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Celebrating 10 years of PeopleFirst – Managing Director, Asma Bajawa


Ten years ago, when I set up PeopleFirst, I had no idea where our first piece of work was going to come from; I took a leap of faith and trusted my instincts!

asma-bwTen years on, PeopleFirst has established itself as a trusted brand that is now one of the leading HR consultancies in the region and has recently been recognized as ‘Highly Commended’ by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) in the category for Best HR Consultancy in the 2017 People Management Awards. This accolade is a dream come true and has been achieved through hard work, commitment and a shared passion ‘to be the best’ by everyone that has been part of our team over the past ten years. Therefore, I would like to start by thanking everyone who has contributed to PeopleFirst since its inception. Each of you has made a unique and significant contribution to our journey of achievement, success and continuous development, and I am confident that this experience would have contributed equally to your journey of personal and professional growth.

I would like to also reflect and thank every client we have worked with so far. As a boutique consultancy we have exceeded all expectations and have had the privilege of working with many high-profile clients on significant benchmark projects giving us unparalleled exposure to build our brand reputation. A special word must go out to some of our very first clients like Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies and Omantel who placed trust in us and took somewhat of a risk in working with us as a new start up. I am pleased to say that this trust has paid off resulting in positive results for our clients and a platform for PeopleFirst to demonstrate its passion, technical expertise and unique approach; something that sets us apart from our competitors even today. I would like to celebrate the diversity of clients we have worked with and the success we have attained in key projects like AMMROC, Oman Airports, Saudi Electricity and KEF Holdings just to name a few.

Despite the very challenging, ‘roller-coaster’, economic landscape and competitive environment of the past decade, PeopleFirst has remained steadfast and has emerged as a trusted, reliable, long term business partner for its clients, which come from a very diverse range of industry sectors. Over the past ten years we have gained extensive knowledge and insights into multiple industries, having worked with large and small clients in government, semi government and the private sector. This exposure and our continuous endeavor to develop innovative HR solutions will undoubtedly support PeopleFirst over the next decade as we further embrace technology to enhance the employee proposition and partner with our clients to increase their bottom line by focusing on putting their ‘people first’.

I would also like to mention the extensive network of business partners and acquaintances that have supported PeopleFirst and encouraged me personally. It has been such an honour to engage with so many well-wishers and of course, being selected as a a finalist for Emirates Woman of the year in the visionaries’ category was the icing on the cake as PeopleFirst was my vision!

I look forward to the next decade and our contribution to the development of HR skills in the region and beyond. Going forward, I hope to strengthen our focus on supporting communities around us through exclusive programmes like ‘Leaders for Tomorrow’ which is our way of giving back to society.

Remember, it pays to put people first!

In celebrating our ten-year anniversary, we are pleased to share with you case studies of HR projects that PeopleFirst delivered for three high-profile clients. The case studies are presented in short videos and can be viewed here: