Portal - March/April 2021
PORTAL FOCUS: South Asia
Interem Reflects India’s Vastness and Diversity
By Rahul Pillai, CEO, Interem
Interem India was the first MNC in the relocation industry to commence operations in 1997. In a span of more than two decades, our combination of an experienced and professional team of more than 400 employees across 11 offices; superior infrastructure with warehousing space of 500,000 sq ft; 60+ containerized vehicles; in-house shipping and freight forwarding solutions; and international quality certifications have made us one of the premier moving companies in India.
Reflecting on the experiences of Interem in India and in the Middle East, I am struck by how different it is to work in a vast and diverse country like India. India is a highly multicultural country where changes in dialect and culture can sometimes occur within 50-100 kilometers. While working in such a varying environment, it is important to be perceptive about the local requirements in order to be able to offer a seamless service to our customers.
There is no standard SOP or documentation which is consistent across the country. For example, you might have ports where the shipper’s presence is needed at the time of custom clearance and places where only original passports are needed. There might be places where direct stuffing of goods in container is allowed and places where it is not. This is done as per the local administrative needs in each location. There is no straight-line method to build an SOP for India, and we must prepare transferees to expect this aspect of moving into or out of India.
The relocation business in India is more labor intensive, when compared to even our offices in UAE, Qatar or Kuwait. Additionally, the high density of population combined with one of the fastest growing economies in the world results in constant port and roadway congestion.
Noteworthy jobs Interem has completed are as varied and complex as the country itself. For one corporate client, we moved over 1000 families in one financial year; all were moves within India. We also assisted in moving office assets of 26,000 employees for another corporate client in Mumbai, which is our largest office move to date. This move was handled in a smooth manner, including the requirement that we execute the move within minimum downtime.
We moved over a million assets from office to home for corporate employees in 2020 after the Covid lockdown went into effect—our largest-ever mobilization of assets. Interem already had the workforce; we were able to procure the best material based on specific requirements, and initiated daily deliveries using the hub and spoke/milk delivery models.
We packed and moved the world’s largest biometric data facility in Delhi (NCR region) and Bangalore. As this was a governmental project, we needed precision planning. The assets moved had a value of more than INR 1000 crore, and it was our privilege to be called again to handle a similar requirement (though on a smaller scale) at a second location in Bangalore.
Interem has an ongoing relationship with more than 200 Fortune 500 companies. Also, our internal study has indicated that 90% of our private business is either repeat or referral. While it is our constant endeavor to surpass the expectation of our customers, a few reasons why we have been able to maintain customer loyalty are our customer-centric and flexible tailor made solutions, our professional approach and transparent accountability for our actions, and our market reputation of reliability and trust; Interem believes that the indication of professionalism lies in the way deviations are handled and today, has one of the best complaint redressal systems.