Change has come to HR and pay­roll soft­ware

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS AS USUAL -

No com­pany is spared from the pain of pay­roll prepa­ra­tion. All com­pa­nies, big or small, have to wres­tle with mun­dane but im­por­tant con­cerns such as manag­ing at­ten­dance and pay­roll – a te­dious process that en­tails track­ing each em­ployee’s work­ing hours, ad­just­ing for leaves, hol­i­days, over­time, and govern­ment fil­ings such as taxes and so­cial se­cu­rity. De­spite ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy, many Filipino firms still do this man­u­ally. This eats up pre­cious time and ac­cu­mu­lates count­less er­rors along the way.

Now we’re in­tro­duced to Sprout So­lu­tions, a Philip­pine- based SaaS ( Soft­ware as a Ser­vice) startup that aims to help emerg­ing mar­ket en­ter­prises with their HR and pay­roll needs.

Driv­ing Sprout are Alexan­dria Ag­bayani Gen­try, head of prod­uct and Pa­trick Gen­try, co- founder, CEO, and in­ci­den­tally, her hus­band. To­gether, they have trans­formed Sprout from a side project to a prof­itable cut­ting- edge soft­ware com­pany with over 2,000 sign ups and over 50 en­ter­prise clients.

Up un­til 2014, Pay­roll Pie and HR Hub were just in­ter­nal tools used by the KMC Group of Com­pa­nies, of which Pa­trick was a found­ing share­holder. KMC MAG and KMC So­lu­tions were fast-grow­ing real es­tate and BPO com­pa­nies that needed a cloud-based pay­roll sys­tem lo­cal­ized for the Philip­pine set­ting.

Lack­ing good op­tions in the mar­ket, they de­cided to build their own, which jump­started the be­gin­nings of Sprout. At that time, Alex was still work­ing in Saperium, a cus­tom soft­ware de­vel­op­ment com­pany headed by ex- Mi­crosoft ex­ec­u­tive, John Lauer. Alex helped grow Saperium from an idea to an elite soft­ware shop hir­ing only the top one per­cent of devel­op­ers in the coun­try.

Un­der the men­tor­ship of John, who in his Mi­crosoft days was re­port­ing di­rectly to Bill Gates then Steve Ballmer, Alex learned the in­tri­ca­cies of build­ing self-or­ga­niz­ing ag­ile de­vel­op­ment teams, de­sign­ing in­tu­itive user ex­pe­ri­ences, ship­ping high-qual­ity prod­ucts that are on time and on bud­get, and cre­at­ing a com­pany cul­ture with zero turnover for three con­sec­u­tive years.

When Alex got preg­nant with their sec­ond child, she de­cided that it was time for her to be a full- time wife and mother and left Saperium. Pa­trick, on the other hand, was start­ing to get ob­sessed with the idea that Sprout sys­tems needed to be shared with other busi­nesses to help them au­to­mate their pro­cesses. De­ter­mined to val­i­date the mar­ket, he started beat­ing the streets of Manila to look for their first cus­tomers, and so­licited Alex’s ex­per­tise to re­de­velop the prod­ucts for B2B con­sump­tion.

Alex ini­tially worked pro bono, sketch­ing late at night to en­joy full- time mother­hood dur­ing the day. As the prod­ucts gained trac­tion though, the cou­ple de­cided it was time to spin off, and in­cor­po­rated Sprout as a sep­a­rate com­pany in 2015.

Since then, there has been no look­ing back for Sprout So­lu­tions, which Alex and Pa­trick con­sider as their third baby.

Sprout’s prod­ucts en­able a com­pany’s hu­man re­source de­part­ment to ease up a bit and fo­cus on more im­por­tant tasks by hav­ing a plat­form that fully au­to­mates com­plex time­keep­ing and at­ten­dance from bio­met­rics all the way down to pay­out.

Last July 2016, Alex and Pa­trick packed their bags and their kids to head off to Sil­i­con Val­ley to par­tic­i­pate in an ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gram un­der Ac­celeprise, where they are learn­ing how to scale their busi­ness fur­ther. They are cur­rently be­ing men­tored by the most ex­pe­ri­enced lead­ers in en­ter­prise soft­ware and get to see first­hand how vi­sion­ar­ies are paving the fu­ture of in­no­va­tion.

Be­ing one of the few fe­male tech­preneurs in the Val­ley, Alex is proud to bring pride to the coun­try along with the rest of her team. While there, Alex is also learn­ing the art of jug­gling work, stud­ies, and manag­ing a house­hold. She bal­ances her days with meet­ing men­tors, at­tend­ing roundta­bles, cre­at­ing great ex­pe­ri­ences for the kids, pre­par­ing healthy din­ners, laun­dry, and an at­tempt to keep the house in or­der. At night, she and Pa­trick man­age the team of 40 em­ploy­ees in Manila – hold­ing daily team or one- onone meet­ings un­til the wee hours of the morn­ing. On Satur­days, she at­tends an ad­vanced Prod­uct Man­age­ment pro­gram at The Prod­uct School. She says she’ll catch up on sleep when the pro­gram ends this com­ing Novem­ber. “We are truly liv­ing in such ex­cit­ing times. The tech­nol­ogy and busi­ness land­scapes are chang­ing so rapidly – in­stead of just ap­ply­ing best prac­tices; we are col­lec­tively build­ing them as we go along. I am, more than ever, de­ter­mined to help com­pa­nies from emerg­ing mar­kets im­prove their ef­fi­ciency, and aide in driv­ing the Philip­pine startup ecosys­tem for­ward,” con­cludes Alex.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.