Siemens awarded for its successful African strategy
Siemens has been awarded by the Awards for African strategy for its work in the continent.
The German company won the ‘Best of European Business Award’ based on the criteria of “successful and sustainable corporate strategy in Africa” from strategy consultants Roland Berger.
Siemens has a proud history of working in Africa,with supplying telegraph engineering and generators to Africa over 150 years ago. Nowadays, its entire product portfolio is represented in Africa.
“No other German company has such deep roots on the African continent as Siemens”, said Siegmar Proebstl, CEO of Siemens Africa, at the award ceremony in the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin.
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“Bound up with this long tradition is a story of partnership and shared development with Africa”. He said the main priority for German business in Africa was to deploy German expertise, technology and standards in the right places. “
"The growth potential for the region is enormous. Africa should be viewed as up there with the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries – the difference being that Africa is an entire continent,” added Proebstl. Siemens now employs 3500 people at 13 locations on the continent.
“When choosing our winners we attached great importance to their exemplary and responsible contribution to stabilizing and further developing African societies”, said Martin C. Wittig, CEO of Roland Berger, at the award ceremony. “This includes the consolidation of economic relationships and partnerships on an equal footing.”
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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.