Narin Ganesh is the Regional Finance Director responsible for international relocation operations in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia and recently featured in the Channel 4 program 'Undercover Boss'.
Narin, can you tell us a bit about your background before you joined Crown Relocations?
Before I joined Crown Relocations I was Finance Director at Neal’s Yard Remedies, a manufacturer and retailer/wholesaler of natural plant-based cosmetics & toiletries. Before that I spent four years at Alpha Airports Group in a couple of controlling roles.Elsewhere on my CV you’ll see that I have worked for Sainsbury’s, Pendragon (in automotive retail), as well as a lengthy spell in social housing and in private practice, so a pretty varied background.
What services does Crown Relocations offer?
Crown Relocations is one of the world’s leading relocation specialists. We are experts at moving people virtually anywhere in the world. We relocate over 100,000 people internationally every year, guiding them through the relocation process and helping them to settle in when they get to their new host country. From packing plates to delivering dogs we’ve made moving people and their possessions into an art form. Our team of professionals can pack, transport and store personal belongings, expertly handling personal goods and delivering them securely across the globe.
But our support doesn’t end there. We will work with you to establish your individual needs; whether that be setting up preview trips, finding a new home and schools or teaching intercultural and language skills. Crown Relocations can help to organise and process visas and permits, organise furniture and domestic services and will be there on arrival to help you settle into your new surroundings and find your way around.
You recently featured in the Channel 4 program 'Undercover Boss'. What did you learn from the experience?
My overriding impression was of the sheer professionalism and dedication of our crews. I also remember how hard it was physically to be a member of a removals crew! Moving home can be stressful and an overseas move is potentially even more demanding, however, our crews not only pack but also offer advice and help make the process as easy as possible. It’s something that we should never take for granted.
Listening to our visitors’ experiences over the years, it’s clear that some relocation companies offer a very poor service to their customers. What can expats do to ensure that the company they choose is the right one for their needs?
Well, choosing a company with experience helps. Crown Relocations has built up expertise in the industry over 46 years. From the start, form a good relationship with the consultant assigned to you on your move and make sure that they are fully informed of what you are planning to take and any other factors which could affect the move. Ask the necessary questions: how long will the pack take? What can/can’t I take with me? How long will shipping take? What about storage? What happens to my possessions at the destination? What insurance options are offered? Our consultants are experienced in asking these questions of you so if you forget to ask, don’t worry, we’ll make sure you have all the facts you need.
You should also allow plenty of time before your move date to get everything organised. There are lots of things to consider when moving abroad, which is why Crown Relocations has developed a handy online tool to guide you though the moving process. The ‘mymove’ tool creates a tailored plan with pre-filled tasks that should be considered before moving including financing, documents, careers and pets. It also provides destination guides and top tips and is a great place to keep all important documents in one place.
What are the major challenges your customers typically encounter when moving their belongings overseas and what advice can you give them to make sure everything goes smoothly?
Organisation is the key to a smooth move. Crown Relocations’ experts are trained in packing, transporting and delivering peoples’ belongings with care and professionalism, but it’s important that you are also organised and allow plenty of time to prepare and de-clutter before the packers arrive. Being unorganised could potentially delay things.
When relocating, customers will often have years and years worth of belongings that they have never sorted through, so it’s a good time to have a clear out. Think about what you really need to take and arrange your possessions according to which room they belong in. This will speed up the packing process and make unpacking on the other side much easier and less stressful.
With so much of your business involving the transportation of heavy goods over long distances, what are you doing to minimise the impact on the environment?
Crown Relocations has a clear commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and helping local communities has been part of Crown’s culture for decades. We have developed an ‘Environmental Policy’ that includes using fuel efficient vehicles and providing driver training to improve fuel efficiencies during transportation.
Crown has worked closely with our suppliers to produce packaging material which has 88% recycled content and is 100% recyclable. Our skilled packers are trained to make cartons and packaging to fit each shipping item, avoiding excess weight for transport, thereby reducing our ultimate carbon footprint. We no longer use oil-based products such as bubble-wrap but use paper-based blankets instead.
Crown is passionately committed to environmental issues as a company and our achievements offer values that we are dedicated to and which are engrained in our business processes, to the good of the environment and our customers. We partner with The Plant-A-Tree Today (PATT) Foundation in an attempt to offset the carbon emissions from our UK facilities by planting trees. To date we have planted more than 3,600 trees in Thailand, which will capture over 2,500 metric tonnes of carbon to combat climate change and this is an ongoing commitment.
What's the most unusual thing Crown Relocations has been asked to move to another country?
We have come across several unusual objects in the past which make for interesting packing tasks. Some of our packers were once asked to pack and transport a Victorian street lamp, which was then fitted in the customer’s front garden in their new home, where it worked perfectly. Whatever the object though, Crown Relocation’s packers will handle it with care and will always find a solution to packing it in the best way.
What are your plans for the future?
At Crown Relocations we are constantly striving to develop new innovations and solutions that will benefit our customers and their relocation process. We are currently in the process of introducing the iPad for home pre-move survey. We have created an application unlike any other in the industry that will make the survey of our customers’ personal belongings easier and quicker. Every customer will benefit from the accuracy and speed that it provides.
We also have some very exciting online developments in the pipeline for our customers, which will help them further to plan and organise their move.
What do you do to relax?
I took up running less than a year ago and recently competed in a 10k race and am now in training for a half-marathon next Spring! Otherwise, listening to music, playing the guitar and bass, and reading would also be top of my favourite pastimes, along with landscape photography. I’m fortunate to be living in rural Dorset and sometimes, just sitting in the garden at twilight is the greatest form of relaxation – beer in hand!
For more information about Crown Relocations’ services, please visit www.moveoverseas.co.uk or call 0800 731 4409.