London’s International Hotel Awards reveals the best hotels in Africa
The International Hotel Awards, held in the UK’s capital city, revealed the best accommodation to stay in when travelling across Africa.
The award for the Best Small Luxury Hotel in Kenya was granted to the Diamonds Dream of Africa, located in Malindi.
Best Western’s Executive Residency won awards for both the nation’s and continent’s best city hotel, as well as Kenya and Africa’s best hotel marketing, and the country’s most sustainable hotel.
The Best Airport Hotel award for both Kenya and Africa went to Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport. The accommodation also won the category of Best Large Hotel in Kenya and Africa.
“We are particularly delighted to have won Best Airport Hotel in Africa,” commented Vivek Mathur, General Manager of Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi.
“Nairobi is a key gateway city on the continent and this award highlights our positioning and offering within the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Complex as truly world-class.”
The best luxury hotel in both Tanzania and Africa went to the Meli Zanzibar, which also won Tanzania’s best resort hotel.
The Meli Zanzibar won the award of Best Sustainable Hotel Tanzania, Best Sustainable Hotel Africa, and Best International Sustainable Hotel.
The hotel was also deemed the best wedding venue in Tanzania, granting it the most awards for an Africa hotel.
Egypt’s most luxuroious hotel went to the Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah.
The Diamonds Star of the East won the same award for Tanzania, the continent, and internationally.
The Rhino Resort Hotel and Spa has been considered the best resort hotel and best spa hotel in Senegal and Africa, as well as the best luxury hotel in the country.
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.