May 19, 2020

Nairobi UN office to undergo Sh7bn refurbishment

United Nations
2 min
Nairobi UN office to undergo Sh7bn refurbishment

Sh7bn (US$69.9mn) has been set aside for the renovation the United Nations offices in Nairobi.

The main focus of the redesign is to keep the structure in line with environmental regulations, as well as accommodating more staff and making the offices more accessible for people with disabilities.

The refurbishment will also include expansions, and will be in the process for the next seven years.

The project has been introduced by Secretary-General António Guterres, who presented the proposals to the UN General Assembly last week.


When the proposals have been approved, the project will begin in 2018 and will continue up to 2024, and will focus on upgrading structures that have hosted diplomats in Gigiri, as well as uplifting A-J of the offices in Nairobi.

Through the renovations, Kenya can solidify their place as holder of the UN centre, which was potentially going to be relocated to somewhere in Europe.

The redesign will also provide administrative support to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as well as the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

In 2015, there was a feasibility study that assessed the Gigiri Complex’s ability to withstand earthquakes, meet environmental needs, and economically use the available space of the 143-acre plot.

The blocks will now be replaced to see to these needs, whilst also providing safety to employees.

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

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.


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