What leadership changes has MasterCard made in the UAE?
Following the conclusion of a successful year in the UAE, MasterCard has announced key leadership changes aimed at bolstering the company’s presence and further streamlining its operations in the Southern Gulf Cluster.
Eyad Al-Kourdi, who was previously General Manager, UAE at MasterCard, has been appointed General Manager, Southern Gulf. He will also be taking on division-wide responsibilities as MENA Advisor. He will be working closely with the Government Lead and Public Policy teams, as well as focusing on key external stakeholder relationships.
“The key changes in the organizational structure across our operations in the Middle East and Africa are a reflection of our rapid growth in this region and have been rolled out to help us consolidate our position as a customer-centric company and facilitate our efforts to expand operations and investments in all the key markets. As we look ahead to another successful year, our team remains committed to MasterCard’s long-term business strategy and growth plans in this important geography,” said Khalid Elgibali, Division President, MENA, MasterCard.
Al-Kourdi’s journey with MasterCard began in 1996 when he joined the company in Dubai, working his way up to General Manager, where he played a key role in helping MasterCard further strengthen business relationships with existing customers and new financial institutions.
As part of the division reorganisation, MasterCard has promoted Girish Nanda, former Country Manager for Saudi Arabia, to the role of UAE General Manager, to strengthen the company’s operations across the country.
Girish Nanda joined MasterCard in 2007, working several positions in strategy, business development and relationships with financial institutions. In 2014, Nanda was appointed Country Manager for Saudi Arabia, and has played an important role in establishing the MasterCard brand leadership in the Kingdom.
MasterCard is a technology company in the global payments industry, operating the world’s fastest payments processing network and connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.
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.