Three key speakers at UIEF
The second UAE India Economic Forum (UIEF) takes place in October.
The event will be looking at strategies for mutual business growth and bringing major investors and government leaders from both countries under one platform.
Here are three of the event’s key speakers:
1. Guy Hutchinson - COO, Rotana Group of Hotels, UAE
Hutchinson joined Rotana as Chief Operating Officer in January 2014, bringing with him extensive experience in the luxury hospitality industry including serving as Vice President Operations – India for Hilton Worldwide. He was responsible for managing the pre-opening and trading of Hilton Dubai Creek – including negotiating, securing and launching of the unique partnership with Gordon Ramsay and the Verre Restaurant.
As COO at Rotana, Hutchinson will be leading the brand’s operations throughout the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe, and will be the key figure driving the quality standards and financial performance.
2. Pascal Gauvin - COO, Intercontinental Hotels Group, UAE
Gauvin is Chief Operating Officer for IHG across India, Middle East and Africa. He is responsible for the operations and performance of more than 124 hotels as well as overseeing the strategic development of IHG’s plans, including the 74 hotels in the region’s development pipeline. Key to his role is maintaining and fostering relations with existing and new hotel owners.
He has been with IHG for 20 over years, and has held a number of senior managerial positions in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Africa, Lebanon, Qatar and UAE.
3. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal - CEO, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), UAE
Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), has been integral to the success of the authority since its inception in 2009. Shurooq is the driving force behind the transformation of Sharjah as an investment, tourism, and business destination, guided by the Emirate’s traditions and inspired by innovation. Steered by Al Sarkal’s creativity and drive, the authority has adopted world-class standards in providing services and studies to attract investors from the UAE, the Middle East, and all over the world.
Alongside his role at the helm of Shurooq, Al Sarkal is a Board Member of the Sharjah Football Club, a patron of Design Days Dubai, Chairman of the German Emirati Joint Council for Industry & Commerce (AHK)-Sharjah Chapter, Trustee of the Emirati-Swiss Friendship Forum, Deputy Head of Knowledge Without Borders and a former Board Member of Sharjah Tourism and Development Authority.
UIEF takes place on 19 and 20 October at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
Read the August 2016 issue of Business Review Middle East magazine
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.