CAIRO: Saudi-based human resources and employee experience platform palm.hr is taking its first steps in regional expansion with one foot already in Egypt and the UAE.
Founded in 2019 by Richard Schrems, Christoph Czichna and Dragan Nikolic, the service provides businesses with a portal to streamline work experiences for all teams including operations such as onboarding, vacation tracking, payroll, and offboarding.
In an interview with Arab News, Schrems, who is also the CEO, said the company will have a fully established team in Egypt and the UAE in just three months.
“We are already serving our first customers in UAE and Egypt and things are in motion to have teams in both countries within the next three months. Additionally, we are looking to offer our services to companies based across all Gulf Cooperation Council countries by the end of the year,” Schrems said.
The company has positioned itself as a regional provider of HR technology services with a mission to transform the space and allow businesses to better manage their most important asset – human resources.
Schrems described palm.hr’s business strategy as comprising three main pillars. The first is the software’s high configurability and flexibility that makes it easier to apply it to different business structures.
The second is a HR Tech Stack that is scattered across many different tools and solutions.
“We therefore are working on building the most integrated HR software in the market to merge all that information to be the single source of truth of any company’s people data. We have successfully integrated with many Saudi Government Solutions such as GOSI, Mudad and Muqeem,” he added.
The third pillar pinpoints the overload of communication tools used by companies, such as WhatsApp, email, calls, Slack, or meetings. The company provides a centralized communication hub for the organization to stay on top of all tickets and tasks.
“Simply put, we proudly serve small and medium, growing and innovative companies that want to be people-centric organizations. Our focus currently lies on serving Saudi-based small and medium enterprises, however, throughout the year we will be offering our services across the GCC and beyond,” Schrems added.
He stated that the firm’s human centric approach gives it a competitive edge in the market where palm.hr focuses on supporting HR managers and employees through its platform.
“Many solutions were created to digitize processes; ours, however, aims to create a seamless experience for not only HR managers but just as much for their employees. That is why we have focused on not only creating a great desktop experience but combined it with intuitive and powerful mobile apps,” Schrems said.
“Both as a software and as an organization we focus on solving all the problems related to HR and work — for every stakeholder of any organization across Saudi Arabia and beyond,” he added.
Schrems stated that the level of support received from the Saudi government has been “astounding,” adding: “Every single government organization we dealt with has welcomed and supported us with open arms, which has helped us become the thriving company we are today.”
Schrems explained that the HR space still holds huge opportunities as millions of organizations are set to ride the wave of digitalization in the next couple of years.
Besides regional expansion, the company has aggressive goals in terms of product development and hiring.
Our platform will soon leverage business data to highlight Saudization achievements whether it is organization-wide or for specific professions.
Richard Schrems, palm.hr founder and CEO
Schrems added that the company is hiring talent across all functions, with its team of 70 set to double in size in the next 12 months.
“We also believe that HR tech and fintech will diverge in the future, and we will be offering financial services through partners on our platform,” he stated.
“Besides this, we are also building a dynamic content library to support customers and employees with all the insights they need about the Kingdom’s labor laws, employment and career development. We believe this will help nurture and support local talent, while attracting the best international professionals to choose to live and work in Saudi Arabia,” he added.
The company is doubling down on its product development efforts to ensure the solution is a perfect fit for clients, which means increasing more strategic HR modules and integrating artificial intelligence.
palm.hr currently stands on solid ground after it raised $5 million in a pre-series A funding round co-led by Speedinvest and RAED Ventures with participation from Wamda Capital.
Schrems stated that the company will focus on growing its presence in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, and will thrive to raise another funding round within 12 to 18 months.
“At palm.hr, we want to make sure companies have the tools they need to remain compliant with Saudi nationalization and labor laws. Our platform will soon leverage business data to highlight Saudization achievements whether it is organization-wide or for specific professions,” Schrems said.