Iran to Cooperate with Gazprom to Improve Bilateral Relations with Russia
Iran is seeking to enhance its bilateral relations with energy giant Russia after outlining a possible establishment of a joint working group with natural gas company Gazprom.
The two parties would work together at the working group level on issues such as equipment supply, technology transfers and financing of various oil and gas projects.
The Iranian Deputy Petroleum Minister, Hamid Reza Araqi, also runs the National Iranian Gas Co. (NIGC), and is spearheading the proposed cooperation with Russia’s most significant energy company and largest gas extractor in the world.
He confirmed that NIGC and Gazprom have discussed ways of moving forward and extending their footprint in the global market.
A partnership is already up and running, demonstrated by a number of joint enterprises in the energy field last year. The two companies cooperate in the nuclear sector, with Gazprom supplying nuclear fuel for the Iranian reactor at Bushehr.
Washington has expressed concern over bilateral cooperation between Iran and Russia. Iran is under pressure for its nuclear program which is interpreted as aggressive by politicians in the Western sphere.
Russia is at odds with Western powers because of its stance on Ukraine and Syria, exacerbated by the shock gunning down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukrainian rebel airspace.
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.