Energy challenges in the MENA region
According to the Energy & Utilities Market Outlook Report 2020, the energy sector is facing demand and sustainability challenges.
The report produced by GRS Research & Strategy, highlights the dual challenges of rising demand for energy within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, alongside the need to move to low-carbon systems.
Over 2,000 energy sector operators were surveyed for the report, 32.8% of which identified the GCC having the highest potential market for future energy opportunities. Discussing the region's potential, Benoit Lebot, Head of Secretariat at the Paris-based Partnership for Energy Efficiency Co-operation (IPEEC) stressed the importance of focusing on system designs to meet sustainability goals.
“In the case of the Gulf Countries, we know that the population is growing fast, that cities are expanding widely and that the climatic conditions are evolving,” said Lebot. “To address this trend, it is especially important to design cities and buildings to limit or lower cooling demand. Similarly, the expansion of cities generates new challenges for urban mobility. Selecting and designing transport infrastructure that can favour individual cars or modem public transport will have a huge impact on energy demand and local air pollution.”
Agreeing with Lebot on the importance of addressing issues and opportunities, Claudia Konieczna, Exhibition Director, Middle East Energy explains that being a global energy platform, “Middle East Energy gathers the leading lights of the worldwide industry to examine the major issues, explore opportunities and set the agenda for the future,” to deliver expert insights into the major transformation of the energy sector.
It is expected that more than 1,300 companies will take part in the upcoming Middle East Energy event that will discuss these challenges among other topics within digitalisation, power generation, transmission and distribution, energy consumption and management, and renewables.
Did you know? The MENA energy sector is predicted to value US$260bn by 2022.
For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.
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.