Outsized announces strategic senior appointments to accelerate global expansion

Outsized, the leading talent-on-demand platform that connects top independent professionals with large enterprise clients and consulting firms across Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East, has announced a series of strategic senior appointments. These new hires will play a crucial role in strengthening Outsized’s operations and accelerating its growth strategy following a successful Series A funding round led by Knife Capital.The newly appointed senior personnel include Jannie Theron as Financial Director based in South Africa, Srikant Krishnan as the Regional Lead for MENA region based in the UAE, Frans Meyer as Senior Business Development Manager in South Africa, Nick Fofana as Senior Product Manager based in Singapore, and Ines Kracun as Product Designer based in Singapore. Each brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success in their respective fields, aligning with Outsized’s vision to revolutionise flexible workforce models globally.For the MENA region, Srikant Krishnan comes with extensive experience in fostering growth and partnerships across diverse sectors. Srikant’s previous roles include leading enterprise sales for UberEats and spearheading Partnerships and Monetization at Careem MENA. He will aim to expand Outsized’s market base, especially in key geographies such as the UAE and KSA, and into new sectors including energy, retail, and healthcare.New Appointments - OutsizedThese strategic hires, set against the backdrop of Outsized’s recent Series A funding round in October 2023, will further enable the company to expand its influence and capabilities in the global on-demand talent market, which is rapidly growing, as almost half of Fortune 500 companies use on-demand talent platforms to access highly-skilled workers.Major companies across the MENA, Asia-Pacific, and Africa regions are increasingly adopting agile workforce models to quickly respond to market demands. According to the Talent-On-Demand 2024 report from Outsized, the MENA region's on-demand talent pool possesses the highest average level of expertise, with 10.1 years, surpassing both the APAC and Africa regions."To leverage the momentum of this burgeoning market, Outsized is strategically hiring exceptional talent aligned with our core vision and, importantly, values of doing business in the right way and being a force for good in the talent market. These new additions bring invaluable expertise, empowering us to further solidify our role as a game-changer in the freelance economy across dynamic regions like Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East," said Niclas Thelander, (pictured above), Founder & CMO of Outsized.Key global appointments at Outsized include -Jannie Theron brings nearly two decades of expertise in finance, having previously served as Regional Business Director and Finance Manager for Pearson. Jannie will oversee global financial operations, ensuring strategic growth and efficient financial management across all markets.Frans Meyer steps into the role of Senior Business Development Manager after eight years at PNet, South Africa’s leading online recruitment platform. His tenure there was marked by exceptional growth and innovation in recruitment practices. Meyer's role will involve both cultivating the existing client relationships and spearheading new client acquisitions to significantly boost revenue.Nick Fofana, appointed as Senior Product Manager, brings a strong background in product management from leading tech and fintech growth companies, most recently at CardUp and CoverWallet (an AON Company). His role at Outsized involves owning the product roadmap, enhancing user engagement, and improving app usability globally through his expertise in agile methodologies and user-centric design.Ines Kracun, joining as Product Designer, has significant experience in digital design and user experience. Previously a lead designer at a European tech startup, she successfully revamped user interfaces to enhance user satisfaction. At Outsized, she will enhance the platform's design, focusing on user needs and business goals, setting design requirements, and identifying product improvements.

Outsized reveals the skills most in demand in the MENA region in 2024

The need for agility, cost flexibility, and access to critical skills became increasingly important in the 2023 talent landscape. As a result, Outsized, the leading on-demand talent platform in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Africa, has seen a surge of demand for independent skilled talent from enterprises moving to more agile and flexible workforce models. Findings from its third annual Talent-On-Demand 2024 report, based on proprietary data collected from Outsized’s platform, revealed the MENA region as one of the fastest-growing freelance economies, with 142% growth in freelancer registrations from 2022. Leading companies in the MENA, APAC, and Africa are now actively implementing agile workforce models to swiftly adapt to market fluctuations and unforeseen challenges. The MENA region, with a focus on diversifying oil dependency into a knowledge and skills economy, is witnessing a remarkable increase in freelance talent demand, diverging from the global downturn seen in the US and Europe. This surge spans sectors such as IT, banking, finance, real estate, construction, energy, and hospitality, showcasing a vibrant employment arena for skilled professionals.  Summarising thousands of data points, the Talent-On-Demand 2024 report identifies the top skills in demand as evidenced by MENA enterprises that have used Outsized. This market is witnessing a diversified demand in response to an influx of major projects like NEOM in KSA, and open immigration policies from countries like the UAE. Unlike the global trend where technology and data analysis dominate, the MENA region shows a broader scope, including Finance, Risk, and areas like Product and Proposition, Sales, Marketing, and Change Management. In 2024, new macro trends such as Environmental Social Governance and sustainability, data analytics, and procurement are expected to rise in importance, which will further accelerate demand for local and international skilled independent talent. Outsized's report also reveals that the on-demand talent pool in the MENA region boasts the highest average expertise, at 10.1 years, outperforming the larger APAC and Africa regions. The report also highlights that day rates for MENA professionals stand at US$309, ranking third behind Southeast Asia (US$544) and Africa at (US$316).<img src='\ad9164b05a754bfcd0caf71852a3a42d.png' class='content_image'>Azeem Zainulbhai, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Outsized, commented: “In high-growth markets like the MENA, more businesses are recognising the value of agility and specialised expertise that on-demand skilled professionals provide. At Outsized, we've developed the infrastructure to efficiently connect skilled talent with leading organisations and this year saw an increasing number of the region’s companies leverage our platform to access this international talent pool. This change highlights the fading myth that the gig economy is reserved for low-skill or low-value talent, signalling a strategic transition towards a more data-informed and technology-focused business environment. Our commitment through initiatives like the Talent-On-Demand report is to foster a sustainable independent talent market, driven by values that support both businesses and professionals in becoming future-proof.” As the region undergoes rapid modernisation and digital transformation, the shift towards agile work models is essential to capitalise on growing opportunities, yet companies face challenges due to a lack of niche expertise and the limitations of traditional hiring practices. Specifically, the technology sector is experiencing acute capacity and capability gaps, stalling adoption and driving investments in retraining and reskilling. Consulting firms, especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, that struggle with the local scarcity of specialised skills, source talent globally through secondments or new hires to maintain competitiveness. This is where a platform like Outsized comes into the picture.  Leveraging Outsized enables companies to access specialist expertise across various fields through a pool of skilled professionals, to fill and manage workforce capacity swiftly. Unlike other talent platforms, Outsized offers a proprietary feature called Virtual Bench that helps enterprises visualize and have access to an “always-on” talent pool via a dashboard to quickly be able to deploy skilled, pre-vetted, resources ready to integrate into an organisation. Through this feature their clients can have experts join or lead projects in days, not months. Firms can adopt a leaner business model, engaging independent consultants as needed, which minimises idle time and reduces operational costs. Moreover, integrating freelancers brings fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, enhancing creative problem-solving and knowledge transfer. The 'try before you buy' facet also enables firms to evaluate potential permanent hires based on fit and performance. In 2024, companies are anticipated to further progress towards a more holistic approach to agile talent. Employers will not only leverage independents for specific projects but instead see them as a competitive advantage to be used at scale, proactively. Partnering with global talent platforms like Outsized can enable businesses to utilise a flexible workforce model to access and deploy pre-vetted skilled talent, and build variants of virtual benches to create inclusive work environments that harness the full potential of both permanent and independent professionals.To access the full Talent On-Demand 2024 report, visit: To learn more about the services offered by Outsized for companies as well as consultants, visit MethodologyThe talent-on-demand report is based on original research and thousands of proprietary data points from real projects on Outsized’s platform. About OutsizedOutsized is a talent-on-demand platform for top independent professionals, enabling large enterprise clients and consulting firms in Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East to implement flexible workforce models. With local teams based in South Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and India, Outsized is committed to creating a sustainable, win-win ecosystem for clients and talent. For more information, please visit