On-demand HR platform One Circle to launch in 2019

One Circle Founder Emma El-Karout.
Updated 24 June 2019

On-demand HR platform One Circle to launch in 2019

Small business plays a critical role in economic growth. Most governments look to small businesses for job creation, creativity incubation and deployment, and the spurring of economic development.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported that over 95 percent of enterprises globally are SMEs, accounting for between 60 to 70 percent of the working population and contributing as much as 60 percent to the GDP.

However, those same small businesses typically struggle to survive beyond the four to five-year mark from date of setup, for various reasons. Improving the performance of SMEs in a cost-responsible manner should therefore be a priority.

When a startup is busy bootstrapping, they should not neglect building the right business culture from the beginning. Doing so can help them stay competitive on the HR front. 

In order to hit the ground running earlier than the competition, HR talent needs to be on-demand without having to build up an internal HR department.

On-demand HR can help move from one priority to the next in a flexible way. This on-demand HR specialists’ talent can help a small business grow into a more established second-stage business and can help a startup or SME scale up in many smart ways, while staying lean.

Emma El-Karout, a Johannesburg-based future work innovator, has founded One Circle, an online HR collaboration platform scheduled to launch in 2019.

One Circle is a smart collaboration workspace where businesses hire HR consultants on-demand over a technology-enabled ecosystem. Completely virtual, the platform gives access to quality HR consultants from around the world and across the employee lifecycle to advise, plan and execute on projects, when needed.

Born and raised in Lebanon, El-Karout intends to launch One Circle as a means to combat two major societal issues in South Africa — being unemployed, and the retention of experienced workers in the economy post-retirement.

People from all around the world are attracted to flexible work. Working from home has shown to increase productivity due to increased focus and simply actually working more, instead of navigating congested traffic to get to the office.

Niche collaboration platforms, such as One Circle, are becoming the norm for businesses to connect with specialized consultants, virtually and on-demand.


Russia’s cultural capital beckons GCC travelers

Updated 17 October 2019

Russia’s cultural capital beckons GCC travelers

  • Citizens of Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia can now benefit from fast and convenient 
eVisa portal when arranging their next visit to the city of St. Petersburg.
Guarded by two marble lions at the entrance, the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg sits within the walls of a 19th-century royal palace in the beautifully preserved imperial city of St. Petersburg. Celebrated globally for its history and architecture, Russia’s cultural capital recently became an even more attractive destination for GCC travelers thanks to the introduction of a convenient new online eVisa process.
Launched at the beginning of October, the St. Petersburg eVisa portal enables citizens from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman to enjoy the benefits of fast and simple online visa applications. Travelers can simply fill in the online form, upload a photograph, and can complete the entire process in just a few clicks. Applications can be made within 20 days of traveling, and up to four days before arrival. The visa is valid for stays of up to eight days in St. Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad Region.
Felix Murillo, general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg, said: “The introduction of the eVisa portal offers a new level of convenience for international travelers, making it easier than ever for GCC citizens to arrange a trip to our wonderful city. Our concierge team takes great pleasure in highlighting St. Petersburg’s historical and cultural visitor attractions, and will be happy to arrange anything our guests may require to turn every trip into an unforgettable experience. We look forward to welcoming visitors from the Middle East to our beautiful hotel to share cherished moments and create memories that will last a lifetime.”
The Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg is located in the upmarket Admiralteysky district and was originally constructed in the early 19th century for Prince Alexander Yakovlevich Lobanov-Rostovsky.
Since first opening its doors to guests in 2013, the property offers 183 rooms, including 26 sumptuously decorated suites.
Perhaps the most stunning of the hotel’s accommodations is the one-of-a-kind Lobanov Presidential Suite, where guests can gather by the living room fireplace for a night of intimate conversation, host an al fresco dinner party on the expansive private terrace with stunning views of the Admiralty building and the surrounding park, or retreat to the grand master bedroom for a quiet and cosy evening.
The hotel is inviting guests to embark on a range of culinary adventures across its three restaurants. Diners can experience pan-asian fusion flavors at Sintoho, authentic Italian dishes at Percorso and modern Russian cuisine at The Tea Lounge.
Catering to the needs of visitors from the Middle East, halal meat is available on request.