May 19, 2020

E-commerce set to make significant gains in Africa

African supply chain
mahlokoane percy ngwato
2 min
DHL Express invests in light of increased African security measures

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As infrastructure availability and investment continue to move into Africa, e-commerce is becoming an increasingly important sector; Sumesh Rahavendra, Head of Sales for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, has said that the delivery of goods needs to be improved in order to make the service truly world class.

His statement was echoed by ‘Lions go digital: The Internet’s transformative potential in Africa’ - a recent report by McKinsey & Company which has noted that e-commerce could potentially account for up to 10 percent of retail sales across the continent’s largest economies by 2025. The report details that, whilst overall iGDP in Africa is low, countries such as Senegal and Kenya compare very well to much more advanced countries.

Rahavendra said: “Consumers are now able to access and purchase a range of products at a click of button, and are increasingly expecting immediate delivery, which makes logistics increasingly important. This in turn is driving retailers and logistics providers to seek new initiatives to provide better delivery offerings and competitive advantages, such as same-day delivery and flexible returns.”

DHL Express invests in light of increased African security measures
DHL MD anticipates major African growth in 2015
DHL Express Invests More Than R22 Million in Johannesburg Facility Upgrade

DHL conducted its own Global E-Tailing study which also found that gains in e-commerce across all market types will require logistics companies to play a role in providing supply chain management solutions that are able to swiftly evolve in line with consumers’ constantly changing shopping habits.

Rahavendra also said: “E-commerce is a saving grace for consumers in outlying areas, who would traditionally have had difficulty accessing brick and mortar stores. E-tailers should therefore select a reliable and reputable logistics provider, as they are ultimately an extension of their own business, and an important touch point that end consumers have direct contact with towards the end of the transaction stage.”

E-commerce is finding its place in some of the most challenging environments in the world; the African market, however, is evolving at an astonishing rate and is already, in some areas, becoming comparable to the powerhouses of Europe and America. The challenge still remains for e-tailers to ensure modern, responsive delivery systems.  

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

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.


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