Data Direct Group urges UAE private sector to hire more local talent

BPO organisation Data Direct Group’s call center.

Top BPO organisation boasts good track record as government efforts for Emiratisation start bearing results

Press Release

August 6, 2023


Dubai– Dubai-based leading BPO organisation Data Direct Group has urged the UAE’s private sector to follow the recent guidelines established by country’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) and hire more local talent to boost Emirati employment rates.

The Ministry earlier this month announced that around 79,000 UAE nationals were working in the private sector. In September 2022, UAE’s authorities set out quotas for hiring Emiratis for the first time and gave private companies deadlines to reach them.

Private sector companies with at least 50 employees needed to ensure 3 per cent of their workforce was made up of Emiratis by July 7. Four days later on July 11, MoHRE announced a new update to the rules, whereby private companies with 20 to 49 employees are now included in the government’s Emiratisation drive with the new rules now applicable to companies across 14 economic sectors including property, education, construction and health care.

“This is the time to infuse the current market with a great new talent pool that is homegrown and localised. Emirati employment rate is projected to increase to 10 per cent in 2026 with a steady growth every year and it is the time for private businesses of the country to step up by reaching targets laid down by the MoHRE,” said Rajiv Dalmia, the chairman and founder of Data Direct Group that today employs close to 1,500 professionals from over 25 nationalities working in four countries.

“We achieved outstanding results in going beyond to fulfill the government’s targets for hiring Emirati talent. A major part of that success is due to the fact that Emiratisation has always been a part of our role to keep local clients happy while enhancing the customer experience.”

As part of the company’s commitment to support the nation’s vision and foster local talent, Data Direct been implementing strategic initiatives since the company’s inception in 2002, and much before the UAE government started ‘customer happiness centres’ across the country to serve the local population. An internal audit by DDG after the first half of 2023 has shown staff representation among Emiratis at nearly 5-7 times the minimum required, especially in certain departments.

“We do not see Emiratisation as a minimum quota to achieve just for the sake of representation,” added Dalmia. “The more the merrier, and there is a constant endeavour to seek out local talent first before we look at other options.”

Elaborating on the MoHRE data, recruitment consultancy Qureos has said sectors such as business services (14% growth year on year), construction (13%), and commerce and repair services (10%) are among the new frontrunners in Emirati hiring, coming neck-to-neck with the traditional BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) sector. Data Direct serves many clients in the services and banking sector.

Qureos data also suggests a massive 75% increase in college enrolment for banking studies. The graduates are due to be incorporated in the near future where the HR departments of companies such as Data Direct stand to benefit. “Employees within our team setup and familiar with the work culture at Data Direct Group provide good referrals to future employees. References are our best sources for talent,” said Nona Sharma, HR head at DDG.

“The accomplishment in surpassing Emiratisation targets is a testament to our commitment to the UAE’s socio-economic growth and vision for a prosperous future. By empowering local talent, we also strengthen our own organisational capabilities.”

DDG has been working with many government entities to enhance the customer experience during interactions. Meanwhile, the rise of Gulf countries’ economies has also seen a surge in hiring local talent. “A collaboration with Talabat in Bahrain, for instance, has happened due to our track record on this and their requirements to keep 100% staff local. In Oman, it is 80% of our strength while the highly cosmopolitan nature of UAE means we have about 35-40 locals who cater to clients, including key government agencies. Having talented local colleagues is not tokenism for us. They are, in fact, the guiding light for us in many cases,” Dalmia added.



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