Brian Habibi - Co-Founder - Chief Customer Officer at Bayzat - techxmedia

Interview: Brian Habibi from Bayzat

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For the July 2021 Special Feature on ‘Bridging The Gap Between Technology And Business,’ Rabab Zehra, Executive Editor of TECHx Media interviewed Brian Habibi, Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer at Bayzat to discover more about the role Bayzat plays in the ongoing wave of digital transformation.

TECHx: Bayzat has come a long way in helping businesses manage and automate HR administration, payroll, and health insurance since its inception in 2013. How have your products and services evolved over the years?

Brian: Guided by our mission of making world-class employee experiences accessible to every company, we have always been hyper-focused on solving core employer and employee pain points through a modern, digitally-driven approach.

For instance, recognizing the difficulties employees have with identifying the insurance benefits they are actually entitled to, we were one of the first providers to offer an insurtech feature that provided employees the ability to easily access, learn about, and navigate their insurance policy. By constantly enhancing this feature, we now have one of the most sophisticated insurtech offerings in the market, enabling our clients to solve fundamental challenges pertaining to how they buy, use, and renew their group health insurance policies. For example, the Bayzat platform significantly cuts down the time it takes a company to purchase its health insurance policy and manage additions. Furthermore, company employees now have access to unique insurance benefits such as online doctor consultation & prescription delivery services.

Similarly, when it comes to HR and payroll, we have always been able to set ourselves apart by offering a localised platform that is able to save UAE businesses significant amount of time and money. Our initial features were geared towards helping HR departments minimise administrative tasks by empowering them to more effectively manage employee records and leave requests. Over the past few years, thanks to countless interviews with HR and finance managers and invaluable insight gained from the analysis of volumes of data captured by our platform, we now offer an end-to-end solution that is fully integrated across payroll, leave, and company attendance. For instance, we are the only employee benefits platform to offer a fully automated payroll solution, making employee compensation as frictionless as possible.

But at the end of the day, our obsession has and always will be centred around the employee experience. This is because we believe that employees are an organisation’s most valuable asset, and in an increasingly competitive labour market, employee experiences are pivotal in attracting and retaining the best talent. From an employee perspective, digitally native millennials and Gen Z employees are used to the flexibility and autonomy that technology infuses into their personal lives. As such, the level of digital sophistication they have access to at work has taken on a newfound importance with 93% of millennials citing modern and up-to-date technology as one of the most important aspects of a workplace. Through the Bayzat app, not only have we made managing core functions such as leave, expenses, and insurance easier, but employees are also provided with access to a range of world-class employee benefits such as click of a button mental health support, access to telemedicine and exclusive discounts across a range of products & services.

TECHx: Over the last year, the world of work has changed dramatically, with remote working becoming a viable long-term choice. What role does Bayzat play in this transition?

Brian: There is a good argument to be made that employee benefits platforms were important prior to the pandemic but now, they are a business imperative. Not having software to help eliminate cumbersome HR, payroll, and insurance processes via automation was tedious enough when employees were in the office. Those challenges have since been amplified with remote working now becoming a viable long-term solution.

It has always been important for HR departments to find ways to free up their time to focus on their people but now it is paramount. The pandemic has made employees more demanding of their employers when it comes to health support with 71% of HR professionals saying COVID-19 has increased employee expectations around health and wellness benefits. Failure to notice and adapt to these changes can severely impact employee experience.

Similarly, the pandemic has driven a shift towards businesses and individuals being more reliant on technology and digital solutions than ever before. With employees now accustomed to the convenience of app-based access to a wide range of services — from personal finance to food delivery — companies can no longer afford for HR to be perceived as an intimidating black box. Rather they need to empower employees to self-serve their HR requirements and thereby better utilise the benefits that they are entitled to.

Given that the Bayzat platform comprehensively addresses these challenges, I believe we have a prominent role to play in the successful transition to remote and hybrid work.

TECHx: How do you ensure that your consumers have a secure experience on your platform, especially when cybercrimes are on the rise?

Brian: We understand that the Bayzat platform does collect sensitive company and employee information, so ensuring the security of our platform is of paramount importance to us.

We are obsessive about monitoring and continually optimising the Bayzat platform to ensure data security industry best practices and standards are met. In addition, each quarter, we engage a third-party cybersecurity firm to conduct a rigorous assessment to validate that our platform is as secure as possible.

From a technical standpoint, we safeguard the data on our platform the same way banks do by using SSL 256-bit encryption and ensuring all connections and data transfers between end-user devices and our severs are encrypted. Furthermore, we encrypt all data that resides in our databases with backups being generated in real-time. We provide robust user permission roles to ensure that only relevant employees within each company that use the Bayzat platform have access to sensitive information.

And since no company is invincible against cybercrime — and a good rule of thumb is to operate under the assumption that a cyberattack is a matter of when rather than if — we have robust business continuity action plans in place to ensure that Bayzat can act with agility and speed if an incident does occur.

TECHx: What trends do you anticipate in automated HR and payroll solutions over the next five years, and how will Bayzat fit in?

Brian: I believe the key evolution of HR platforms will be in the augmentation of their capabilities. Automation of processes will become base functionality, while the real focus and innovation will be in the area of analytics — leveraging the data that these platforms capture to gain insight that helps employers address employee engagement and their work-life experience.

With Bayzat’s mission centered around making world-class employee experiences accessible to every company, we are already pioneering this evolution. As an example, data captured by the Bayzat platform found that even through 2020, fuel (27%) and travel (20%) expenses were among the top three most requested reimbursements. Given countless reports which have highlighted that more time at home and reduced travel time have been some of the most valued consequences of the remote working paradigm, organisations can use this payroll data to redirect funds into digital collaboration tools such as Zoom and Slack. These have proven their ability to drastically reduce employee travel requirements, which in turn leads to greater productivity and enhanced job satisfaction.

Backed by the insights from our platform and our deep and continuous engagement with businesses of all sizes and across all verticals, we are well-positioned to continue improving the work lives of companies and their employees over the coming years.

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