Portal - March/April 2021
PORTAL FOCUS: South Asia
Orient International Relocations:
Nepal's Eco-friendly Relocations Company
By Sudeep Shah, CEO, Orient Group of Companies
Established around four decades ago in Kathmandu, Nepal, family-owned business Orient has come a long way. Every day, we work under the fatherly guidance of company president Vinod Shah, who actively participates in all decisions and is the problem solver of our company. He has seen it all, from the times when there were no roads in Nepal to now, when every kid has the world in their cellphone. Second in line is his son Sudeep Shah, CEO of Orient, who you may know as the guy manning Orient's booth at the IAM Annual Meeting & Expo. Third in line is Sudev Shah, Vinod’s Grandson, who is currently pursuing his MSC in Logistics & Supply Chain Management at Warwick University UK, Chulalongkorn University Bangkok, and ACCA UK; we expect him to join the company in 2023 once his studies are completed.
We have zero advertisement expense at Orient, as we never felt the need to advertise. Our hard work and honesty towards work has blessed us with repeat contracts and clients, along with positive feedback and testimonials from happy clients, some of whom we have moved several times all over the globe.
Orient is a mid-sized relocation company where the staffs stay with the company for decades because we treat them like family; several employees have retired this year after serving the company from the beginning. Timely salaries, increments, promotions, overtime, provident fund, insurance and gratuities—topped with love and respect from the management—are what keeps them happy, resulting in extremely high-quality service to the clients, which in turn keeps the company enriched.
Orient has a big interest in being Green. We have been using eco-friendly packing materials made from sugarcane waste for decades now—a step which has saved thousands of trees and also stopped air pollution arising from the waste being burnt otherwise. Associations like PAIMA and ARA recognized our green efforts, and we have won the PAIMA Ecology Award twice and ARA Green Award once. We also ensure all plywood and paper waste is reused or recycled. On average, Orient reuses at least 12,000 carton boxes received from inbound moves every year—a step welcomed by all.
Orient specializes in both international and local moves, though 95% of our moves are International as the scope of domestic moves in Nepal is very limited; Nepalese typically do it themselves.
Nepal is situated in a major earthquake zone, and we have minor shakes at regular intervals. Most of these go unnoticed, but in 2015 we had a series of major earthquakes that killed thousands and displaced many more. Orient was one of the front line companies that delivered thousands of tons of relief materials via Kathmandu airport, Kolkatta port, and Indian cities to remote locations in Nepal on a nonprofit basis. This service was also recognized by IAM and an article on our effort was published in the Portal magazine.
During the Covid year, we also handled a great deal of medical supplies including Covid Masks, Shields, and more, donated by various donors. We also handled a huge shipment of 100 Ventilators donated by USAID.
Nepal lies in the Himalayas, and the capital, Kathmandu, is connected by narrow roads with the outside world. We use Kolkatta port of India and Birgunj ICD in Nepal for our sea traffic; however, the air shipments are routed via country's only International Airport, Kathmandu International KTM. More international airports are being constructed, and very soon we will have International airports outside Kathmandu as well.
Currently, Orient is upgrading our warehouse facilities, upgrading our fleet of vehicles, and training our staff in several disciplines. We believe in a corruption-free society and have a strict anti-corruption policy—we do not give bribes anywhere for getting work done. At Orient, we believe in slow and steady progress every day and long-lasting positive results—the policy which has made us the most sought-after full-service relocations company will keep us busy in the future for sure.