May 19, 2020

Ugandan watchdog warns Chinese mining firm

Uganda
mining
NEMA
Mango Tree Group
professo
2 min
Ugandan watchdog warns Chinese mining firm

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), a Ugandan watchdog, has issued a warning to a Chinese firm who plans to mine in Lake Victoria.

Naomi Karekaho, a NEMA spokesperson, announced on 31 January that Mango Tree Group Ltd has only received permission to manufacture ships.

The watchdog claims that the firm does have the rights to extract sand from Lake Victoria, located in the south east of Uganda, and that if it proceeds to do so, they will cause severe environmental damage.

“We want to categorically state that Mango Tree Group Ltd’s activities of engaging in sand mining are illegal,” Ms Karekaho stated.

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“We only cleared them to manufacture ships after they secured a license from the Uganda Investment Authority, not carrying out dredging on the lake shores.”

“The sites where they want to excavate sand are very crucial. We warned them against tampering with them because any destruction may spark off a serious ecological disaster we may not handle as a country.

“They can think of other areas but an EIA [Environmental Impact Assessment] has to first be carried out.”

On 2 September last year, Mango Tree Group submitted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the exaction of sand from three sites on the lake, which NEMA rejected on an environmental impact basis.

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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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