Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is the CEO and founder of Tapoly. Tapoly is the first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy in Europe, and the winner of insurance provider of the year at the British small business awards, 2018, she is listed by Forbes as the number six of the top 100 women founders to watch and is among the top 10 InsureTech female influences, according to the Insurance Institute, Janthana is a chartered accountant and former internal audit director at top tier investment banks.
Janthana began speaking about her early career beginnings, which surprisingly started at the very early age of 8. Janthana would ‘freelance’ from cleaning clothes to babysitting. By the time she reached 16, Janthana moved to Sweden and began working in various part-time jobs, while studying for her accountancy exams and then eventually launching her own company, Tapoly. The Tapoly platform was launched as an answer to the long-winded structure of buying short-term insurances for an Airbnb’s, which she herself had had experience with.
When discussing specific experiences that led to Janthana’s impressive leadership strategy, she explained that thinking strategically is key. Furthermore, communicating effectively is extremely beneficial, creating a voice that one can understand and adhere to with the ability to get people on board and buy-in.
We also spoke about the lack of diversity in high profile roles. Janthana expressed how it is difficult for her to benchmark herself due to the lack of women in similar positions. Although there has been a shift in the number of women CEOs, there is still work that must be done to continue this.
When evaluating the importance of diversity initiatives in the workplace, Janthana expressed that organisations should be mindful and continue to talk about this, keeping it on everyone’s agenda. Ensuring companies are fully embracing diversity and almost treating it as a KPI is important: it should be not a tick-box exercise for one specific type of person.
After the horrific murder of George Floyd, Janthana advised that while this was a truly awful incident, we must take this as an opportunity to learn and grow as individuals. Adding that we must think of the ‘results over the event,’ for example, prompting new policies to protect groups of people, as well as taking individual responsibility.
When reflecting on past role models, Janthana spoke about her teacher at school whom she admired greatly. She would always look up to her as the role model of how women should behave; she was calm, gracious and kind – as well as strong in confidence and belief. Janthana also spoke about her mother, who has used her qualities for kindness and generosity in her own working life.
Finally, when reflecting upon advice she would give to her younger self, Janthana illustrated that she would allow herself to make more mistakes. Shen then advised our audience that if you feel like saving part of your life for later: don’t, be open-minded and don’t close yourself off to exciting opportunities.
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