How they’re simplifying HR tasks with localized automation tools

First published on techinasia.com on 20 Nov 2018.

This article is part of Tech in Asia’s partnership with The Jay Kim Show where we publish the revised transcripts from the show’s podcast interviews with top entrepreneurs. This is heavily revised from the original show transcripts. For the full interview, go here.

Pascal Henry is the co-founder and CEO of HReasily, a Singapore-based HR tech startup that provides HR solutions, such as payroll processing, leave management, and claims application, on a SaaS platform. They now operate across several countries in Asia.

Henry and I talk about how the different modules of HReasily help businesses and what their future plans are.

01 Could you share your background and how you ended up being an entrepreneur?

I was born and raised in Sabah, and then I eventually found myself in London in my early 20s. I started a recruitment company after working various jobs across Asia and Europe.

When I was running my startup in Singapore, I had to manually do a lot of the processes myself. I felt the pain and especially the drain of what it took out of me when I should have been focusing on building my business.

So, I looked for solutions to help me, but I realized that there was a gap in the market. I thought about it a lot and discussed it with who would eventually become my co-founders. As with all good ideas, the decision to do HReasily was made over beers, and the rest is history.

02 What does your company actually do?

We’re a cloud-based HR SaaS company whose mission is to innovate and automate HR processes throughout the region.

Our modules cover payroll, staff management, leaves, contract templates, and attendance monitoring. We started out with just the tools for payroll and leaves, but now we have a total of seven products and modules. We will also be releasing a module for scheduling next year.

03 How do you solve the gap in the traditional HR landscape?

A lot of businesses use local solutions that look after a particular silo in an HR department. So, you have one system to manage payroll, one to manage leaves, and another to manage some other component. You then have to log in and out of many systems, which cost a bomb.

So, we built an affordable software that integrates with all the modules. Everything works on a single platform, so the HR department won’t have to go through several Excel files and software.

04 What are the different services that you provide?

Payroll Easily takes care of all the calculations and the mandatory government contributions. So, we localize this service in each country, integrating with fund portals. It also does tax filing.

Staff Easily gives you a repository of staff information (profiles, employment histories, etc.). Leave Easily tracks leaves and public holidays and integrates directly with the payroll module.

Claims Easily goes hand in hand with the payroll module, as claims are usually processed alongside salary. But users can opt to use this module as a standalone product if they wish to process claims outside of the normal payroll cycle.

Among its interesting features, Time Easily can consume data from legacy hardware, like thumbprint machines or bundy clocks, and automatically push it to the payroll module.

Lastly, the contract module comes with Staff Easily for free. It lets business owners add or remove clauses and digitally generate contracts.

We have an employee app as well, where employees can log in via the web or mobile app and check their payslips anytime. They can also clock in and out or apply for leaves and claims from there.

05 Could you run us through the business model?

We run monthly or yearly subscriptions, depending on how customers want to go about the billing.

We also give free products. For example, in each country that we’re in, we have a lighter version of the payroll module to help businesses adhere to government rules and regulations. The premium version of that includes add-ons like leaves and attendance monitoring.

We are also launching our staff benefits platform next year, where employees can acquire company or group insurance and apply for better loans.

06 What are some of your goals for HReasily’s expansion?

We’re currently in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia. We’ve just pre-launched in Vietnam, where we will have a fully localized version in January 2019.

The next direction we’re looking at is China, as we have a lot of customers who have expanded into the country. To go there, we’ll need to work with partners, like our existing UOB Bank, Visa, Citibank, Mazars, Nova Hong Kong, and Apple, who help us with localization.

07 What’s one piece of advice you could share from your entrepreneurial journey?

From the losses and wins that I’ve made over the years, I realize that when you build something, you always build toward an objective. That can become blurry as you go along. So, at the end of the day, you have to know your customer. Know who you’re selling to.

If you don’t have that focus, you might execute toward the wrong target. I think that basic principle of knowing your customer is really important.