Who is new Coca-Cola Beverages Africa CEO Huseyin Akin?
Recently SABMiller and The Coca-Cola Company named Hüseyin M. Akin as Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, a prolific maker of soft and alcoholic drinks.
Akin currently serves as Deputy CEO of the Beverage Group of Anadolu Efes and is the Chairman of Coca-Cola Içecek’s (CCI) subsidiary boards.
From 1 March 2015, he will lead the strategic and integration planning for the new bottler which will serve 12 high-growth countries in Southern and East Africa and account for approximately 40 percent of all Coca-Cola beverage volumes in Africa. He will take up his role as CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa after its establishment, subject to requisite regulatory approvals.
Phil Gutsche, Chairman-elect of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, said: “We are extremely pleased that Coca-Cola Beverages Africa will benefit from Hüseyin’s strength of leadership, experience and expertise, gained from over 25 years in the Coca-Cola system.
“I have every confidence that Hüseyin will add significant value in ensuring this new African bottler achieves its tremendous growth potential.”
Prior to his current role, Akin held the position of President, International Operations for CCI, as well as General Manager for CCI Turkey. He is an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science graduate of Princeton University and also holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago. Now he is looking to boost the presence of his current company in the food and drink scene across the continent.
Akin himself, added: “This is a very exciting opportunity to lead the world’s newest Coca-Cola bottler. As the continent’s largest bottler, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa has a generations-long growth opportunity ahead of it. The next few years will be critical as we merge and integrate the new business, in readiness to deliver its full potential.”
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.