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Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig


Hello and welcome to Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig, where I interview entrepreneurs doing startups across borders and the investors who support them, with a focus on companies that have some relationship to Latin America.

Jun 24, 2020

Maya Dadoo, Worky: Revolutionizing the HR Industry for Mexican SMEs, Ep 107

In Mexico, SME employees rotate at a rate of ~60% per year! With about 20M Mexicans working in this sector, this means 12M are switching jobs on a yearly basis. It’s amazing companies can get anything done! Coming from a background in chemical engineering, Maya Dadoo has always had a passion for making processes more efficient. When she noticed a problem in Mexico’s HR industry that was hindering talent growth in SMEs, Maya decided to look for an innovative solution. 

 

In 2018, Maya founded Worky, an all-in-one HR software built for Mexican SMEs. Maya and her partner discovered that one of the main reasons employee retention is so problematic in Mexico is the lack of employee benefits in SMEs. Today, Worky closed a $3M round led by QED Investors and LEAP Global Partners, and is helping over 170 companies encourage financial health in employees and streamline their HR operations.

 

In this episode, I sit down with Maya to talk about why HR is a huge opportunity in Latin America, and how employee benefits in Mexico differ from the US. We also discuss her decision to focus on HR and how she transitioned from the corporate world into entrepreneurship. 

Replacing Excel in Mexico

 

According to Maya, traditional SMEs in Mexico won’t hire an HR manager until they hit the 30-employee mark. Until then, HR processes such as hiring and firing staff are usually the task of a CEO or an assistant. On top of that, they are working with about 12 Excel spreadsheets on average, resulting in a highly inefficient process. Through its innovative software, Worky aims to help companies be more strategic in their operations.

 

Learn more about the problems Worky is trying to solve in Mexico’s HR industry in this episode of Crossing Borders.

Working at eBay

 

After becoming a chemical engineer, Maya worked in consulting for a few years and then chose to go to business school at Stanford. She soon realized that she needed to gain work experience in tech in order to keep up with the industry’s changing environment. Then, Maya landed a job at eBay that introduced her to the tech industry and hit the ground running.

 

Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders to learn more about how Maya’s experience working at eBay inspired her to get into tech.

The perks of being a CEO

During her years working in the corporate world, Maya operated with a lot of independence but felt distant from where the decisions were being made. She explains that consultants don’t usually execute strategies, and therefore miss out on the feedback and the iterative processes that follow. Becoming a CEO was an attractive option for Maya for that reason. As CEO of Worky, she gets to tap into different parts of an organization and actively take part in optimizing solutions.

 

Check out this episode of Crossing Borders to find out why Maya chose to become CEO for a startup in the HR sector.

 

Maya Dadoo brings her knack for problem-solving to the HR sector in Mexico. She is helping SMEs reduce employee rotation and encourage the development of talent in Mexico with Worky’s solution. 

 

Outline of this episode:

 

  • [1:12] - About Worky
  • [2:23] - Reality of SMEs in Latam
  • [5:52] - First experience in tech
  • [8:58] - From corporate to CEO
  • [10:30] - Choosing HR tech
  • [13:05] - insights on the Mexican HR market
  • [15:24] - Payroll loans market 
  • [20:30] - Reacting to COVID-19
  • [23:04] - Worky’s fundraising journey
  • [25:30] - Recommendations on books, blogs, or podcasts
  • [25:57] - What’s next for Worky?

 

Resources & people mentioned: