Nigeria on way to overtaking South Africa
Nigeria looks set to leapfrog South Africa as the continent’s largest economy in the next two years and figures due for release at the end of the month are set to confirm this.
An ongoing revision of Nigeria’s gross domestic product should be finished by the end of January and is anticipated to reveal that its GDP is about $370 billion just short of South Africa’s $391 billion.
According to experts believe Nigeria’s economy has grown faster than originally estimated while South Africa’s has been struggling with a dip in business confidence particularly from some of its biggest retailers such as Mr Price and Shoprite.
A spokesman for the Standard Bank in Nigeria: “Latest IMF data puts Nigeria’s GDP in current USD at $273 billion in 2012. South Africa’s projected 2012 GDP in US dollars is estimated at $420 billion.
“With rebasing, Nigeria's economy comes closer to catching up. It becomes a $382 billion economy roughly and only 10 percent smaller than South Africa.”
While Nigeria’s oil industry represents 80 percent of revenue and 95 percent of export income, the government has been making efforts to diversify its interests so as not to be as reliant on the sector and encouraged investments into other industry sectors.
However, some experts have warned that Nigeria has not been doing enough business with the rest of Africa and consequently is missing out on opportunities abounding from the continent’s economic boom.
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.