Orange and Google to increase mobile internet in Africa and the Middle East
Orange and Google have announced a new partnership today which will bring the best of mobile internet across its full African and Middle Eastern footprint. Combining the strength of Orange’s mobile network and mobile expertise with Google’s mobile applications, the move offers customers the best of both partners in terms of access and content through an all-inclusive digital communication package.
Customers across the Orange MEA footprint will now have access to a range of best-in-class online services including, but not limited to, popular content covering fashion, sport and music, as well as everyday tools such as Google Search, YouTube, and Google Maps.
Orange’s mass market in Africa and the Middle Eas will be targeted, following Orange’s ongoing success of delivering smartphones across the region. Through an educational campaign, customers will be offered advice to better understand the benefits and direct value mobile internet can bring.
The digital communication package is especially well-adapted to youth who have high data usage and want the latest generation smartphone. Customers will receive one of the most competitively priced tariff plans in the region starting at $40, which will consist of a high-specification smartphone and a communication bundle with voice, SMS and data.
Orange’s Executive Vice President of Connected Objects and Partnerships, Yves Maitre, said: “As the first pan-Africa and Middle East mobile partnership with Google on this scale, we are able to bring direct value to our customers by offering the best access and services to ensure they get the most out of the mobile internet.”
“Through this all-inclusive digital communications package, we are proud to continue our promise to deliver affordable internet access across the region and connect people to what is essential in their lives.”
Richard Turner, Director of Android Partnerships for Europe, the Middle East and Africa said: "Today, over three billion people across the world are using the internet to live better, richer lives and create opportunities for themselves and their communities.
"The driving force behind this growth - particularly in Africa and the Middle East - is smartphones. We are very excited to work with Orange to bring together data services, content and a high quality Android device to provide a great experience for first-time or experienced smartphone users.”
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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.