Knowledge Summit opens in Dubai
The Knowledge Summit 2015 has opened this week at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai.
The event is organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF). MD Jamal bin Huwaireb said: "This year the Knowledge Summit is being organised under the theme The Way to Innovation in line with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to mark the year 2015 as the Year of Innovation. The event is a unique opportunity that brings together influencers, experts and stakeholders in the knowledge domain to discuss ways to employ innovation in the dissemination and transfer of knowledge in fields such as education, scientific research and information technology."
This year’s summit includes a range of interesting sessions addressed by top level international speakers, including ministers, knowledge influencers, scientists and innovators, enhancing Dubai's position in the field of knowledge in the global arena. The most prominent speakers include Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister; Steve Wozniak, American inventor and co-founder of Apple Inc; French astronaut Patrick Baudry; David Bennett, Chief Development Officer at National Geographic Society; HE Eng. Hussain Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education; Elias Bou Saab, Minister of Education and Higher Education, Lebanon; Dr. Ali Al Kaabi, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment at United Arab Emirates University; Prof. Eric Fouache, Vice Chancellor of Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi; Dr. Essam Heggy, Egyptian space scientist at NASA; and HRH Princess Ghida Talal, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of King Hussein Cancer Foundation.
In addition to the main session and panel discussions, the Knowledge Summit 2015 will witness the announcement of the winner of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award, which honours a person or institution at the international level for their contributions in the dissemination, transfer and localisation of knowledge. The award is aimed at encouraging initiatives and programmes to support the effective use of knowledge to achieve sustainable development and prosperity of peoples around the world.
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.