On the back of its latest round of funding, Alex Wicks (pictured), Founder and CEO of Kargo, a Myanmar-based logistics startup, spoke exclusively to Human Resources Online on the importance of HR in a growing firm, the top talent trend in Myanmar, and more.
Q As an SME, at what stage did you realise the importance of HR?
As a startup business, the founder and management are involved every step of the way; which is crucial in the early stages of development. Establishing the right culture and people for maximum growth is essential. As soon as we identified that we were growing, we realised the value of HR. It was important that we focused on our most excellent resource - the employee.
Q Being a growing company, and with a new round of funding, what are your people plans moving forward, and how are you looking to achieve it?
As a growing company we have regular company standup meetings; a constructive learning opportunity for our employees. All departments come together and brainstorm about finances, technology, marketing, fleet, operations, business development and regulatory issues.
Education is important. Hence, we have a flexible work schedule to ensure employees can continue working their full-time jobs while they progress in their education.
Kargo is even planning to introduce a tuition reimbursement benefit in 2019. We also have in-house resources that’ll get the job done as well as on-the-job training. The management and senior staff are well trained and train employees to expand on their skills.
We also tracks career progress, KPIs and performance appraisals for both the company's and employees' benefit. This in conjunction with a company-wide bonus scheme warrants that staff are aligned with the company’s vision and mission to achieve goals.
I n the long run, we also look at engagement, collaboration, internal knowledge-sharing and rewards that promote personal and company growth rather than individual interests.
Q What is the number one talent trend in Myanmar now?
Although proving to be difficult, a current HR trend in Myanmar is localisation.
Most companies are trying to localise senior roles and companies that are proceeding with this are starting to realise there is a lack of talent locally for these roles.
This isn’t to say that locals aren't capable of taking on these roles. Instead, that they haven’t had the time to advance in their experience to the same level that expats applying for the same position have.
About Kargo and its latest round of funding
In end April, the Myanmar-based logistics startup announced a USD800k pre-series A financing round led by Cocoon Capital, a Singapore-based, early-stage venture capital fund alongside two business angels.
Founded in 2016 by Alex Wicks, Kargo is the first online transportation service in Myanmar to easily connect independent truck drivers, fleet owners, third-party logistics and commercial logistics providers directly with businesses needing reliable and trackable distribution and delivery.
The company's comprehensive web and mobile app as well as a state-of-the art logistics platform creates an end-to-end infrastructure for organising both short and long haul trucking, benefitting both truck drivers and shippers.
Earlier in March, Kargo entered a partnership with Yoma Bank, Myanmar’s leading commercial bank, to join the Unsecured SME Financing Scheme.
With this influx of funds, Wicks and his team aim to facilitate and implement unprecedented same-day payments to truck drivers on the Kargo platform, boosting their ability to grow their driver and user base and manage invoices.
Photo / provided