May 19, 2020

Telkom announces thousands of job cuts to boost competitiveness

South Africa
MTN
Telkom
Telecommunications
mahlokoane percy ngwato
2 min
Telkom announces thousands of job cuts to boost competitiveness

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South Africa’s semi-privatised telecoms company, Telkom, is planning to shed up to 25 percent of its workforce in order to make the company more competitive.

Telkom Group CEO Sipho Maseko commented that he is seeking to make the landline telephony provider more competitive against other large players, namely Vodacom and MTN.

The company is often described as the most advanced and sophisticated telecom provider on the entire African continent; it is, however, criticised for setting prices too high, despite state subsidies.

Currently, the South African government controls a 39 percent stake in the company, and it employs just roughly 18,000 people across the country. Telkom drew in almost $2.5 billion in revenues in 2014. 

MORE ON TELKOM:

Telkom's Nigerian unit Multi-Links suffers R7.4bn loss
Telkom's new mobile plans aimed at cutting costs
Telkom SA Pushes on with Management Retrenchment Plans

It is expected that about 4,400 staff will leave through voluntary severance as well as early retirement, according to spokeswoman Jacqui O’Sullivan. Furthermore, the company has also planned to outsource up to 3,400 positions.

The consequences of this move are yet to be fully realised, but the prospect of a largely state owned company competing with multinational corporations is certainly an interesting one. Although some Telkom staff will have the opportunity to return to their jobs through other channels, it is regrettable to say the least that so many jobs have been lost in this way.

Read the June Issue of African Business Review.

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Tapoly
Insurance
Leadership
Digital
Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

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.

 

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