DHL and MallforAfrica’s platform that targets global deliveries of African products
The German logistics and courier firm, DHL, has partnered with MallforAfrica’s new platform, Marketplace Africa.
The e-commerce platform aims to bring African-made products to the global market by showcasing and selling items from designers and artisans.
Issues such as distance, international payments, and complex shipping requirements have contributed to African craftspeople and small enterprises lacking access to selling products globally.
For people wanting to make international purchases of African products, authenticity, payment security, and high delivery costs were preventing sales.
DHL will now manage logistics for the platform, delivering items such as clothing and accessories, body care, and home décor.
The partnership aims to combat the issue associated with product purchases and deliveries, using MallforAfrica’s award-winning patented e-commerce platform and payment system and DHL’s delivery solutions.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this innovative e-commerce solution for African artisans,” said Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa.
“DHL is a facilitator of global trade and if we can improve connectivity and accessibility to global markets for local business, this will go a long way in helping small businesses grow.”
“We’ve been in Africa since 1978, so have seen first-hand, the huge opportunities that cross-border trade offers to local businesses. This is truly an exciting time for African businesses.”
“Africans finally have the opportunity whether banked or unbanked to showcase their amazing talents and skills to the world and sell their products,” remarked Charis Folaya, MallforAfrica’s CEO.
“DHL and MallforAfrica saw the need to promote African-made products to the world and I am beyond proud to be a part of making history alongside a company that has pioneered logistics efficiency in Africa, and across the globe.”
“Marketplace Africa will open the door for African designers and craftspeople and enable customers in the US and the world the ability to purchase authentic African-made products directly from the source.”
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.