Change is inevitable so we have focused on adapting to new technology and new ways of working, such as remote working, virtual meetings etc.

We used to advertise our services in the Expat Magazines, in the EuRA directory, sponsor and attend events attended by expatriates and connect with local HRs of companies. However, we find that most of our business comes from connecting with Relocation Management Companies at conferences, such as EuRA and ERC - says Triona Chelliah, Founder and Managing Director of Pathfinder Relocation Services.

Triona Chelliah is the founder and Managing Director of Pathfinder Relocation Services. Triona started as a relocation consultant in Malaysia for Hamilton Watts International Singapore back in April 1996. She progressed rapidly to become the General Manager when Hamilton Watts International Malaysia was incorporated in June 1998.

When HWI Malaysia office was closed Triona founded Pathfinder Relocation Services in Malaysia in November 2001 with her own unique personal formula. Under Triona’s hands-on leadership and guidance, Pathfinder has gone from strength to strength to become one of the leading relocation service providers in Malaysia.

Triona is a familiar face in the global relocations industry and regularly attends industry conferences and events worldwide.

In this interview Triona Chelliah 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 the idea for your business did came out?

I lived in Penang Malaysia and saw an advertisement in the expat magazine for a relocation consultant, applied and was hired. A few years later, an opportunity came up to manage Hamilton Watts International. The rest, as they say, is history.

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur in the relocation industry?

The Relocation Company I worked for was based in Singapore. I saw the potential of getting more business as many international companies had a presence in Penang, so I would make appointments to visit the HR departments to try and grow the Malaysian business.

How did you come up with the name of your company?

When expats come to a new country and they are trying to find their way around, from getting a house, looking for hospitals and shopping areas, hence the name Pathfinder was born.

When expats come to a new country and they are trying to find their way around, from getting a house, looking for hospitals and shopping areas, hence the name Pathfinder was born.

How do you build a successful and consistent customer base?

  • Treat every assignee as equally important, regardless of their position
  • Put high importance on the quality of our service delivery
  • Word of mouth marketing is the most powerful form of marketing. PRS constantly receives positive feedback from assignees about their relocation experience.
  • Word of mouth marketing is the most powerful form of marketing. PRS constantly receives positive feedback from assignees about their relocation experience.

    How do you market your business, and which tactics have been the most successful?

    We used to advertise our services in the Expat Magazines, in the EuRA directory, sponsor and attend events attended by expatriates and connect with local HRs of companies. However, we find that most of our business comes from connecting with Relocation Management Companies at conferences, such as EuRA and ERC.

    What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?

    A culture that emphasizes teamwork and empathy for each other, as well as our partners and customers. We like to treat every assignee as a member of our family.

    We like to treat every assignee as a member of our family.

    What motivates you to work in the relocation industry?

    The satisfaction of seeing walking through an assignee and his family’s with their relocation from start to finish, and seeing them happily settled into their new surroundings.

    What is your favorite aspect working in relocation industry?

    Meeting different people and the satisfaction of helping people to settle.

    What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

    Being recognized and acknowledged for our services, such as receiving awards for service excellence from the world’s largest Relocation Management Companies.

    What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to work in relocation industry?

    Come with an open mind, have empathy, confidence and strong communication skills.

    Come with an open mind, have empathy, confidence and strong communication skills.

    What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful in the relocation business?

  • Strong communication
  • Empathy
  • Patience

    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?

    Change is inevitable so we have focused on adapting to new technology and new ways of working, such as remote working, virtual meetings etc.


    As a leading Destination Service Provider in Malaysia for the past 18 years, and the first and only relocation company in Malaysia to hold the European Relocation Association’s Global Quality Seal (EGQS), Pathfinder appreciates this paradigm shift in global mobility and the need to continuously innovate our line of services to include more tailor-made and a-la-carte services without compromising on the uniqueness of our human-centric service delivery - http://www.pathfinder-relocation.com/