Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently
I am the CEO at P.M. Relocations Pvt Ltd (PMR). Currently, I am leading a move management company in India. The industry I work in is pre-dominantly labour intensive and male-oriented. Having joined the family owned business at 21, I have successfully spearheaded the growth and expansion of the company and single-handedly set up offices pan India with a growth of 1200 per cent.
I grew up in the world of movers and shakers, as this company is the brainchild of my father. It’s his love, hard work, commitment and passion that lead me to join, strengthen and expand the company to what it is today. I knew it always that I belonged ‘here’ and had to make a difference and change the way people associate or acknowledge our industry.
As a child, I remember my father taking me to various surveys during weekends. Hence, I was always fascinated with the kind of dedication and love he had for this industry. Once I completed my schooling I applied for various colleges under Delhi University and soon The Hindu College embraced me and gave me the opportunity to complete my B. Com (H) with them. After three years of immense learning and heading various positions, I saw myself graduating and joining SP Jain School of Management, Singapore and Dubai to complete my management studies and ready to face the challenging world of service industry.
Today, I am a second-generation entrepreneur. When I joined all I wanted to do is explore and learn the art of moving families, as I believed in the immense potential this industry has. Personally, I feel I am a travel enthusiast and have travelled to more than 30 countries so far. Being an industry expert, I frequently contribute to various international and national industry publications such as the FIDI Focus, IAM – The Portal, The Movers and Cargo Talk, plus many more. Both Your Story and Young Turks featured our entrepreneurial journey. Alongside this, I was also awarded the ‘Best Woman Leader Award’ by Business Today’s SME Award 2015 and was covered in the magazine’s October issue.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
Currently in India ‘relocation’ is an unknown term, hence people generally have to look at multiple service providers to have a smooth relocation experience. While end-to-end requirement gets sorted with time but the transition experience becomes a harassing memory for them. In order to sort this, we had set up a Small-Medium Enterprise – PMR, a one-stop solution for people with mobility needs. Our mandate was to offer complete relocations assistance to our customers who were looking to relocate within India, locally or overseas. Our service portfolio includes complete household goods relocation and setting in services like – home search, city – orientation, cultural training, school search and tailor made modules to assist our clients while they settle in a new home. Apart from this, we also look after corporate shiftings and delicate fine-art work moving.
Currently we are aiming to fill in this gap by becoming a one-stop solution for our retail customers. Hence we have kick started our B2C model by the domain name PackMoveRelocate.com. The web-portal would look after relocations movements starting from entire household movement to just a few boxes. Being a one of kind of concept in India, it is the first time where a complete solution for end-to-end relocation is available on a systematic online platform using technology. If someone needs to just pack, move few items, move entire house, car, bike, storage… everything can be done through the website.
We are also working towards women empowerment within the organisation. We feel strongly that empowerment cannot be served on a platter rather it should come from within. Talking about empowerment and power, this quotation from Roseanne Barr stands apt:
“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.”
In our office, the majority of the white-collar employees are women who are involved in decision-making processes and other key developmental activities.
For most of the families in India, offering a girl with the chance to complete her graduation is empowerment. But this is not the case! ‘Mere giving a chance to get a degree isn’t empowerment’. Real empowerment comes when we have an understanding of our own capabilities and abilities to take independent decisions concerning education, career option or any other financial decision.
Hence, our vision is to be able to touch lives in whichever way we can – be it as a friend, daughter/son, leader or a service provider. We are running a scholarship program, ‘Shiv Prem Scholarships’ for our Blue collared staff’s children. We believe in empowering a girl child through education. This program is specifically for our blue collared staff who are always looking for ways to educate their child especially their daughters. We at PMR are supporting them for this. Under the program we provide scholarships to girls who score high in academics every year.
Also, we are regularly advocated for our innovative and entrepreneurial thought process across various dailies, magazines and entrepreneurship show such as Hindustan Times, Your Story, Cargo Talk, Biznews, Money Control, Mint, Mind Your Business, Young Turks, Sheroes, Business Today, Yo Success, Economics Times, Bloomberg TV- Rising Star ANI and My Big Plunge.
Links to Some of Our Notable Media Coverages
1. Economics Times
2. Young Turks
3. Rising Stars
4. ANI TV
5. Business Today
7. Business Standard
9. Relocate Magazine
10. Mind Your Business
11. My Big Plunge
12. Yo Success
13. People Matters
14. IAM Portal
15. The Movers.co.uk
16. Employment News
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
One of the biggest challenges I faced in achieving my goals were dealing with employees, partners and clients initially. It was difficult to work in the industry but through strong motivation, hard work and conviction it was easy to ride against the tides and survive while setting up offices in new cities. Also I feel that change is not always a process of improvement. Sometimes it’s a process of invention also. When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he didn’t want to improve the candle rather he decided that he wanted better light for himself and hence started his journey from there. For me I didn’t just join the industry to break traditional stereotype but rather I wanted to invent to concept of an organised relocation sector in the country offering stress-free relocations and worked my way from there.
Major learning for me while facing the challenges is that when you really ride on something your courage will eventually kick your fear. Hence, take the plunge… and you will see the miracles of life.
Another key challenge was to deal with customers since we are in a service industry. I feel we deal with a niche service, which is ‘emotions’; hence it is crucial that we are careful while working with people. One key takes away I have from my experience is that “No Success Is Possible Without Sacrifices and Beliefs, Sometimes Not You but People Around You.”
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
There is a quote I read online by Eileen Fisher, who is a fashion designer where she stated that, “Life-fulfilling work is never about the money; when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.” I am blessed to be running an organisation where I am able to transform the lives of others. This has always been the major inspiration in-order to focus and contribute all my time for the growth of the business and individuals helping build an organised relocation empire within the country.
Also, one shouldn’t be intimidated by the knowledge we have. Since it can be one of our greatest strength to ensure that we pursue and achieve things differently from others. Personally I have managed to mentor my employees to enter and sustain in this male dominated industry and together with my team we have successfully envisaged and managed to bring PMR on a global platform for Relocation Services.
Like I said earlier, I have successfully travelled to 32 countries and pursued my hobbies while handling the responsibility at PMR.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
If given a second chance, I would do exactly everything the same way that I did because as a person I ensured that I always gave my heart and soul to anything I do. But on second thoughts if I weren’t in this industry I would have definitely been in the events and entertainment industry.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
There is a quote by Rumi that says that, “Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” When I began my journey I didn’t have a career plan with goals and timelines but I fell in love with the word ‘moving’, I found my passion into the idea of ‘Being able to transform the lives of other by offering stress-free end to end moving solutions’. My father Mr. Rajeev Bhargava is a first generation entrepreneur. In my formative years he always encouraged me to join the business and has been my biggest support, inspiration, mentor, and friend.
I feel waking up every morning to the idea of being the responsible sole for 500 + families who are running their house because of PMR. It fills me with gratitude for a life that can add and create value. I am inspired each day with the fact that I have to keep going no matter what because there are so many who look up to me.
I feel life in its own way inspires me. Every time I have travelled to a new destination, my journey has inspired me. Every time I’ve sat down to discuss ideas with friends, the conversations inspire me. Every time I have reached out to my team members, their stories and lives have inspired me. My relation with my friends and their belief in me inspires me and most importantly my dreams and my things to do list inspires me!
What does the future hold for you?
I see myself running a leading relocation company on a global scale. Also, as a company we are looking at strengthening our foothold in the Global relocation market. In the near future we aim to extend our services to smaller tier-2 cities such as Lucknow, Kanpur etc. Art movement in India is an unknown sector. We have done few of the high-end art moving as well as exhibition assistance for top galleries and hence want to expand our Art moving division catering to a larger market.
About Aakanksha Bhargava
I am a second-generation entrepreneur leading a move management (Relocation) company in India. Having joined the family owned business at 21, I have successfully spearheaded the growth and expansion of the company and single-handedly set up 14 offices with a growth of 1200 %.
I began my professional journey as a Manager in International Sales at PMR. Initially, I was setting up and driving International sales thereafter I further expanded to handling corporate sales, marketing, operations and other verticals for the company. This helped me learn about my business and strengthen core processes and operations by defining the strategy, vision and mission for the company. My current role involved overseeing all operations at the company with focus being on career development and growth of each of my employees. I feel this is the main reason why we all are passionate about “Moving Families”.
Apart from this I am a strong visionary and believe in giving back to the society hence I am associated with various social and environmental causes. I love to spend my leisure time listening to music, practicing dance, travelling, reading and watching cricket.