What now for Africa's big game hunting industry?
Before he was killed by American Dentist Walter James Palmer, Cecil the lion was a popular attraction for international tourists visiting Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
Since then, stories have promulgated that the beloved lion (who was part of an Oxford University study dating back to 1999) was lured from the nature reserve before being slain, as well as the animal suffering for up to 40 hours before he was finally shot dead with a rifle.
While the world vents its collective scorn over social media (alongside the deliberations of the Zimbabwean legal system) it is now more pertinent than ever to question the economic legitimacy of the global
A recent article by National Geographic highlighted that regulated hunting is not only secured by a series of international treaties but is also supported by the likes of the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) as integral to global conservation efforts.
A piece in the Endangered Species Handbook rightly compares revenues raised from hunting with those raised by eco-tourism and concludes that the latter makes more economic (not to mention environmental) sense.
This has recently been backed up by an interesting study on the economic worth of elephants conducted by iworry, a campaign set up to prioritise cracking down on the illegal ivory trade. ‘Dead or Alive? Valuing an Elephant’ highlights that an elephant brings roughly $23,000 a year to local economies, which totals over $1.5 million over the course of its lifetime.
The Centre for Responsible Travel (CREST) notes that eco-tourism captures $77 billion of the global market and is predicted to make more gains in the future. Recent research by the International Federation for Animal Welfare (IFAW) suggests that legal hunting contributes just $200 million to African economies and contributes as little as 2 percent to tourism revenues.
Palmer insists that his hunt was conducted within the boundaries of the law and indeed much hunting is carried out legally. There is certainly a case to be made for controlling populations in the interests of biodiversity, but can the killing of any endangered animal (even legally) truly be justified?
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.