G4S appoints new Regional President for Africa
G4S has appointed Mel Brooks as its Africa Regional President who will provide oversight for the company’s 124,000 employees spread across 26 countries on the continent in addition to steering the company’s global technology strategy.
The company is known around the world for providing a variety of outsourced services to nation states and is notable in Africa for its security solutions, particularly so for being both its largest private sector employer and its largest security services provider.
Brooks has been with G4S since 2012 where he has held several senior roles, including heading the Southern Region from it base in India. Prior to joining the company, he has worked in both commercial technology and business transformation, as well as with underwater technologies as a marine engineer.
Brooks says, “Technology plays an increasingly pivotal role in the security sector. As new technologies are integrated to create end-to-end security solutions, G4S is able to provide our customers with access to greater functionality and ultimately, we are able to create superior value for our customers.”
He outlined his vision for the future: “Many countries on the continent are experiencing healthy economic growth. Africa also continues to attract international business and investment. This creates demand for a safer and more secure business environment. G4S aims to deliver its high-tech security solutions to the region to meet this growing requirement. Our technology solutions will support G4S’ other core services, namely manned guarding, cash security, facilities management and consultancy services.”
“I will be seeking to make G4S a valued partner with our Africa customers through the provision of high value security services to ‘secure their world’. The trusted expertise of our in-country teams is invaluable in providing constant service excellence to our customers, as they grow and expand their businesses on the continent.”
“As an organisation we have long invested in developing management capability and talent. Therefore, the success of our strategy will not be dependent on a single person, but rather the collective value of our peoples’ expert skills and capabilities. Together we will grow and strengthen our position in South Africa and Africa.”
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.