Mauritius named the easiest place to do business in Africa; predicts 46 percent jump in foreign investment
Mauritius’ government predicts that foreign direct investment will grow by up to 46 percent this year. This prediction stands despite worries that the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union may stunt inflows to the island nation.
The government expects foreign investors to inject 14 billion rupees ($395 million) by the close of 2016, compared with the 9.6 billion rupees invested last year, Board of Investment CEO Ken Poonoosamy said.
“With uncertainties like Brexit, we need to be very cautious in terms of figures,” Poonoosamy commented. He added that the board has some visibility “on projects that have already been secured”.
Bank of Mauritius data shows that the country received 3 billion rupees in the first quarter. FDI fell last year from 18.5 billion rupees in 2014, when the $12 billion economy saw several hotel acquisition deals.
The UK is the third biggest source of foreign direct investment into Mauritius, accounting for approximately 9 percent of the total, according to a US State Department report.
The World Bank added that the country is the easiest place in Africa to do business, while the African Development Bank rank it the Indian Ocean island as the most competitive economy in sub-Saharan Africa.
Real estate attracts the largest share of foreign direct investment in Mauritius, with 80 percent of the amount received in the first quarter of this year invested in the sector. The government has introduced a Property Development Scheme that expects future developments to contribute social amenities and facilities that benefit the community.
The sugar and textile exporting country aims to become a high-income country by 2025. A high income country is defined as an economy with a gross national income per capita above $12,735. Mauritius gross national income per capita is currently $700, World Bank statistics show.
SOURCE: [Mail and Guardian Africa]
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.