Mombasa to get a free trade zone for motor vehicles
The city of Mombasa on Kenya’s coast is set to get a free trade zone (FTZ) on motor vehicles this year.
It is anticipated that the new policy will create thousands of jobs for local traders and service providers.
With Mombasa having a FTZ, the city will have a gateway in which goods in transit can be temporarily stored to avoid customs regulations and administrative procedures.
The FTZ will allow imported vehicles to initially be received and sorted in Mombasa prior to their journey to other markets.
The establishment will be introduced to Kenya almost four years after the Cabinet gave a nod to the plan.
Mombasa’s 1,000-acre re-export gateway is to initially handle 100,000 vehicles per year, reported Henry Rotich, Treasury Secretary.
It is expected that the state-owned FTZ facility will become one of the flagship projects that the government hopes will raise its 2018 export earnings.
The government is targeting earnings to double from 10% to 20% annually by 2022.
“We intend to strengthen trade facilitation programme,” Mr Rotich added in his Budget Policy Statement.
The plan for the FTZ is to aid the landlocked states in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
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.