Forbes awards the Aiteo Group’s Founder with Africa’s Oil and Gas Leader of the Year 2018
The Founder of the Aiteo Group, the Nigerian energy company, was awarded Africa’s Oil and Gas Leader of the Year 2018 by Forbes.
Benedict Peters was granted the award at the Forbes Best of Africa Gala, which was held at the business firm’s headquarters in New York City.
Forbes awarded Peters after recognising his work in the continent’s oil and gas development as a visionary leader.
Forbes also noted his “distinguished service and transformational realignment of a sector dominated by International Oil Companies,” a press release stated.
“Peters’ ascendancy in Africa’s Oil and Gas sector has been exemplary as well as revolutionary,” stated Paul H. Trustfull, Editor of Emerging Markets at Forbes.
“His company, Aiteo, has thrived for about two decades – going from a downstream start-up to becoming a leading integrated energy conglomerate with strategic investments in hydrocarbon (or commodities) exploration and production.”
“Peters reinvented himself in times of great personal challenge. He resurrected his identity and reputation while battling injustice. He proves that inspirational leadership in a difficult industry is possible.”
The award was also attributed to Peters’ dedication to philanthropic engagement with the intentions of improving lives and societies.
“The acknowledgement by Forbes as Oil and Gas Leader of 2018 is inspiring. It means a lot to me and the entire Aiteo Group,” remarked Benedict Peters.
“I am delighted that the International community recognises our contribution towards Africa’s self-sufficiency in energy and our aspiration to become a reference point for indigenous capacity in oil and gas.”
“This award motivates us to broaden our vision for the continent, despite all odds, and accelerate her economic transformation. We believe that Africa has what it takes to lead the world and we will continue to push the frontiers of development through our investments in people and technology.”
“The success of our Oil and Gas Upstream subsidiary proves that the future we envision in Africa rests to a large extent in the hands of Africans.”
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.