Femi Otedola donates US$14mn to Save the Children Fund
Femi Otedola, one of Nigeria’s richest men, donates US$14mn to Save the Children Fund through his daughters foundation to support destitute children.
The Save the Children Fund was established in the UK in 1919 to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid.
Who is Femi Otedola?
Femi Otedola is a self-made billionaire with a net worth of US1.8bn and is the controlling shareholder of Forte Oil. The company was founded in 1964 - originally a subsidiary of British Petroleum (BP) - and has over 500 gas stations with the aim to be the foremost integrated energy solutions provider in Nigeria.
He made his donation of US$14mn to Save the Children Fund via his daughter's the DJ Cuppy Foundation. The DJ Cuppy Foundation aims to improve the welfare of Nigeria’s vulnerable and marginalised children. Its core focuses are education and healthcare among others.
Commenting on his donation Otedola said: “God has been so kind to me in life and I feel highly privileged. The only way I can show my gratitude to Him is to use my resources to support those who are underprivileged. This I intend to do for the rest of my life.”
Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save the Children has pledged that every penny of Otedola’s donation will be spent to improve the lives of the children affected by insurgency in the northeast, financing various intervention programmes for children in Borno, Adamawa and Katsina.
Did you know? The donation is said to be the single largest individual donation to charity in Nigeria’s history.
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.