MTN pays tribute to President Mandela
The MTN Group conveys its heartfelt condolences to the Mandela family, and the people of South Africa and the world on the passing away of former President Nelson Mandela yesterday.
Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said: “Former President Mandela leaves behind a rich legacy of reconciliation, world peace and the triumph of the human spirit over all adversity. He embodied the spirit of human rights and dignity in the way he lived his own life.”
“His 50-year fight, including 27 years in jail, helped bring democracy and freedom to our country. Even after 27 years of prison and hardship, only one thing counted for Madiba, as Mandela was affectionately called by his clan name: creating a democratic, prosperous future for all the people of the new South Africa.
“This combination of humanity and unique statesmanship made his true greatness manifest for the entire world.”
Dabengwa said the dawn of South Africa’s democracy in 1994 coincided with the founding of MTN and today, MTN operates in 22 markets across Africa and the Middle East, with more than 200 million customers and still growing.
The MTN Group President and CEO said the founding democratic leader achieved so much, touched so many people and showed much leadership and courage.
“He never lost his compassion, humility and common humanity. He's an inspiration to us all. He taught us to love ourselves, to love one another and to love our country. So, as we celebrate his selfless efforts on behalf of human dignity, it also represents an enduring challenge for us all,” added Dabengwa.
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.