DP World to explore investment and expansion opportunities in Africa
The UAE-based DP World has plans to explore the continent of Africa more, in regards to new opportunities within investment and expansion.
The Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the marine and inland company, Mohammed Al Muallem has informed delegates of plans of a long-term strategy focusing on Africa.
“We want to be part of Africa’s progress. We see huge potential in Africa and we are looking to build on our success and the experience we’ve accumulated there to grow further,” commented Al Muallem.
DP World already have a presence on the continent, with seven locations and ports covering across the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean.
The firm has plans to partner with landlocked countries, having already ventured to Rwanda in an effort to transition from only marine operation to dry ports also.
“We want to be part of the entire supply chain and we are looking at any opportunity to invest into the supply chain and make it more efficient. Countries may have the ability to produce but lack ways to circulate their product: this is where we come in, sharing our knowledge and expertise.”
“By removing red tape and introducing advanced technologies, we can make streamline operations and move things along faster. We can bring great value in that regard based on our experiences here in Dubai, where the government is heavily investing in the digital infrastructure. If we look at the UAE, it is the government that’s really moving things forward and building the necessary infrastructure,” he advised African partners and stakeholders.
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.