DHL's focus on Africa pays off
DHL, the world leader in international express delivery, has been awarded the Frost & Sullivan award for Market Penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa due to the company’s vast expansion programme in Africa and its continued commitment to the continent.
Frost & Sullivan Business Unit Leader for Energy & Environment, Cornelis van der Waal, said that when researching the logistics and Express sector, it was obvious that DHL was making major progress in Africa through its aggressive expansion programme.
He said: “Their foray into the informal retail market, and their partnership with postal operators, has seen the company more than quadruple its retail outlets across the continent in just a few months. It is an impressive story, and one that needed to be recognised.”
Sumesh Rahavendra, Head of Marketing for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, said the key to the company’s success in Africa is due to its customer service and employee commitment.
The company has expanded from 300 to more than 2,000 retail points due to demand from its customers.
He said: “We are fortunate that we have people who place the customer in the heart of everything they do, and when you combine this with the skills gained from our global Certified International Specialist program (CIS), it creates a winning company culture.”
This latest award, which brings the total number of global external honors won by DHL Express since January 2013 to more than 20, has reinforced the company’s claim to be ‘The International Specialists’.
The external recognition, received across all continents and from a broad range of functional disciplines, ranges from superior customer service and great operational quality to marketing efforts and social impact in local communities.
Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, said these awards are testament to the company’s passion, speed, can-do attitude and teamwork.
“An award in Mozambique, Uganda or Gabon is not just significant for that particular market; it is applicable to our entire network,” he said.
“We hope that these various awards send out a message to our customers about our commitment to Africa and the service excellence that we have built over the last 35 years.”
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.