Global Ventures is excited to partner with Ogram, the UAE’s first on-demand staffing platform, which aspires to change the way temporary staff are procured and managed across the region
Ogram Co-Founders Shafiq Khartabil, Karim Kouatly and Karim Behyum are embracing the future of work as they solve the staffing issues they faced first-hand in the restaurant industry
Ogram is a centralized freelance marketplace connecting temporary workers to jobs in the UAE in the F&B, hospitality, retail, e-commerce, food retail, and logistics sectors. Restaurant operators Shafiq Khartabil and Karim Kouatly, founded the company in 2016, initially as a platform to access to quality part-time staff at short notice in the F&B sector. Former banker, Karim Behyum, joined as CFO and co-founder in 2019. Traditionally, businesses in the UAE have managed their temporary labor needs through staffing and manpower agencies and we are thrilled to partner with Ogram as it challenges the status quo through its supply and demand matching platform. While platforms for freelancers have been present in MENA for some time, Ogram seeks to be the first UAE player to provide a digital platform focused on the on-location workforce.
The future of work is here. One of the most significant outcomes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the fundamental change to the way we work; anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection, has access to a wealth of flexible employment opportunities across a broad range of sectors, from mobility and logistics to professional services. We continue to see a cultural shift toward embracing a flexible work-life balance, altering expectations of a typical 9-to-5 workday and shifting the landscape of employee loyalty. The rising costs of living paired with a shrinking middle class is compelling the employed lower-to-middle class to seek additional part-time income through gig work. The gig economy continues to grow, and in 2018, the global gig economy generated US$204 billion in gross volume and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17% to reach a gross volume of US$455 billion by 2023. The COVID-19 pandemic, is seeing businesses increasingly looking to outsource short-term tasks and non-central functions to contracted gig workers, as they seek more flexibility in managing their fixed labor costs.
Ogram’s app and web platform, for clients and service providers, are currently in development and will be launched in H2 2020. The founders wanted to understand and develop the work processes offline before streamlining and automating the business through a technological platform to scale the business. Once launched, the virtual platform will allow customers to directly book, pay for and manage their services from a wide range of pre-vetted candidates.
The Company is focused on providing its service providers a framework to pursue career progression through flexible and fulfilling part-time work. Ogram has 1,050 active service providers and, to date, has provided flexible part-time staff to over 450 businesses and individual clients in the UAE, recording on average over 2,000 jobs per month.
Shafiq Khartabil, co-founder and CEO, shares “We founded the company on the premise of solving a pain point that we used to face in our previous roles in the hospitality sector, which was inflexible and costly staffing solutions that were not suitable for on-demand ad-hoc business requirements. Our mission is to push the global labor market towards a more flexible modus operandi, shaping the future of the gig economy - with no better place to start than our home in the UAE.”
We are delighted to be a part of Ogram’s journey to be the leading on-demand staffing platform in the Middle East and believe that Company’s business model and technology platform will serve to increase accessibility to part-time work and drive labor mobility across MENA. The need for flexible staffing is becoming increasingly evident as global workforce engagement shifts and corporate austerity, spurred by the pandemic, challenges traditional staffing models. We’re excited to partner with an early regional disrupter; Ogram could not have entered the market at a better time to offer much-needed alternatives to full-time staffing.