Danube Group to expand within African markets
Dubai-based building materials company, Danube Group, has announced its plans to search for franchise partners in Africa.
The main countries the firm is targeting are Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria.
Danube is already selling in those markets, but sees franchising as a viable expansion for the future, strengthening its presence on the continent.
“We are targeting the African market. We already have a franchise partner in Tanzania, so now we are looking for similar partners in the other African countries,” commented Anis Sajan, Danube Managing Director, according to Construction Week.
- Read the latest issue of African Business Review here
The UAE company exhibited at the Big 5 2017, a construction expo held in Dubai, presenting its products, such as water purifiers and water heaters from its Milano Brand.
“We have five divisions under Milano: sanitary ware, tiles, electrical products, hardware – construction hardware, as well as furniture fittings – and the water purifier,” Sajan added.
According to the Managing Director, the brand’s year-to-date performance has increased by 30% since last year.
“Last year, it was 20% increase [compared to 2015]. Next year, we are aiming to maintain our growth rate at 30%.”
“We have been part of the Big 5 for years now, and it has been an extremely good experience for us.The Big 5 is an annual meeting place for the international building and construction community in the UAE. It’s a platform for like-minded people from all over the world.”
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.