Femi Oke hosts Lagos' Social Media Week
Former Nigerian media personality of the year Femi Oke has been announced as a keynote speaker and panel host at Social Media Week which opens tomorrow in Lagos and runs until Friday.
British by birth, Nigerian by parentage and a Washingtonian by zip code, Femi is currently host of The Stream on Al Jazeera English.
As a web community with its own daily TV show, The Stream's award-winning approach taps into the extraordinary potential of individuals through social networks and has attracted a large African following.
“The Stream’s lively interactive format and our African online community are a match made in social media heaven. Just like Jollof rice and fried plantain, we’re delicious together and you always want seconds!” joked Femi.
“Growing up I would listen to my dad’s friends gather in our sitting room and raucously discuss the big issues of the day.
“If you didn’t know better you’d think they were yelling at each other, but they weren’t. They were just debating Nigerian-style. I’m convinced that his love of a lively debate has rubbed off on me and I moderate just like my dad used to… Nigerian-style.”
During Social Media Week Lagos, Femi will provide a keynote address on The Stream and host a panel on the intersection of global health, technology, and social media, using Al Jazeera’s upcoming series Lifelines as an example.
As a speaker, Femi is a go-to moderator for the World Bank, United Nations and European Union.
Major speaking assignments include hosting International Women’s Day for the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, moderating Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s first United Nations panel following release from house arrest, and emceeing a celebration with Africa’s two female heads of state, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and President Joyce Banda, at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.
Al Jazeera English is a proud sponsor of Social Media Week Lagos.
For more on The Stream, visit http://stream.aljazeera.net.
For more on Lifelines, visit http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/lifelines/.
For more on Social Media Week Lagos, visit http://socialmediaweek.org/lagos/.
Follow Femi Oke on Twitter: @FemiOke.
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.