Relocation services come of age in India

Mumbai, Sept 6 | Updated: Sep 7 2006, 05:30am hrs
Relocation services are now coming up as a niche sector. India, which has emerged as one of the lucrative destination markets, is seeing a variety of multinational companies relocate their executives and employees to cities across the country. In today's 'idea-driven' global market place, technology and resources are swiftly transferred across boundaries but people and their families are not. This is where relocation services come in.

For example, American Express has a new VP and country manager for India based in Delhi, Rob Henin, who took charge beginning of this month.

"Were helping him with the entire relocation process including finding the right home to live in," says IKAN Relocations MD Rohit Kumar. Headquartered in Delhi, IKAN is a relocation service provider that has tie-ups with relocation management companies the world over.

From the big guns in the IT space like Accenture, Intel and Dell to others like Reuters, United Bank of Switzerland, JP Morgan and, all of them are increasingly using relocation service providers. The relocation services providers also help in finding the right school for kids, familiarizing employees with clubs, and even in shopping and dining options in a new country under the umbrella of employee mobility management services.

Says a senior executive with multinational Qualcomm, who relocated to Mumbai recently, "It may be something like finding a good violin teacher or a yoga teacher for the kids. These guys can do it all. They can also take our requests which is based on an American frame of reference and translate it to the Indian equivalent successfully."

For instance, its difficult to find a bai(maid servant) in Mumbai. "How does one find the right kind of person for the job Or how does one find the right kind of school" asks the executive.

The service providers also step in to negotiate the rent, verify the title of the ownership of a piece of property and arrange for the leave and license agreement. IKAN, for instance, recently helped global investment bank Lehman Brothers to relocate more than twenty of its executives from various overseas locations to Mumbai.