May 19, 2020

East Africa’s Business Leader Award-Winners Named

CNBC Africa All Africa Business Leaders Awards
IPP Limited
Reginald Mengi
emmanuel amadi
2 min
East Africa’s Business Leader Award-Winners Named

The winners of the East African round of the CNBC Africa All Africa Business Leaders Awards have been announced, with Dr Reginald Mengi, CEO of IPP Limited, taking home twin gongs for East African Business Leader of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

A weekend ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, revealed the winners for the 2014 awards, with Mengi honoured for his pioneering of corporate social responsibility in Tanzania.

Mengi has worked and donated to causes including poverty eradication and economic empowerment, with the aim of improving disadvantaged communities, education, health and environmental conservation.

The respected awards recognise Africa’s trade and industry high-rollers in a number of categories.  

Mengi’s fellow Tanzanian Manoj Shanker, CEO and Founder of Technobrain Limited, also picked up an award, named as Entrepreneur of the Year for his success in building a unique African Communications Technology Solutions developer with the ability to win and deliver major national projects in countries across the continent and worldwide.

The Young Business Leader of the Year award went to Helvetic Solar CEO Patrick Ngowi, an entrepreneur and founder of the Helvetic Group of Companies: the fastest-growing renewable energy network in Eastern region.

Ngowi today leads a team of more than 300 people, while contributing to growth and development as well as delivering philanthropic programmes both in Tanzania and the wider region.

Elsewhere, Tabitha Karanja was named Business Woman of the Year after 18 successful years as CEO of Kenya’s Keroche Breweries Limited, which employs over 300 people and has a robust CSR programme focused on youth education, aimed at fostering the next generation of Kenyan business leaders.

The regional finals for southern and western Africa will follow next month, with the pan-continental final taking place on November 14 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Jun 14, 2021

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

Tapoly
Insurance
Leadership
Digital
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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