Fraud Blocker Bridging Borders: The Parakar Story - Parakar

Bridging Borders: The Parakar Story

When Pleun Opperman stepped into a leadership role at a growing company founded by her father, it wasn’t the most foreseeable path a decade ago. Her father, Johan, managed a small one-man operation, while Pleun had just completed her bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences. Equipped with a diploma but without a clear career trajectory, she set out on a path that eventually brought her to lead Parakar.

The Birth of Parakar

In the years 2015-2017, while Pleun pursued her master’s degree in Health Food Innovation, Johan’s business experienced rapid growth. Previously operating solo, Johan, a consultant, facilitated the relocation of knowledge workers to the Netherlands, primarily from India. He handled everything from visas to insurance and tax matters for these expatriates and their employers.

However, a pivotal moment occurred when a business associate approached him with a question: Could he assist foreign companies in managing Dutch personnel payroll? This inquiry led to the development of Employer of Record, a product enabling companies to outsource employment responsibilities abroad. Soon after, inquiries poured in from countries like Ireland, Germany, France, and Spain.

Bridging borders: the parakar story - parakar

Navigating Administrative Hurdles

Parakar’s mission revolves around simplifying the process for companies expanding across Europe. Pleun explains, “We eliminate all the hassle. If you want to expand to Spain, for example, it often starts with establishing a legal entity. There’s a lot of administrative hassle involved, and our platform takes care of all the legal and fiscal aspects.”

A significant portion of Parakar’s services now revolves around hiring personnel. Pleun elaborates, “Whether a company finds talent in one country or relocates employees to another, immigration processes are involved. We take care of all the paperwork.”

Differentiating Factors

While Remote, a do-it-yourself HR platform, offers similar services, Parakar approaches things differently. Pleun emphasizes, “We are more people-driven. Our clients’ challenges often involve establishing foreign entities, which are complex and challenging to encapsulate in a single platform. Our team members are genuine relationship managers who deliver more than just a ready-made solution.”

Parakar has also incorporated benchmark studies into its portfolio, covering salary levels and pension schemes. This allows companies to quickly determine market-conforming pensions for employees from different countries.

Embracing Growth Amid Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly accelerated Parakar’s growth. As foreign workers returned home but continued working for their employers remotely, Parakar facilitated the process seamlessly, resulting in a threefold increase in revenue year over year.

Looking Ahead

With Pleun leading the way, Parakar is poised for further expansion. Parakar, currently comprising about sixty employees across eleven European countries, aims to increase its workforce to around a hundred in the coming years. As for Johan, Pleun acknowledges his invaluable expertise, which still contributes significantly to the company’s success.

This blog post is based on an MT/Sprout interview with Pleun Opperman, CEO of Parakar, originally published in Dutch. The interview can be found here.

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