There has been a considerable Gloom and Doom for our Industry during the pandemic. We have personally ensured that we stayed positive. We have believed that “this too shall pass” and next year when we look back, we might even realize how foolish we were and have a laugh. Our Industry has shown considerable resilience and some of the Industry bodies like EuRA are working extremely hard to keep the motivation going, ensuring we educate ourselves and become better at what we do, so we are ready for our clients when this pandemic passes – says Managing Director, IKAN Relocation Services India Pvt Ltd., Rohit Kumar.
Rohit Kumar is a co-founder of IKAN, an India based employee mobility solutions company. The Brand IKAN has been in existence since 1996 and IKAN was a pioneer in the field of employee relocation solutions within India. Rohit is based at IKAN’s New Delhi office and has been at the forefront of the mobility and relocation industry within India, having been involved in the business for over 20 years.
Prior to starting the IKAN business, he had gained experience working in diverse industries ranging from FMCG, Automotive and the services sector. Rohit holds a Masters degree in Management from SIBM Pune and is a certified cross-cultural trainer. Rohit has had the experience of starting the relocation services business three times over the past twenty years and also had the pleasure of having sold it once.
In this interview, Rohit Kumar answers industry-related questions and shares how they survived the ups and downs and retained their clients. Whether you have been in the industry for years and want to hear some little-known facts about Reloc8 Asia Pacific Group partners, or you’re just starting out and are looking for insight from veterans of the industry, this interview is for you.
How did you come up with the name of your company?
It was a very interesting coincidence – In 1996, I re-read a book I had read as a boy called The Fountain Head by Ayn Rand. There were some very memorable characters, but one character Gail Waynand stood out for me. Gail, though a tragic figure, had extraordinary capabilities and energy. During his growing up years in the hell’s kitchen, he was always told, he could not, so when he made it in life, he purchased a Yacht and named it “I CAN”. I was so impressed with this that I named our company “IKAN”, and the rest is history.
How do you build a successful and consistent customer base?
We have ensured top class services from the very beginning and never allowed these service levels to slip. We have also ensured that no conflict of interest ever comes between us and our customers, thus ensuring most compliant advocacy for our customers, ensuring retention.
How do you market your business, and which tactics have been the most successful?
We are a well-known DSP, representing a host of RMCs for service delivery within India. We have maintained these relationships over decades and are considered the DSP of choice by many RMCs hence ensuring continued representation.
What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?
We have an open-door policy, hence every employee of the company has equal access to management. As we lead from the front, we are usually always by the side of the employees through thick and thin, ensuring a unique brand of loyalty. Our colleagues stay with the company for years, many for decades because of the transparency and a sense of ownership bestowed on them by the owners.
As owners, we practice straight talk, honesty and transparency and that is precisely what we expect from every employee. This is the cultural hallmark of IKAN RELOCATION.
What motivates you to work in the relocation industry?
After over twenty years, this industry is a second family. Our employees, the industry and the various partners we work with are our friends. Some fantastic relationships have been established over the years. In 2008, IKAN, as company was sold, but we re-established the brand IKAN in 2014 due to these emotional pulls. We could have gone on to do something else, but we returned to the Industry and many of our old colleagues joined back, throwing their all into the new venture – this Industry is our second home.
After over twenty years, this industry is a second family!
What is your favorite aspect working in relocation industry?
The extraordinary relationships carved out over two decades.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
There are so many – I guess when we successfully sold the business to Santa Fe in 2008 was a proud moment. Being shortlisted for the Cartus Cup in 2020 was another proud moment. Also winning SEVEN International awards in 2019, probably the most of any DSP that year!
What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to work in relocation industry?
Ensure customer satisfaction at all costs. Ensure that you stay compliant and ensure transparency with your clients, be honest. Nothing works better than sincerity and always use truth as your preferred weapon of choice in every walk of life.
Nothing works better than sincerity and always use truth as your preferred weapon of choice in every walk of life.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in the relocation business?
- Communication and listening abilities
As we have all had to navigate the Coronavirus pandemic, what is the most important thing you have learned this year in the context of our industry?
There has been a considerable Gloom and Doom for our Industry during the pandemic. We have personally ensured that we stayed positive. We have believed that “this too shall pass” and next year when we look back, we might even realize how foolish we were and have a laugh. Our Industry has shown considerable resilience and some of the Industry bodies like EuRA are working extremely hard to keep the motivation going, ensuring we educate ourselves and become better at what we do, so we are ready for our clients when this pandemic passes.
IKAN Relocations, a Mobility Management company, has been a brand in existence since 1996 and is a founding partner of RELOC8 Asia Pacific Group, a regional network of quality relocation and immigration service providers. IKAN offers end to end mobility solutions including Destination Services, Immigration Support and Household Goods Move Management, to many blue-chip companies on a global, regional and local basis, aiming at supporting the logistics of a global workforce in the Indian Sub-Continent region.