How the World Expo 2020 is already Transforming the UAE Construction Industry
The World Expo 2020 will arguably be the Middle East’s most highly-anticipated event for decades, with Dubai set to showcase the best the region has to offer in all walks of business.
The UAE has already made strides towards smart government on many levels in order to present to a global audience that its way of running affairs is among the leanest and most efficient there is.
On an infrastructure and construction level, the region is already seeing a great number of large projects be conducted in anticipation of the Expo.
In Dubai alone, projects worth 30 billion dirhams will be built in time for 2020 according to a senior official at the Dubai International Project Management Forum, an event inaugurated by Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
Some 35 projects will be completed, including a 15-mile extension of the Red Metro Line to the site of the Expo.
This is due to be completed by 2019, allowing time for operations to begin well before the event itself with an objective to be able to carry 25 million passengers to the venue and other parts of the city.
Among the other key projects expected over the next few years are the extension of the Dubai Metro Green Line, stage two of Etihad Rail project that will integrate with Dubai Metro as well as phase two of Dubai Tram and Urban Rapid Transit System.
The first phase of the Dubai Tram is set to open in November this year, with the Roads and Transport Authority expected to launch 200 apps in a bid to offer a smart service to the public.
On the retail side, the extension of the iconic Dragon Mart Mall is well underway.
Once fully operational, Al Maktoum International will be the fourth largest airport in the world, while Bluewaters Island will house the Dubai Eye, a giant Ferris wheel like that seen in London. This is set to be completed in 2018.
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.