Dubai-based tech company Careem is defying the trend of shrinking workforces in the technology industry as it seeks to expand its Super App offerings in Pakistan, Jordan, and Egypt. With dozens of open engineering roles, Careem aims to tap into local expertise and address the unique challenges faced in various markets.
Nourhan Farhat, Chief of Staff and Acting Head of People at Careem, highlighted the importance of hiring employees who understand the local market and the daily dilemmas customers encounter. She explained, “They know the market, they know what we’re trying to solve for, and they understand the day-to-day challenges.”
To counter the brain drain phenomenon, where well-educated professionals leave the region for job opportunities elsewhere, Careem is actively recruiting talent in Pakistan, Jordan, and Egypt. According to Stephen Kruger, Chief Technology Officer at Careem, universities in these countries produce around 90,000 software engineers annually, but there is a shortage of mid-sized tech companies for them to join.
Careem’s engineering centers already employ over 600 tech professionals, with more than half of its engineering organization based in Pakistan, Jordan, and Egypt. These regions play a vital role in Careem’s plans to expand its Super App. The recent acquisition of a majority stake in Careem’s Super App by UAE telecoms company e& for $400 million further reinforces the company’s growth prospects.
The Super App, available in 80 cities across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, offers localized services such as food and grocery delivery, digital payments and remittances, and third-party services like home cleaning. Careem’s co-founder and CEO, Mudassir Sheikha, emphasized the company’s dynamic culture and hands-on learning approach, stating, “We iterate our operating model, business strategy, and ways of working all the time.”
Sheikha also advised potential applicants that Careem does not offer a conventional “comfortable 9 to 5” job with predictable routines. As a start-up at heart, Careem invests its resources in growth opportunities and customer experience rather than extravagant office spaces.
Careem’s expansion and commitment to hiring local talent signify its determination to address market-specific challenges and create a seamless Super App experience for its diverse customer base.