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Startup Spotlight: Predixa Is Helping Companies Across The UAE Unlock The Financial Value Of Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Helping companies realize the social, as well as financial value associated with achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion forms the crux of Predixa's mission.

By Aalia Mehreen Ahmed Edited by Aby Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Paula Newby, founder and CEO, Predixa

This article is part of an ongoing series covering startups that have been a part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) accelerator program.

The recurring conversations about the need for gender diversity in the corporate world have often highlighted how achieving it is not just a social feat, but one that can lead to impressive growths in business-related metrics as well. In fact, as per an article published by the World Economic Forum, gender diverse companies have shown a 48% higher operating margin, a 42% higher return on sales, and a 45% higher earnings per share. For Dubai-based advisory and technology company Predixa, helping companies realize the social, as well as financial value associated with achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) forms the crux of its mission.

"Our Predixa Dynamix DE&I service, using our artificial intelligence (AI)-based diagnostics, enables our clients to effectively 'hit the ground running,' and achieve rapid analysis to rapid execution, so that they can focus on achieving the social and financial value they seek," says Paula Newby, founder and CEO of Predixa. "We gather internal employee data and external customer, supplier, partner, and investor data in a unique, fast, and innovative way. We correlate this data with the company's hard data, i.e. their key performance metrics. The way we thus analyze and present the data is truly unique- we do this in a meaningful and intuitive way that tells a story, without resorting to weighty reports."

According to Newby, while DE&I is a goal worth chasing for businesses, there are two main issues that hinder fully achieving it: gathering large amounts of internal and external data related to a given company, and the subsequent large-scale data analysis. "Both issues take enormous time, effort, and cost if traditional means are used," Newby explains. "However, the beauty of our application and approach is that it can be used regularly for benchmarking and measurement of key metrics from one period to another, adding further value for our clients. DE&I is not just about social change, and the main problem that we are solving for business leaders is to enable them to achieve both social and financial value from their DE&I strategy and implementation."

Jordan Imrran, founder and Head of Technology, Predixa. Source: Predixa

As a business, Predixa targets mid-to-large sized companies to sign up for subscription contracts that generate an annual recurring revenue for the startup. While its focus is currently on companies across all sectors in the GCC and the UK, the startup hopes for its services to soon be adopted in the US as well as parts of Europe towards the end of this year. "We have our first clients secured in the UK, with it being one of the largest health authorities in the country," Newby reveals. "In the UAE, our early adopters are companies like PwC, CX Group, IRE FZE, and Ennoventure. We have also secured a partnership with a global construction and retail organization with a large worldwide consulting division that provides advisory services for workforce management. They will be using Predixa's diagnostics to spearhead their consulting assignments."

Related: Paving The Way For Organizational Success With Diversity And Inclusion

Now, while gender diversity and inclusion is still a globally prevalent issue, Newby and her founding team of Zag Asghar, Kirsten Westholter, and Jordan Imran have been very mindful of incorporating the many cultural sensitivities and societal nuances typical of the GCC region into Predixa's services. "In addition, our DE&I service aligns with the United Nations' 7 Women's Empowerment Principles, which is a world-first," Newby says. "We have also launched a Nationalization Index, which helps organizations to meet their reporting requirements such as Emiratization in UAE, and also provides an index for training and development, plus well-being in the workforce, for Emirati employees."

Kirsten Westholter, founder and Head of Consulting, Predixa. Source: Predixa

At this point, it is perhaps worth mentioning that Predixa's founding team comprises a diverse group of individuals, and that the company places firm emphasis on practicing what they preach. "As founders of Predixa, we all share a strong belief system with values such as integrity, honesty, respect, and openness," Newby says. "We nurture an inclusive culture ourselves where everyone can express ideas and opinions freely, which is very important to us and to the success of our company, as we expand our workforce and keep our team diverse and our culture inclusive. Only then, magic happens, and innovation thrives!"

And for the Predixa team to be able to propagate the vision they believe in, Dubai has been an ideal destination, says Newby. "Being such a wonderful melting pot of ethnicities and races, Dubai provides excellent collaborative intercultural scope for those who embrace the unique opportunities." And it is in the city of Dubai that Predixa also gained support in the form of the MBRIF accelerator program. "Through the MBRIF program, we were able to tailor it for our specific needs, and not to just run through a standard 'one-size-fits-all' that others were offering," Newby says. "With the MBRIF being a UAE federal initiative, there is potential for us to get visibility at a national level in the UAE. The program also comes with an opportunity for very attractive debt finance options with Emirates Development Bank (without giving up equity), if we decide not to go down the investor route."

Zag Asghar, founder and Managing Partner, Predixa. Source: Predixa

As for the road ahead, the fully self-funded startup is keeping a keen eye out for new trends that could aid its cause. "We are already researching some interesting concepts that could really enhance our current value proposition for our target market, and would even trigger future value propositions, which include digital twins and reporting in the metaverse, for example," says Newby. "However, our immediate focus is on winning more deals and to continue gaining traction. We aim to expand our reach with DE&I, and also expand into the sustainability market, which is already a growing market segment. As we collect anonymized data, we aim to become a leader in providing reliable DE&I benchmarks with more substance than other external data currently available."

Related: Startup Spotlight: AI-Based Platform Metanoa Is Enabling The Early Diagnosis Of Learning Disorders In Children

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed

Features Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed is the Features Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East.

She is an MBA (Finance) graduate with past experience in the corporate sector, and was also co-founder of CyberSWIFTT- an anti-cyberbullying campaign that ran from 2017-2018 as part of the e7: Daughters of the Emirates program.

Ahmed is particularly keen on writing stories involving people-centric leadership, female-owned startups, and entrepreneurs who've beaten significant odds to realize their goals.

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