Startup of the Week: Save your money and energy by hiring a professional virtual assistant

The company now has a team of qualified professional associates and works with more than 100 clients from industries in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. (Supplied)
Updated 14 May 2019
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Startup of the Week: Save your money and energy by hiring a professional virtual assistant

  • The company now has a team of qualified professional associates and works with more than 100 clients from industries in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

JEDDAH: Most people would like to increase their income potential, but all too often find the stresses and strains of workplace administration tasks get in the way.
Associates is a Saudi startup set up in 2016 with the aim of saving professionals’ time and energy by providing virtual assistants to allow them to concentrate on the work that matters.
Jawaher Afandi, general manager and co-founder of Associates, told Arab News that the company targeted those who “love what they do and want to focus on it more.”
Associates (@AssociatesCo) offers virtual support services, through monthly subscription plans, tailored to the specific needs of its clients.
Tasks that are not the customer’s main duties are handed over to the virtual assistant allowing the client to get on with their core responsibilities and so giving them “the confidence they need to do great work,” Afandi said.
Jobs that can be delegated to virtual assistants include managing calendars and work schedules, making travel arrangements, following up on tasks, collecting data, building and updating databases, and screening CVs.
The remote help is aimed at saving money for clients on the costs of training, insurance, extra office space, equipment and supplies.
“We also save our clients the time and effort of going through the recruitment process, and find the best fit based on a client’s requirements in 24 hours,” Afandi added.
When it was established three years ago, Associates brought a new concept to the regional market, and it took time to convince businesses of the merits of the services it offered. There were also high costs attached to marketing campaigns, office rents, and meeting government requirements.
“Since the concept of virtual services is not fully applied in our region, especially the type of services that we are offering, we always aim to delight our clients by our flexible plans, prompt actions and response, ensuring the best quality is provided and that feedback is acted upon,” Afandi said.
The company now has a team of qualified professional associates and works with more than 100 clients from industries in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
“We aspire to be one of the most trusted virtual support service providers in the GCC,” Afandi added. “Away from the key performance indicators and targets we have, we rate our success on achieving Associates’ purpose with each of our clients, which we see in their feedback and expression of trust in us.”


13,230 families benefit from ‘Sakani’ program in Saudi Arabia

More than 157,000 families benefited from the program during 2018. (SPA)
Updated 17 June 2019
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13,230 families benefit from ‘Sakani’ program in Saudi Arabia

  • More than 157,000 families benefited from the program during 2018

RIYADH: The Ministry of Housing’s “Sakani” program has helped 13,230 families registered on its Real Estate Development Fund list with housing options and finance solutions during May.
This includes 5,835 families who live in their own homes, bringing the total number of families benefiting from the program in different regions of the Kingdom since the start of the year to 68,195.
The Sakani program announced the names of beneficiaries and their national ID numbers through the link https://sakani-names.housing.sa or via the program portal.
More than 157,000 families benefited from the program during 2018.
Ministry of Housing spokesman Saif Al-Suwailem said that Sakani continues to provide its services to beneficiaries according to their needs and abilities. The ministry is keen to provide better services in line with the “Eskan” program, one of the Saudi Vision 2030 initiatives that aims to raise the proportion of residential ownership to 70 percent by 2030.
As part of Sakani’s efforts to provide suitable housing options, the program began to implement 53 new housing projects in different regions of the Kingdom, characterized by affordable prices for a large segment of citizens registered on the lists of the Ministry of Housing.
Al-Suwailem said that the ministry was keen to find solutions for Saudi families that help them to own the right home for them. SPA Riyadh