Souqalmal Launches MoneyDoctor, A Financial Education Program For Companies In The UAE To Offer To Their Employees
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Souqalmal, a Dubai-based financial comparison aggregator, has launched MoneyDoctor, a financial education program that companies in the UAE can offer to their employees so that they may learn how to have better control over their finances.
As an online program currently comprising of nine modules, MoneyDoctor was put together by Souqalmal founder and CEO Ambareen Musa and her team after noting how companies in the UAE were reaching out to them for help with educating their employees on managing their financial stresses over the course of the COVID-19 crisis.
Musa points out a 2021 survey from PwC that noted 63% of employees polled in the US felt that their financial stress has increased since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and this is something she perceived in people living in the UAE as well.
“Employers and CEOs have been calling me to ask for help,” Musa revealed. “To my surprise, it was not the usual call about digital marketing or insurtech that they needed help with; it was about helping their employees manage their finances.”
These business leaders told Musa that the financial stress their employees was facing was affecting their productivity levels as well, and unless it was dealt with properly, they’d have to be let go- which would have only exacerbated the problem at hand.
“As we saw the concerns of many employers and their requests for help, we decided to launch the first ever financial wellness program for employees,” Musa explained. “This would allow employers to invest in improving their employees’ financial health, and therefore decrease the level of stress both at home and at work.”
Ambareen Musa, founder and CEO, Souqalmal.
MoneyDoctor runs through a range of topics that includes everything from how people can go about budgeting for their households, to the key points to keep in mind when making significant purchases, like, say, a car or a property in the UAE. Featuring a combination of videos, presentations, and downloadable tools and calculators, Musa describes MoneyDoctor as “an encyclopedia of managing your finances in the UAE.”
“We built MoneyDoctor in a way where it becomes the repository of financial education for employees across the year,” Musa said. “All the content is localized to the UAE with the rules and regulations. We did not want to build a course that would add even more stress to the employees, but a program where the information is there, and the tools are there for them to access 24/7. The program will be kept up to date with new updated info as when new regulations come out, as well as new modules- and a budgeting app is coming along soon too.”
Souqalmal is currently offering MoneyDoctor as a platform that companies can subscribe to on a monthly basis, with the cost subject to the number of employees it would be accessed by. When asked about why organizations should invest in such an initiative, Musa replies by noting how ensuring employees’ financial wellness is essentially an investment in their overall wellbeing- much like a fitness or health program that companies typically offer their staff.
“A recent 2021 PWC survey shows that 71% of employees would move to another company if they felt that the other company cared more about their financial wellbeing,” Musa said. “I think as a CEO, unless you start looking at all aspects of wellbeing at the office, there is a high chance that in the near future, you may lose very good people.”
Musa also pointed out that MoneyDoctor is not a platform that’s catered to only people who are under financial stress- it’s a program that has something of value to provide all employees within a company.
“This is not just a program to manage your money or get out of debt,” Musa explained. “If you are looking for a house, for example, the whole module goes through the process of purchasing a house, the real cost of it, the list of all governmental and non-governmental costs, the list of expenses that are negotiable and those that are not, the process of going through transferring the property, and the scams one needs to be aware of. So, the program applies to everyone in the office, whatever income level or stage of life they may be at. You do not need to be struggling with debt to educate yourself about your finances!”