In this edition of our Guest Interview series, we have the pleasure of speaking to Shah Fariq Aizal Sha Ghazni, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of HAUZ. HAUZ is an operational and attendance solution that works well for big organisations that allow employees to work remotely and in multiple locations. Conceived and developed in Malaysia, HAUZ gives business owners the chance to streamline their business processes through the HAUZ platform.
Hi there, Fariq. Thanks for taking the time to speak to us. Could you begin by telling us a little about Hauz?
Hi! Happy to be here. HAUZ is a workforce management solution that focuses on helping SMEs in the service industry to kickstart their digital journey in managing their mobile workforce. Our solution streamlines and automated their day-to-day operation processes (attendance, operation reporting, track and monitor activities) so that business owner can now focus on what matters the most in growing their business and leaving the administrative work to us.
How was Hauz conceived? Was it from trying to solve a problem that you saw in the industry?
I wanted to make an impact, to make a change on how people work. Di-Yan and I began to have constant meetings with SME business owners from service industry on the complications the industry faces in not only tracking their mobile workforce but also ensuring that they report to work every day. We spent countless late nights trying to figure out how can we make operations in these businesses more efficient. This is a dilemma managing a mobile workforce with rotational shifts. It just super hard to monitor.
How and when was Hauz set up?
We started working on it in 2018 and in 2019 the app is ready for the market. Since then, the company grew with a team of 10. I left my corporate job to do this full-time and our idea known as HAUZ has turned into a viable business after getting clients from various sectors such as security, constructions, facilities management, HR outsourcing, pest control, f&b and many more.
What kind of challenges or setbacks did you encounter at the beginning?
Getting our solution to be validated from the service industry. It’s wasn’t easy to do this when you don’t have any client referrals. However, we made it possible due to our attractive features and pricing models. Most of our earlier clients are from the security industry. From there on, our focus has broadened to creating a workforce management solution that could apply any industry’s operations.
Who benefits the most from using Hauz’s solutions, and what advantages does Hauz offer them?
SMEs that engage with mobile workers. Be it in Malaysia or regionally. SMEs could leverage HAUZ solution to minimise time spent on unproductive administrative and operations manual tasks. The advantages range from digital attendance, smart timesheet, snap and send reporting, scheduling, workforce analytics and many more.
What do you think is the future of Hauz in Malaysia? And what kind of role will Hauz play in that future?
We are working on several partnerships to scale our business growth and from what we see throughout this 2020 is that Malaysia SMEs are slowly catching up on digitalising their business operations. Our role as a workforce management solution is to do 3 things – innovate, facilitate and accelerate.
When we innovate, we create a new wave of SMEs and build a data culture from that. We then facilitate this growth by assisting SMEs in their digital adoption journey. From there, we provide the right solutions to assist SMEs accelerate their digitalisation.
Hauz seems to have a really capable team! In terms of finding and retaining talent, what are some of the practices that Hauz employs?
Thank you. It’s not easy to look for people that have the same vision as me and Di-Yan. A big part of how we manage to do this is that we actively looking for the right individuals for each role that available and I would say most of them are passionate of what we’re building at HAUZ.
Would you say you do things differently than most companies in Malaysia?
Yup. We definitely do things differently for the business development and product development team. I would say the whole 2020 was a great experiment for us to try a lot of new strategies for business and most of it are from our team members efforts.