South African cricket enters new era under Kirsten
South Africa have appointed former opening batsman Gary Kirsten as their new head coach on a two-year contract.
Kirsten, who played 101 Tests and 185 one-day internationals for the Proteas, left his three-year post with India in April after clinching the World Cup.
Former teammate Allan Donald has been appointed as bowling coach while Russell Domingo, the former Warriors coach, was named as Kirsten’s assistant.
Kirsten, who takes over from Corrie van Zyl, expressed his delight at the appointment, calling it a “major honour”.
"My coaching philosophy will not be any different than it was for India. I always endeavour to influence players in a positive way and give them options so that they can grow both as cricketers and as people," said the 43-year-old.
The first man to reach 100 Test caps, 7,000 Test runs and 20 Test centuries for his country has already brought about change in the South African camp, appointing AB De Villiers as captain of the one-day and Twenty20 teams.
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Skipper Graeme Smith will remain Test captain after stepping down from leading the limited over sides after the World Cup.
After months of speculation regarding the role, Cricket South Africa’s Chief Executive Officer Gerald Majola said the perfect candidate had been found for the job.
"We are delighted to have Gary back as part of the CSA family," stated Majola.
"We have been through an exhaustive but rewarding process to find the best possible candidate for the job and we are totally confident that we have done just that.
"Gary's credentials and cricketing experiences speak for themselves and the board of CSA is confident that he will lead the Proteas to new heights."
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.