South Africa's Epic Communications Named African Consultancy of the Year
Independent South African-based public relations firm, Epic Communications, has scooped the coveted African Consultancy of the Year accolade at the 2014 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) SABRE* Awards, held in London on May 20, 2014.
The EMEA SABRE awards, which recognise agencies at the forefront of strategic communications practices, are among the most sought-after awards in the public relations field, attracting more than 2,000 entries from more than 20 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Arun Sudhaman, Partner/Editor-in-Chief, The Holmes Report, said: “In just five years, Epic Communications has become one of South Africa’s top public relations firms.
“Winning our African Consultancy of the Year honour after growing its client base by 44 percent in 2013, reaching a staff complement of 42 consultants and cracking the ranks of the country’s top five.
“Much of this success is down to an impressive focus of quality and senior level-counsel, enabling it to work for such blue-chip clients as Nedbank, Samsung, Cipla, DHL, Old Mutual, Neotel and AEL Mining.
“Led by founder, Elian Wiener, Epic Communications has benefited from a strong focus on talent development and in-house training, along with an aptitude for multimedia content creation and thought leadership.
“A growing business beyond South Africa’s borders also demonstrates the firm’s increasingly credible regional ambitions,” he concluded.
Elian Wiener, Managing Director of Epic Communications, said: “Our stated vision is to make Epic Communication the most admired integrated communications agency in Africa.
"This award means a huge deal to us as it signifies that we are well on track to achieving this goal. It also tells us that our agency’s strategic, creative approach and unrelenting focus on delivering tangible business results for our global and local clients is on a par with the very best in Africa and the world.
“In a highly competitive and fast-evolving PR and communications environment, we will continue to work hard and adapt in order to deliver best practice public relations, digital, social media, internal communications and investor relations services for our clients.”
Epic Communicationswas Founded in 2009 and is South Africa’s leading independent integrated communications and PR agency.
The agency has over 40 consultants across its Johannesburg and Cape Town offices, servicing more than 45 retainer clients, including local and global brands, among other, Nedbank, DHL, Cipla, Old Mutual Corporate, Neotel and Business Partners.
* SABRE stands for Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation & Engagement
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.