Sorga Innovation Sdn. Bhd. drives the transformation of corporations and talent for the future of work.
We accomplish that through GigxGlobal, an on-demand work platform that matches businesses with specific skill requirements to independent professionals with the relevant expertise; corporate human capital management services including HR consultancy and placements; and career guidance services for professionals at all stages of their career.
The platform will eventually provide further support for talent by integrating features such as lifelong learning and skills development courses; healthcare and insurance provisions; automated contributions to social safety, savings, and pension funds; and investment opportunities.
As of October 2020, 500 professionals seeking freelance work projects have signed up. In the meantime, we are advising 10 companies from various sectors on overhauling their operations and building a skilled workforce.
We have access to a network of around 5,000 talented Malaysian expatriates we are promoting gigxglobal.com to. We expect the number of Malaysian talent on our platform to more than double by end-2020.
We are led by a highly experienced, all-women team that includes the former CEO of Talent Corporation Malaysia, a former partner at PwC, and the founder and CEO of Brandt International.
We operate using an B2B business model that will help us obtain more value from each platform user with very little extra effort. Our low fixed costs, diversified income streams, and highly scalable business model combine to limit our risk exposure while maximizing returns.
We are taking advantage of favorable market conditions including a shift to on-demand work, increasing uptake of Human Capital Management (HCM) software in our target markets, and a lack of direct competition.
We are officially launching GigxGlobal in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai in 2021. From there, we will expand in stages to cover other emerging markets in ASEAN, the Middle East, and eventually the whole Asia-Pacific region.
The Traditional Work Model is Not Working for Talent and Corporations Alike
Hiring Permanent Staff is Time-Consuming, Contributes to High Fixed Costs, and Does Not Guarantee Results
A Long and Labor-Intensive Hiring and Training Process. Traditional recruiting, whether done online or offline, typically involves sorting through hundreds of applications before scheduling and conducting multiple interviews to identify just one suitable candidate. The work does not stop after the candidate accepts the offer – instead, existing staff must work overtime to familiarize the new employee with company regulations and operations. In fact, the recruiting process has been estimated to last 42 days on average, taking up precious time and effort that could have been spent more productively.
Permanent Staff are a Substantial Financial Investment. Maintaining a permanent workforce is expensive. Aside from monthly wages and employee benefits (e.g. health insurance, social security contributions), companies must also budget for working space (that must be rented or bought), office equipment (e.g. desks, computers), and digital infrastructure (e.g. internet access, a phone plan subscription). After adding all this up, labor can account for a massive 70% of total business costs, making it imperative for companies to select candidates that will justify their immense investments. Admittedly the company will need for operational purposes and task.
An Investment with Inconsistent Returns. Bringing in new hires can be risky: while the hiring process is supposed to weed out the unqualified, permanent employees who pass screening and complete training can still underperform for many reasons, leading to a decline in productivity and consumer confidence in the company. To restore trust and productivity, HR managers must either reform the employee or recruit a new person to take over – both choices that force the company to reallocate scarce time and resources towards resolving staffing problems instead of investing in expansion and growth.
A Lack of Flexible and Meaningful Work Negatively Impacts Talent and the Companies They Serve
Overwhelming majorities of working professionals prioritize flexibility and meaning at work. In 2018, the Harvard Business Review published research indicating that over 90% of white-collar professionals in conventional office jobs were willing to take a pay cut in exchange for meaningful work; with an even larger share (96%) of respondents saying that they preferred jobs with flexible working options. Many are dissatisfied with their current working conditions, with 47% stating that flexible work is not available to them and a mere 5% rating their jobs as very meaningful.
What are the Consequences?
Employees with inflexible work schedules struggle to make time to take care of their health and wellbeing e.g. by exercising, meditating, and spending quality time with family and friends. Many are caregivers who must juggle work with looking after elderly relatives or young children, making this balancing act even more stressful for them. Over time, their stress and unhappiness in the workplace builds up, resulting in:
Low Productivity. 34% of respondents felt that fixed working hours limited their ability to perform consistently over time.
High Turnover. Respondents who rated their work as less meaningful were 69% more likely to quit their jobs within the next 6 months.
Less Privileged Demographics Face Difficulties Obtaining a Full-Time Job
As many professionals who have worked overtime can attest, a full-time job demands constant commitment, making it particularly unsuitable for individuals responsible for caring for elderly parents, sick relatives, or young children. Across the world, these caregivers are disproportionately likely to be women: in 2018, The Lancet, the world’s premier medical journal, reported that over 70% of caregiving is conducted by women and girls. All too often, these women give up their careers to shoulder family responsibilities, denying them a path to financial independence and personal improvement.
Jobseekers from other demographics may also experience difficulties entering the workforce for other reasons. For example, senior citizens nearing retirement age are frequently rejected for being supposedly past their prime. As a result, the talent of millions of individuals goes untapped, depriving the workforce of precious human resources that could have catalyzed various improvements.
Automation Threatens to Destroy Conventional Jobs and Displace Workers
Researchers from McKinsey have estimated that 15% of all jobs will be lost to automation by 2030, leaving millions of workers with different educational attainments from a wide range of occupations jobless. Many of these workers will struggle to find a new job that is compatible with their skills and experience as employers’ requirements have shifted drastically over the years e.g. IT and interpersonal skills are increasingly in demand, leading to a potential unemployment and underemployment crisis with severe socioeconomic repercussions.
Work on Demand: Businesses Hire Independent Talent for Specific Projects
The on-demand work model, better known as the gig economy, avoids many problems associated with traditional 9-to-5 office work by adopting a task-based approach to hiring: by hiring short-term or fractional talent only when a specific task needs to be completed, businesses save on long-term labor costs, especially if the work can be done remotely without infrastructure and support from the company. Meanwhile, workers benefit from a flexible working arrangement where they are free to only accept projects that appeal to them. With greater flexibility and autonomy, they have more time to focus on issues that matter to them (e.g. personal health, family responsibilities), boosting their feelings of well-being and in turn their productivity. Finally, the flexible nature of independent work opens up labor force participation opportunities for caregivers, retirees, and other groups that are normally excluded from the traditional labor market, giving them a chance to prove their talents.
Sorga Innovation Sdn. Bhd. aims to facilitate the transition from traditional to on-demand work with GigxGlobal, a digital platform powered by big data and advanced AI technology that connects independent talent with businesses seeking to making use of their expertise on a project based work or on fractional basis. We plan to launch GigxGlobal in Southeast Asia and the Middle East first – both homes to emerging markets with strong demand – before expanding to cover the whole Asia-Pacific region and eventually, the world.
Highly Paid Jobs for Highly Skilled Professionals and Corporate Leaders in a Wide Range of Industries
In line with our intention to promote flexible and efficient work arrangements in corporate workplaces, GigxGlobal is first and foremost a platform for highly skilled professionals, capable corporate leaders, and the companies who rely on their talent to execute important projects. As all positions advertised on GigxGlobal will require candidates to possess considerable experience and expertise in their respective fields, the pay and perks will be commensurate with the demands of the job.
GigxGlobal is open to talent and corporations in all industries, ranging from ICT and healthcare to retail and construction. In addition to giving existing users more choice while still maintaining our identity as a platform specializing in high-skill, high-value work, we believe that this inclusive approach will help us attract users who would not visit our platform otherwise, increasing our brand awareness and bringing us more business.
Swift and Accurate Matching, Made Possible by Machine Learning and Big Data Analysis
Companies are expected to provide as much information as possible when outlining job requirements on GigxGlobal to ensure that our AI algorithm, which has been specially trained to process granular data, can take all factors into account when calculating a best match. For the same reason, it is also compulsory for workers to list out all their skills, academic qualifications, and work experience when they first register on our platform. After analyzing all data in detail, the algorithm will pull up the profiles of 3-5 applicants who are best qualified for the position, saving employers the time and effort required to manually screen hundreds of candidates.
Ratings and Reviews Ensure Transparency and Facilitate Better Decision-Making
As there is always a risk involved in taking claims on personal or corporate profiles at face value, we have included a ‘rate and review’ function which allows companies that have previously hired talent to leave a review on their profile (and vice versa). Users who intend to work with the reviewed party can then refer to these previous ratings to determine whether the information on their profile accurately reflects their real-world performance. The ratings will be provided by the project manager or the team lead of the project that the talent is involved in; they will be the best people to review the performance of the talent
We guard against the possibility of fake reviews using an inbuilt record-keeping system which automatically records all transactions between talent and corporations. Reviewers who have no record of interacting with reviewees will be barred from leaving reviews by the system.
Value-Added Human Capital Development and Management Services, on Request
Aside from GigxGlobal digital services, Sorga Innovation Sdn. Bhd. also provides numerous talent development and management services on request for an extra fee. These include:
- HR Consultancy. We advise companies seeking to overhaul their operations or organizational structure on the human capital they require to achieve their aims. We accomplish this by evaluating gaps in skill supply (i.e. necessary skills that their current workforce does not possess) before advising them on the type of talent they should hire to fill these gaps.
- HR Placements. While we trust the GigxGlobal AI algorithm to recommend only the best few candidates for a position, we understand that some companies may prefer having a human expert to supervise the process, especially if the opening in question is for a C-suite level position. In such cases, we will assign a HR expert to oversee their efforts and provide support and guidance if necessary.
- Payroll Management. We will partner with existing payroll management service providers that have previously agreed to work with us e.g. Brandt International to take over the process for businesses that wish to outsource routine tasks to focus on expansion.
- Career Coaching, Career Profiling, and Career Workshops. Career development services are not just for youth – they can also be immensely helpful for mid-career professionals seeking to enhance their skills and make informed decisions about their future trajectory, particularly if they wish to transition from full-time office work to freelance projects. They are also relevant for senior talent keen to harness lifelong learning to progress in their careers. We plan to provide our users with the best services by enlisting trusted career and leadership coaches as well as experienced training providers.
Although gig or fractional work can be very rewarding in terms of freedom and flexibility, freelancers undoubtedly lack the financial stability and non-financial perks e.g. health insurance that come with a permanent position. It is vital to make up for this disadvantage to make gig work an attractive option for all. To this end, we will integrate several services to enhance our talents’ financial stability and personal wellbeing into the platform.
We will empower talent to take care of their personal wellbeing through:
Health and WellCare Services | Lifelong Learning & Skills Development | Leadership Training
We will enable talent to grow their wealth and minimize financial risks with:
Insurance | Retirement Savings | Investment Opportunities | Credit Applications | Personalized Financial Services
We plan to collaborate with financial services institutions such as the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), Malaysia’s national retirement funds manager; and StashAway, an investment platform for retail investors; to integrate their services on GigxGlobal in the future.
500 Talents Have Registered with GigxGlobal
GigxGlobal has been up and running since April 2020. Since then, we have signed up 500 professionals interested in flexible work as well as more than a dozen businesses seeking to hire scarce talent for special projects. As our momentum is only expected to accelerate as we continue to promote our platform, we project an additional 5,000 talents and more than 1000 companies will sign up for GigxGlobal within the next two years.
Proven Demand for Our Value-Added Services
At present, we are providing talent solutions consultancy and placement services to 10 clients in various industries, including banks, trading corporations, SMEs, charitable foundations, and government agencies, with more requests coming in daily. The steady demand for our services proves that we are fulfilling a real need, motivating us to constantly improve to better serve our clients.
An Extensive Network of Supportive National and International Contacts
Over the years, our accomplished founding team has cultivated business contacts in vital overseas markets such as India, the Middle East, and ASEAN countries. We will make full use of our contacts’ knowledge of their respective home markets to adapt our services and marketing strategies to appeal to the local populace. Within Malaysia, our founders have also established good relationships with key government and corporate leaders who believe in our mission.
The Right Talent in the Right Job, at the Right Time
Corporations Will See…
Cost Reductions. Compared to hiring a permanent employee, recruiting freelance or fractional talent on our platform is much more cost-effective for businesses. Unlike permanent employees who require substantial onboarding and training to be fully productive, our experienced professionals can start work immediately. Most of the time, they can also work remotely, eliminating the need for employers to invest in office infrastructure and electronic equipment.
A Streamlined Recruitment Process. We dramatically shorten and simplify the hiring process for companies by automating the most tedious step – sorting through hundreds, if not thousands, of applications to identify the most skilled and qualified candidates. All the HR department needs to do is to input their requirements, post the vacancy, and wait for our AI algorithm to generate and match its recommendations.
The bottom line: Hiring freelance or fractional talents on our platform makes recruitment less tedious and costly for businesses as they invest less time, money, and energy.
Existing Talents Will…
Secure Flexible Work That is Meaningful to Them. Freelance work offers the ultimate flexibility as talents get to decide exactly when to work, where to work, and what to work on. They can arrange their working schedule around their personal priorities and only work on projects they are passionate about, making work much more enjoyable.
Enhance Their Well-Being and Productivity. Numerous studies, including one from the University of Oxford, have confirmed that happy and healthy employees are 13-20% more productive, which is good for both employee and firm performance. Based on this research, independent workers should be more productive as their working conditions are more conducive to attaining personal well-being. For instance, independent workers who control their own schedule are more likely to obtain adequate rest and achieve work-life balance. As they have the freedom to only accept work they find meaningful, which is essential to employee engagement, they also report higher levels of satisfaction and happiness at work.
Maintain Their Financial and Personal Health. Working life can be stressful and demanding, leaving talent with little time to focus on other important matters such as handling their finances and taking care of their health. We will integrate a comprehensive range of services that includes investment, health insurance, and savings contributions into our platform to improve our talents’ quality of life.
Equip Themselves with 21st Century Essential Skills. Although their jobs remain less susceptible to automation, professionals must nonetheless acquire skills that will be in high demand in an automated and digitalized economy e.g. soft skills such as leadership, communication, and presentation to thrive in the current workforce. By signing up with GigxGlobal, they will obtain access to unprecedented upskilling and reskilling opportunities that will enable them to stay agile and adaptable in an ever-changing world.
Untapped Talents Can…
Meaningfully Participate in the Workforce for the First Time. The flexible nature of independent work will enable many workers who have been previously unable to obtain full-time work e.g. caregivers, mature students to enter into temporary or part-time working arrangements that suit their needs. Aside from redressing accessibility issues, increased participation in the workforce will boost productivity and in turn generate more economic value. The potential of this untapped talent is enormous – McKinsey researchers have projected that engaging only a small fraction of currently inactive workers could raise global GDP by US$1.3 trillion – making the case for broadening workforce participation opportunities even more compelling.
Asset-Light Business Leaves Investors with Little to Lose
With the exception of GigxGlobal, our digital platform, our business mainly runs on human capital instead of capital assets. This helps keep our maintenance costs low and profit margins high. In the event of a major business disruption, not having to spend much on asset maintenance will also make us better-positioned to adapt to financial challenges without significantly impacting shareholder returns.
Diversified Income Sources That Will Only Increase in the Future
We have multiple streams of income from our online and offline services, which limits our shareholders’ risk exposure if any one of these venture experiences financial difficulties.
|GigxGlobal Digital Platform||
|Corporate Human Capital Management Services||
|Services for Talent||
Virtual Events. We plan to host virtual events such as webinars, virtual masterclasses, and gig talks featuring corporate heavyweights as well as talent registered on GigxGlobal e.g. industry leaders on the future of business, legal experts updating employers on the newest changes to employment law. These virtual programs will be open to members of the public, who may attend for a fee. Interested individuals who were unable to attend will be able to purchase digital recordings of these virtual forums and webinars on our website.
We are also looking into expanding our platform to include a repository of labor market and future of work-related publications for the public to browse through and purchase.
B2B Business Model Helps Us Obtain More Value from GigxGlobal Users
We attract talent and corporations to the GigxGlobal digital platform using our affordable, tiered subscription plans. Once they sign up, the AI algorithm will analyze their profiles and besides matching them to the right gig work it will also recommend offline services e.g. consultancy and coaching to them based on their requirements and preferences, increasing the likelihood that our online users will go on to purchase our offline services. We will be able to earn additional revenue from existing users with very little extra effort, which will be passed down to investors in the form of higher returns.
Highly Scalable Business Model Maximizes Our Growth Potential
The virtual nature of the GigxGlobal platform means that it can be easily adapted to cater to users in foreign markets e.g. by adding language options. It is just as easy for us to introduce our offline talent development and management services in other countries – it is possible by hiring experts with the relevant skills, preferably via our own platform.
With this advantage, we plan to expand our operations to cover all emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern regions by 2024. As we expand while maintaining low fixed costs, our profits will only continue to grow, maximizing returns for shareholders who opt to invest early.
A Shift Towards Freelance or Fractional Talent
According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), independent professionals are increasingly being valued as a source of scarce talent and expertise by companies that require specific skill sets to complete important projects. In line with the findings from BCG, 40% of employers in a 2018 survey conducted by Ernst & Young expected to hire more independent talent within the next 5 years. The rising demand for freelancers will undoubtedly lead to increased usage of on-demand work platforms, bringing us more recognition, business, and revenue.
Increasing Uptake of Human Capital Management (HCM) Software in Two Key Markets
HCM software refers to software that is designed to support various HR functions, from payroll management to recruitment. The industry is projected to expand at a double-digit CAGR over the next 3 years in two of our key markets: Asia-Pacific (13.7%) and the Middle East (12.2%) – good news for us as we seek to promote GigxGlobal, our digital recruitment platform, in emerging markets across both regions.
Few Direct Competitors Offering Our Comprehensive Range of Services
While gig platforms abound worldwide, many do not possess our widespread appeal for two main reasons: they either focus on only one industry e.g. UpCounsel is only for legal services; or one country e.g. many Korean and Japanese platforms are not available in English. The few platforms that cater to multiple countries and industries still cannot be considered direct competitors as they do not provide value-added offline consulting and integrated services like us. This gives us plenty of room to grow and dominate the market with our unique combination of convenience and expertise.
Even if some of our indirect competitors seek to capitalize on our success by expanding their services, they face high barriers to entry as they lack our domain expertise and network of hard-earned contacts who will gladly support us as we expand our operations. It will take them a long time to accumulate experience and grow their own network of contacts, affording us extra time to enhance our services to always stay one step ahead.
We seek RM1.5million in funding to:
Maintain and Enhance Our Platform with Deep Learning and Predictive Capabilities. We need to maintain GigxGlobal to ensure that it runs smoothly without inconveniencing users. We are also engaging IT development experts to integrate additional services into the platform as well as finetune the embedded AI algorithm to make it even faster and more accurate.
Expand Marketing Efforts. We are working hard to drive companies and talent to sign up for GigxGlobal. Extra funding will enable us to design better marketing-communications plans to reach out to more prospective users and clients.
Cover Operational Costs. We require a small team to manage and operate the company who will need to be remunerated to maintain our business.
1. IPO on Bursa Malaysia
2. Merger / acquisition by larger company
Pioneering the transition to the future of work by ensuring the right talent is in the right job at the right time.
- Accurately matching independent talent to businesses that require their expertise.
- Advising businesses on building a skilled, agile workforce that responds effectively to challenges.
- Equipping talent with the skills, knowledge, and mindset they require to excel in their career.
- Supporting talent with additional services that enhance their personal and financial wellbeing.
Experienced Founders with Considerable Domain Expertise and Outstanding Track Records
Our all-women founding team has overcome many obstacles to reach the pinnacle of their careers. Whether it is juggling work and family responsibilities or challenging workplace biases breaking all glass ceilings to be leaders in their own right. Their accomplishments today are a testament to their tenacity in the face of hardship. Having broken so many barriers, they are now concentrating their efforts on one goal: to make Sorga Innovation Sdn. Bhd. an international success.
Shareen Shariza Dato’ Abdul Ghani, Founder and CEO.
- Shareen is a University of Cambridge alumni who has held many top government positions, including a stint as the director of corporate responsibility at Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the Malaysian sovereign development fund. She was then promoted to be the CEO of Talent Corporation Malaysia (Talentcorp), a government agency that focuses on nurturing future talent to serve the nation in key economic growth sectors.
- At Talentcorp, Shareen was responsible for developing the 2018-2020 National Talent Blueprint for the Future of Work. In the development process, she encountered many labor market experts who informed her that on-demand jobs would play an important role in the future of work, which inspired her to think about preparing the local workforce for a future where full-time work is no longer the dominant option.
- After her tenure at Talentcorp ended, Shareen worked with Zuraidah, her colleague and close friend at Talentcorp, to found Sorga Innovation Sdn. Bhd., the company behind GigxGlobal. She is eager to help talent and corporations alike to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Zuraidah Mian, Co-Founder and CSO.
- Zuraidah worked with Shareen at Khazanah Nasional and Talentcorp for many years. Prior to founding Sorga Innovation Sdn. Bhd. with Shareen, Zuraidah led Talentcorp’s Strategic Planning and Management Unit, where she was in charge of the effort to bring Malaysian expatriates back to contribute to the local economy.
- Zuraidah, like Shareen, is passionate about encouraging talent and corporations to embrace newer, more effective working arrangements that have the potential to revolutionize the world of work. She looks forward to planning and implementing effective marketing and expansion strategies that will win prospective clients over.
Dato’ Munirah Looi, Co-Founder and CBDO.
- Dato’ Munirah is the founder and CEO of Brandt International, a company that specializes in customer experience consulting and business transformation outsourcing. In recognition of her accomplishments, her profile has been included in the International Who’s Who of Professionals, a guide to the most prominent figures in each industry. She is also a life member of the International Society of Business Leaders, an organization comprised of industry leaders all across the world.
- Dato' Munirah is also the Top Nominee for the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2018 and awarded “10 Best Inspiring CEOs of 2020” by Industry-Era.
- With her proven business acumen, Dato’ Munirah is more than qualified to handle all business development responsibilities. She will work closely with Zuraidah to develop and execute innovative expansion strategies that will give us an edge over our competitors.
Kartina Abdul Latiff, Co-Founder and CHRO.
- Kartina is a HR professional with over 20 years of experience advising firms in various industries. Before joining Sorga Innovation Sdn. Bhd., she was a senior executive director at PwC Malaysia, where she was lauded for her project management skills.
- We trust Kartina to source the best talent that will bring our company to new heights. She will also play an integral role in creating a positive work culture, monitoring staff well-being, and training promising young staff to prepare them for leadership roles.
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