India – Spotlight on removals

As India’s economy powers ahead, Ramesh Agarwal, founder and chairman of Agarwal Movers Group, tells Ruth Holmes why his company is opening a new office in Singapore – its first outside India – and how he views the future of removals and relocation in the subcontinent.

India and Asia Pacific map

Why was Agarwal Packers and Mover’s new Singapore office set up, and what is its focus?

Agarwal Packers and Movers was established in 1987, and moves both private individuals and commercial customers. We have 103 offices in various Indian cities, serving 1,264 destinations within India and 182 destinations globally, where we work with partners to provide door-to-door services.Singapore’s packing and moving market is about US$150 million, so we see a huge business opportunity there. The geographical proximity of Singapore to India was another reason why we decided to establish our first international base there. Because of low entry barriers, it is easy to set up a business in Singapore.Our new office will facilitate relocation from Singapore across the globe, and support inbound relocations. We will also be doing local moves within Singapore.


Are you developing any new products or services at the moment?

Our Trucking Cube is changing the way in which packing and moving are done. India currently sees losses of US$6.5 billion due to transhipment [the transportation of goods or containers to an intermediate destination, and then to another destination]. Trucking Cube ensures zero transhipment, improving efficiency by 200 per cent and bringing about a 6 per cent reduction in packaging costs.For food and pharma companies, Trucking Cube addresses the problem of ‘expiry before the expiry date’ by assigning an exclusive cube with temperature controls, which means that the product reaches the retail outlet in the same condition as when it was packed.The FMCG, white goods, automotive and manufacturing sectors now experience zero transhipment, which means zero damage – and zero loss to the brand. Brands take years to build a reputation, but choosing the wrong logistics partner can ruin that reputation overnight.

Where do you see removals and relocation products and services headed in the future in India?

If most of the government processes go paperless under the aegis of the Digital India campaign, it will be easier to initiate a regulatory framework in the surface logistics industry, which is highly fragmented at present.E-commerce is a very logistics-driven sector. Having a seamless surface-logistics ecosystem is not only important for the overall growth of the sector, but also vital in providing on-time delivery – a key business differentiator for most of the e-commerce players.As KPMG’s recent report Impact of E-commerce on SMEs in India says, India’s e-commerce industry will be worth $US36.7 billion by 2020, and the logistics sector specific to e-commerce will be valued at US$2.2 billion.This will be due, in large part, to the business driven by Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. For example, nearly 55 per cent of business for Amazon Fashion in 2015 was generated by Tier 2 cities. We in the surface-logistics industry will be the partners of progress for India’s e-commerce players.

Can you describe some current trends in India’s domestic relocation scene?

Relocation to India’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities has increased tremendously, with the rate of growth shooting up to 18 per cent. The traditional trend of people moving every three years is long gone. Now, with the change in work patterns and living styles, the trend is for moves to take place every year.

What are corporate clients and relocation management companies looking for in RFPs from movers and packers at the moment, both domestically and internationally?

Clients at both domestic and international level are placing strong emphasis on service levels, as well as on the methods that are used to ensure safety of their consignments.

APAC global mobility magazine
Read more about India and the Asia-Pacific region in our APAC Summer 2016 digital magazine.

For more Relocate Global news and features about global mobility in the Asia Pacific region, see our Asia, and India sections.