A DHL report reveals energy finds in Africa highlight shifts in sector
The recent oil and gas finds in Africa will continue to have a positive impact on local economies, if local African suppliers, service providers and other businesses are geared up to service this growth.
This is according to Steve Harley, President of the Energy Sector, for DHL Customer Solutions and Innovations Harley said that these energy finds provide many possibilities for local businesses, to echo the express operator’s own marked increase in the transportation of energy-related material in the region.
Harley said that forecasts expect African oil supply growth to continue over the next 25 years, with predicted ranges of growth over the period of between 0.5 million and 2.0 million barrels per day.
He said: “Africa will need to adapt in order to keep up with the demand, as well as evolving trends in this highly competitive sector.”
Globally, the steady and reliable supply of energy is critical to economic activity, and due to Africa’s availability of the resource, it is expected that the continent will see continued and steady economic growth.
Harley said: “We have also witnessed an increased demand for the resource on the continent, and currently Africa is the region with highest increase in oil consumption globally – five percent in 2012 versus only a one percent increase globally. This is likely to continue as many of the fastest growing economies are situated on the continent.”
Harley does warn though that, as the easily obtainable oil reserves have been has depleted, that most of the new developments are either very remote or technically challenging, which brings issues of infrastructure, transportation and expertise to the fore.
“Forecasts predict that conventional oil production will decline by five percent per year,” he said: Extraction from unconventional sources is more complex and relatively more expensive from a supply chain perspective.
“As such, customers will need complementary expertise from integrated logistics suppliers to meet the challenges of these new geographies and technologies.”
Harley points to DHL’s recent global white paper on Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) supply chain management for energy companies (http://www.dhl.com/energywhitepaper), which shows the oil and gas businesses will require integrated suppliers that are able to support them with end-to-end supply chain solutions.
According to the white paper, logistics suppliers need to provide a global footprint in combination with local market expertise. As a trustworthy partner, they also need to drive cost and process optimisation and maintain safety and compliance both on and off-site.”
“This is particularly true in Africa,” noted Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa. “While the continent is showing promise, issues around infrastructure, regulatory hurdles, and lack of an integrated supply chain in most markets, can be a major hindrance for energy businesses.
“Couple that with the need to optimise production and improve supply chain management to enhance service and reduce cost, and you understand the need for integrated suppliers to introduce more robust metrics, optimise the inventory and find cost-effective transport solutions.”
Brewer concluded: “This highlights the need to partner with an experienced provider who has extensive knowledge on the region. DHL has an unrivalled global presence and experience to ensure partners are offered integrated solutions that address today’s energy industry challenges.”
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.