Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, co-founder of Tapoly, on her journey, Tapoly and the UK FinTech Awards
Kaenprakhamroy spoke to FinTech Intel to discuss the her journey, the upcoming awards and the state of the UK fintech sector.
Congratulations on making the UK FinTech Awards 2023 shortlist—what do you think made your submissions stand out from the rest?
In terms of InsurTech of the Year, as well as serving the needs of SMEs and contractors directly, we also provide our platform as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners to aid communication, data transfer and enable automation.
This means we’re occupying a unique market position—there is no other business doing what we do, which is selling both directly to the customer and helping brokers do the same.
I am certain that having access to this insight from both sides of the equation has been a significant factor in how we’ve been able to grow the business since we started in 2016.
When it comes to Innovator of the Year, not only do we occupy a unique space in the market, we are championing underrepresented groups through our innovations.
Firstly, the freelancers and microbusinesses who deserve access to fairly priced products, not only through our business offering itself, but by speaking out in the press and taking part in many industry events.
Secondly, being a female, ethnic minority from humble beginnings myself, I am committed to promoting inclusivity and diversity in the technology and insurance industries, taking part in many industry and workplace initiatives to drive this forwards.
What would it mean to you personally and for your company to win these awards?
Winning these awards would mean a great deal to both me personally, and the entire Tapoly team.
It would be an incredible honour to be recognised by industry experts and peers for the hard work and dedication that my team and I have put into building our business. It would be a testament to our efforts and a huge motivation to continue striving for excellence.
Furthermore, it would boost morale among our team and show them that their hard work and dedication is being recognised and rewarded.
What are you looking forward to on the night of the ceremony?
I’m looking forward to celebrating the achievements of the fintech sector and meeting other leaders and innovators.
It’s always inspiring to hear about the exciting developments and projects that are shaping the future of financial services.
Additionally, it’s a great opportunity to network and make valuable connections.
Do you think the UK fintech sector is in a good place right now? How does it compare to other fintech sectors?
In my opinion, the UK fintech sector is currently in a strong position, backed by statistics that show significant growth in recent years, with more than 10% of global fintech unicorns being based in the UK.
However, it is worth noting that other fintech sectors, particularly in Asia and the US, are also experiencing comparable levels of growth and innovation.
Each sector has its own unique strengths and challenges, so it’s difficult to compare them directly. Nevertheless, I’m confident that the UK fintech sector will continue to thrive and remain a global leader.
Can you tell me about your journey, from growing up in Thailand to launching a fintech?
I grew up in Thailand, born into an agricultural family in one of the most rural areas of the country.
When I was 13, I left for Sweden as an immigrant and eventually came to the UK to study English.
My English wasn’t very strong, so when I was able to pass my English exams within six months I was pleasantly surprised!
I then decided to apply for university at the last minute, and got accepted, which was a dream come true for me. I became the first person in my family to graduate from university, and although it wasn’t an easy ride, I am so pleased I pushed myself forwards and made it happen.
I’ve always been ambitious and driven and this helped me through the many challenges I had to overcome, culturally, socially and financially.
I still feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to get where I am today and be at the helm of an award-winning insurtech.
Training as a chartered accountant after my university degree, I also enjoyed a successful career in investment banking prior to Tapoly. This included positions at top tier banks UBS, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase.
What can you tell us about the educational programme in Thailand that you plan to set up?
One day, when I have the time and resources, perhaps when I’ve retired, I’d love to set up an educational programme in Thailand for children who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunities I’ve had.
I am already a mentor for Generation Thailand, an organisation that creates and leads education programmes for graduates who want to get into the technology side of business. Tapoly is also one of the partners supporting it.
In the future, I would love to focus my efforts on creating a practical school that allows people to learn and work remotely while offering mentoring and personal development courses to help them grow a positive mindset, as well as their technical and practical knowledge. I believe this would help bridge the gap between education and real-world application, giving students a more holistic learning experience.