The dollar index hit its highest level since late November 2022
Darwinbox, the fastest-growing HR tech unicorn, on Tuesday announced a collaboration with Microsoft to empower organizations globally and across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) with the right tools to succeed in the evolving world of work. The collaboration will include deep integrations between Darwinbox and the Microsoft product ecosystem, and co-innovation on solutions to enhance employee experience. In addition to the co-innovation roadmap, Microsoft has also made an equity investment in Darwinbox to accelerate its mission of empowering organizations to unify their entire employee lifecycle.
The relationship will accelerate joint go-to-market motions in all markets that the leading human capital management (HCM) player operates in. It will also fuel the global HR tech leader’s growth further while enabling organisations to unlock their workforce’s highest potential.
Darwinbox’s cloud-based HCM platform caters to HR needs across the entire employee lifecycle with new-age employee experiences and disruptive AI-powered technology. Powering 750+ enterprises and 2 million employees across the globe, the company has clocked a 2.6x revenue growth and increased its headcount by 240 per cent in Mena since its Series D Unicorn funding round in January 2022. The company recently opened its new office at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Commenting on the collaboration, Jayant Paleti, Co-founder, Darwinbox, said, “We’ve always had the highest regard for the Microsoft brand and ethos. As we align on the joint vision of helping our customers unlock new levels of employee experience and productivity, we’re excited to co-innovate on multiple lines of IP development and take these solutions to our customers globally.”
In the Mena region, Darwinbox works with leading enterprises like Noon.com, Masafi, Alef Education, Retailo, Mobily Infotech, Seepco, Eyewa, Shalina Healthcare, and Foodics along with select operations of Al Rajhi Bank, and the Lulu Group. The company also serves leading international brands such as Nivea, Starbucks, Dominos, Sephora, Swarovski, Adidas, Zara, Lacoste, Calvin Klein, AXA, Tokio, Cigna, and T-Systems.
Paco Salcedo, General Manager Enterprise, Microsoft Middle East and Africa, said, “Startups across the country are innovating and finding new ways of doing business. We are pleased to work closely with leaders like Darwinbox, who are completely reimagining the frontiers of employee experience with the power of technology. Our collaboration with Darwinbox builds on our focus of co-innovating with our customers to empower organisations across the UAE to do more with less.”
Deep integrations and multiple lines of co-innovation between Darwinbox and Microsoft will allow Darwinbox to deliver a radically unique and differentiated value proposition to its customers worldwide. As part of this collaboration, Darwinbox will adopt Microsoft Azure to enhance its Human Capital Management (HCM) SaaS platform.
Darwinbox’s mobile-first platform continues to enhance and personalise employee experience (EX) by bringing HR transactions and experiences into the flow of work with Dynamics 365 and Office365 platforms like Microsoft Teams, Viva, and Active Directory. Darwinbox has leveraged Microsoft’s PowerBI to further augment its AI-based predictive analytics engine, to build rich visual analytics dashboards, helping employees across customer organizations use data more effectively and power faster business decisions. Strategic product and engineering collaborations between the two companies will amplify innovation around workforce management, payroll management, benefits, talent management, and acquisition.
Earlier, in an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Darwinbox Co-founder Chaitanya Peddi said that in terms of HR tech trends, the focus continues to be on employee experience (EX) in Mena, even as employees return to offices. Organizations are looking at a human resource management software (HRMS) that’s not just intuitive and mobile-first for the region’s young workforce but is embedded in the flow of work. “This includes AI-based personalization and integrations that enrich employee experiences. We also expect upskilling and reskilling to be the new business enablers, millennials and Gen Z to define the new workplace along with the rise in demand for borderless HR platforms that can be remotely accessed and customized to local needs,” Peddi said.
According to a Gartner report, overall IT spending in the Middle East and North Africa region is forecast to total $178.1 billion in 2023 growing 3.1 per cent from 2022. “We expect companies to lean heavily on HR tech as they navigate the new digital economy. Integrating HR tech and automation into their workflow, while implementing versatile strategies to support an agile workforce will be key to powering through the continuous winds of change,” Peddi said.
With regard to skills at work, Peddi said employers need to be empowered to embrace technology for better efficiency and productivity. “The ability to learn independently, using data and insights to take decisions, creativity, originality, strategising are some of the evergreen skills that we expect to continue to be of priority to employers,” he added.
A survey last year by global consultancy PwC found that professionals in the Middle East are prioritising opportunities to improve their skills, as well as seeking transparency, flexibility and well-being in the workplace. “This makes it very important for Mena employers to have a right upskilling/reskilling strategy that prepares employees for the workplace of the future. By adopting employee-first digital processes and technologies (like the HRMS), but leaders can prioritise data-driven decision-making and accordingly invest in employee skills development,” Peddi said.
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