Groupe Duval acquires 20% stake in Africa Global Recycling
The French real estate company, Groupe Duval, has announced the acquisition of a 20% stake in the green economy-focused firm, Africa Global Recycling.
The company was founded in 2013 in Lomé, Togo, and targets waste recycling across sub-Saharan Africa.
“We are proud to support an actor as committed and pioneering as AGR. We are particularly excited about being able to assist it with its growth,” stated Éric Duval, President and Founder of Groupe Duval.
“The company has a unique positioning thanks to its operational excellence and its ability to have made selling waste attractive by creating a virtuous purchasing circle with businesses and local authorities.”
“Being a family group probably makes us even more aware of the importance that we must give to the environmental and societal context we are part of and that we want to pass on to future generations. Our world is changing.”
“Our family spirit leads us to focus great attention on the world that surrounds us and on the challenges of sustainable development that are connected to it. This is therefore and above all the sense of acquiring this strategic stake.”
AGR places waste at the centre of a new model of economic and social innovation on the continent.
“Our company which currently has 50 employees, is growing strongly and has pan-African ambitions,” commented Edem d'Almeida, co-founder of AGR.
“We are delighted to welcome Groupe Duval's contribution to the company's equity aimed at assisting us in a new stage of our development.”
“The presence of a key partner with which we share common values, is important to provide our company with both the financial and human resources to continue its very strong growth.”
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.