Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The third story of this three-part series celebrating women entrepreneurs on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022 is of Aakanksha Bhargava who runs Gurugram-based PM Relocations that offers packing and moving services, vehicle shifting, storage, and more. Even as Covid pushed businesses to enhance digital engagement, it had also tested the determination of entrepreneurs to survive. Having served corporates like Airtel, Aditya Birla Group, Bajaj Finserv, Indigo, Bosch, ITC, actor Swara Bhaskar, and more, Bhargava was out of business during Covid much like other entrepreneurs across sectors excluding essential items as the government had restricted movement of goods and vehicles. Started in 1986 by Bhargava’s father, the business, which had shifted more than 2.5 lakh homes, suddenly became redundant.
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Also sharing her experiences, Aakanksha Bhargava, CEO of PM Relocations tells us that her entire journey is a testament to the fact of facing and overcoming the gender bias. Because the business that she is a part of is a male dominated one, where the prevailing viewpoint is that men do better in it as it is their area of expertise.
“In the initial days, during visits to Bangalore for pre-move surveys, I was often asked as to how I would do this job alone, whether the packers would listen to me and that I was too young to be doing the surveys. Similarly, I had to face apprehensive customers who would ask if I would be doing the pre-move survey correctly and that they would have expected a man to come and do this for them,” she shares.
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The past year of hard work and toil has shipped its share of benefits to the Gurugram-based award-winning relocation firm PM Relocations (PMR) as the company crossed turnover of INR 100 crores this year. Moreover, the firm is all set to hit the revenue target of INR 150 crores by the next financial year.
PMR is the only Indian relocation company to facilitate domestic relocations, international relocations and also third-country moves (moves where neither the origin or destination country is India). Established as PM Packers & Movers Pvt Ltd in 1986 by Rajeev Bhargava & Rajeev Sharma, the firm was rebranded as PM Relocations Pvt Ltd in 2006 to target the global relocation market. And ever since, the firm has grown over 3000%.
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The recent grand success of India’s javelin throwers at the Olympics and Paralympics is far from being a sudden development or a mere stroke of luck. It is, in fact, a result of dedicated efforts of players and organisations like Amentum, which are working to encourage the development of the sport at the grassroots level.
Amentum, whose name Amentum itself refers to the cord attached to a javelin for aid in casting, is a non-governmental organisation working for the development of javelin throw as a sport at the grassroots level across the country. It was founded in 2016 by Aditya Bhargava with a mission ‘to win Olympic medal by 2028 in Indian javelin’. Amentum has got top javelin experts from around the world to create a system that can be implemented in the school curriculum. It is led by Michael Musslemann, a Peruvian national record holder. His roots lie in Germany, with 38 years of experience in sport both as an athlete and coach.
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Surely, anyone who comes across this article would be aware of the prominent family-owned businesses in India such as those owned by the Tata’s, the Birla’s, the Godrej’s or the Ambani’s. With its rich business history and its traditional form of firm ownership, India has a strong entrepreneurship culture. And, if you look closely nearby, you will find many examples of businesses small or big led by families. For example, your next door kirana store is a family-owned business, your favourite sweet shop is some 50 years old and now managed by the third generation of the family that owns it. And they are everywhere.
These businesses contribute almost 80 per cent of the GDP and various kinds of research states that around 80 per cent of the companies in India are family owned. Also, at least 17 Indian businesses come under the world’s 500 largest family-owned enterprises list prepared by consulting firm EY. A Deloitte report estimates that family-owned firms contribute to 18 per cent of India Inc’s assets, 25 per cent to its sales, 37 per cent of its reserves and 32 per cent of its profits after taxes.
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