Marriott International strengthens Kenya presence with second Four Points hotel
Marriott International, Inc. announced on 6 November the opening of its second Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Kenya’s capital city.
The 172-room hotel will be located in the main complex of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi’s largest airport, and will overlook the Nairobi National Park.
The American hospitality company now have two hotels in the “World’s Wildlife Capital”, with their other based in the Hurlingham neighbourhood of the city – the business district.
“Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport is a great addition to our East Africa portfolio and strengthens our rapidly growing presence in the region,” commented Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director of Middle East and Africa for Marriott International.
“As a gateway city into the continent, Nairobi is a natural travel hub. We are confident that with its blend of stylish comfort and genuine service at an honest value, the hotel will meet the rising demand for high-calibre lodging in this fast-growing market and soon emerge as a leading choice among business and leisure travellers.”
The hotel features luxurious facilities such as a rooftop pool, fitness centre, and spa.
“The hotel’s unique location together with its warm and genuine service and the defining elements of the Four Points brand is a winning combination that will set us apart,” stated Vivek Mathur, General Manager of Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport.
“We are committed to offering guests an uncomplicated travel experience and exactly what they need while on the road be it for business or for leisure.”
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.