolling up to meetings in one of these beauties exudes business prowess…


Maybach Guard

Reaching new levels of safety and unparalleled luxury, the Maybach Guard labels itself as ‘the answer to the needs of Heads of State or businessmen’ with its discreet protection.

The Maybach Guard follows the format of all other Maybach saloons and is built from the bottom up as a special version. A hardcore safety edition of the Maybach 62 model, it has been created with technology and includes armour made of highly specialised steel and high-tech Kevlar integrated in the body shell.

However, the safety aspect has not affected the number ofpersonalised features you can enjoy, including your choice of champagne flutes and stitching in the headrests.

With the base of the car specifically designed to carry the extra weight of the protective armouring, the drive train, suspension and breaking-system have not been altered. Those long journeys will pass by much quicker in the comfort of handcrafted leather interior.

As has become standard with Mercedes-Benz releases, developments in technology have made the Maybach Guard the world’s only armoured vehicle able to reach a top speed of 250km/h, and can accelerate to 100km/h in just 5.7 seconds.

Of course, touches of luxury are dotted all around the Maybach’s interior. A refrigerated compartment ensures drinks are always kept refreshingly chilled on warm days, while when it’s cold outside your hands will remain comfortingly warm on the heated multifunction steering wheel.

Let’s not forget the importance of making or receiving that vital phone call. With a Universal Portable Cell Phone Interface (UPCI) in the front and a Bluetooth handset in the rear as well as an additional hands-free system for mobile phones in the back available too, every effort has been made to ensure this can happen in the Maybach Guard.


Bentley Mulsanne

Combining elegance, power, innovative design and sheer excellence is no mean feat. But if any car maker can manage it, Bentley can. The Bentley Mulsanne is an example of car manufacturing at its very best and there has been no time or expense spared in its creation process.

The vehicle encapsulates classic Bentley heritage and mixes it with modern day craftsmanship, incorporating the hottest technology on the market. The integrated audio system has been exclusively developed by British specialists Naim while state-of-the-art soundproofing allows for complete privacy.

Project Leader Ashley Wickham sums up the Mulsanne as “a supremely potent driver’s car with modern technology hidden under the skin. Power with refinement. Then again, a pure Bentley is a fusion of extremes”.

A satellite navigation system is integrated in the vehicle's hard disc; while a 60GB hard disc drive unit is fitted in the glove box with 20GB of personal storage space, a DVD player and two SD card readers.

Although it may already be a thing of great beauty, you can customise the Mulsanne to your own personal taste. Select how you want the colour, wheels, interior trim features, veneers and main and secondary hide to look. But make sure you have plenty of time, because Bentley estimates over a billion different combinations.

The 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox aids the Mulsanne in reaching 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds and 100 in 11.6, with a top speed of 184 mph.


Rolls-Royce Phantom

The master creator of exquisite luxury cars demonstrates all of its excellence in this one vehicle. The Phantom has become the iconic car of choice for the elite businessman or woman, and it’s not difficult to see its appeal.

From an aesthetic angle, the grandness of the vehicle is most impressive. With its unmistakeable wheels, half the height of the Phantom itself, and the Spirit of Ecstasy flying lady logo standing proudly on the bonnet, it radiates style and class.

The exterior aluminium body, which comes in a choice of 16 colours and tones, is hand-welded from over 500 separate parts, with over 100 metres of weld.

Effortlessly powerful, the Phantom’s V12 engine operates at less than 10 percent capacity at 70mph, allowing passengers and the driver to experience the famous Rolls-Royce ‘magic carpet ride’. Working in harmony with the automatic gearbox and cutting-edge suspension, it can achieve 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds.

Inside, only the softest leather from bulls is used for ultimate comfort, while up to  41 separate wood parts are included in its veneer interior which is hand shaped, sanded, lacquered and polished.

On board, the features one has come to expect from a luxury car are included. A refrigerator, rear-seat tables, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, 8 CD-changer and iPod adaptor complete with a 26-speaker audio system come as standard.

The Rolls-Royce ‘Bespoke’ programme allows proud owners to personalise his or her car in any reasonable way possible to include special factory-made additions.

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

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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