Portal - March/April 2021

PORTAL FOCUS: South Asia

21st Century Relocations:
Moving Ahead of
the Times

 

By Amit and Nirav Thakker, Partners, 21st Century Relocations

Nirav Thakker

Nirav Thakker, Partner, 21st Century Relocations

21st Century Relocations is a pioneer when it comes to providing relocation services. We have roots in the past, heads in the future, and hearts in the present. There is nothing more vital for the growth and evolution of human civilization than moving. Had Columbus or Ibn Battuta stayed where they were, the world wouldn’t be as we know it. Understanding the importance for humans to relocate in order to find a better home, a better job, or just a better state of mind, we established 21st Century Relocations in year 1998. In fact, we have been associated with handling personal effects and household goods from seaports and airports since the 1970s. 21st Century Relocations was primarily incorporated to build a next-level experience with internationally acclaimed standards for our esteemed customers. If someone had a requirement to move, we were going to help them do it right.

Within a few months of our formation, our traditional family-run business represented the top multinational moving companies across the globe, supporting them with seamless origin and destination services, long before they established their own offices in India. We pride ourselves on the service quality we offer; exceeding expectations by curating tailor-made moves for each of our customers has made them come back to us over and over again. We make it a point to personally interact with every client, irrespective of whether the customer is a large business house or a small family, and ensure that their relocation needs are met, come what may.

Our business is not just about transactions, it is about building lasting relationships.

21st Century Relocations handles a good number of corporate and government moves, but we possess exclusivity in handling residential moves. In India, there are two kinds of people. Those who are practical and constantly relocate throughout their lives for better opportunities, and those who are emotionally attached to their surroundings. We have had the privilege to handle repeated moves for both types; having moved the same articles for some customers within the same vicinity, while the experimental ones would engage with us multiple times across different towns, cities, and countries with new belongings every time.

21st Century Relocations has scaled enough in the last few years to provide comprehensive services across a vast and diversified country like India. Moreover, now, we are not just pan-India but proliferated to intercontinental-level operations. At all times, however, we have found it challenging to spot and retain good, determined, and hard-working employees. To retain them, we have created a caring and rewarding work culture that fosters individual growth, allowing our employees the liberty to work on their terms, bringing democracy to the organization. This is why many of our good employees who have left us have later returned to our company once again; similar to that feeling of a happy family reunion.

None of our employees or crew members were fired or asked to resign during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite low order volumes and affected revenue. We strongly believe in standing by each other through any adversity.

In the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown, the whole world faced tough times. We as an organization did our bit to reduce the anxiety and bring comfort to our customers as much as possible. For example, many pet owners were separated from their pets because of the sudden lockdown. We understand that pets are family and worked hard to reunite pets with their human families. While this was a tough process, the sheer joy that we could see them share made it all worth it.

While stranded in India during lockdown, many of our foreign customers eventually made a decision to settle in India. We helped them get their belongings, including automobiles, from their resident countries, and it gave us a sense of contentment to see their joy during these testing times. We also helped many Indians who were returning to India after losing their jobs abroad as a direct result of the pandemic by offering to move their goods at cost.

21st Century Relocations is about moving from one milestone to another, keeping in mind that it’s all about the people and not only about the profits.

In a country like India, conducting business is not easy. There are challenges we continue to face, the biggest one being that we have to be extremely price-conscious and at the same time, match the expectation of full professional service. Another major challenge is to meet regulatory requirements amid a sea of red tape. For example, the laws are different from state to state, and they go through amendments frequently. We need to make sure that we stay abreast of the latest developments at all times.

But despite it all, in the coming years, we still want to stay positive and focus on expanding to serve tier-2 cities and remote locations in India. We have witnessed the ‘Rural India’ develop to world class ‘Smart Cities’ in a short span of time. We want to see India achieve great heights, and support the ‘New India’ development drive. We also aim to acquire storage space to increase our long-term storage capacities and incorporate the latest technologies in the industry to stay ahead of times. 

21st Century Relocations is not only about staying ahead of current times but moving forward to be the leader of the next century.