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The stress of packing and moving is compounded by the perception that most packers and movers take you for a ride in more ways than one. The absence of stringent laws, lack of standardisation and little to no transparency on pricing characterise the thriving but disorganised Indian relocation industry.
The last few years, however, have seen the emergence of players such as Pikkol, which are redefining the industry. “Our vision is to disrupt the way people relocate by infusing technology into this otherwise traditional industry so that we can offer better customer experience across all stages, starting from the booking stage, through the actual move, to the post-move services and interactions,” says Deepu Chandran, co-founder and CEO of Pikkol.
The Bengaluru-based company he founded in 2015 along with Jayaram Kasi Visweswaran, Siby Mathew, and Suraj Valimbe, has helped over 12,000 households and 200 corporate
spaces relocate. Its flagship solution is its proprietary pricing algorithm that eliminates cumbersome, manual estimation processes, while bringing in transparent pricing.At the booking stage, the algorithm gives customers the power to craft their own custom quotes online within minutes. A testimony to the efficacy of the algorithm is the fact that 99.6 percent of Pikkol’s moves happen without a physical inspection of the house.
“IoT and big data are playing a big role in ensuring efficiency, load visibility and monitoring of the field staff and trucks. We have an on-the-field mobile application, connected to a central control room, enabling us to keep all the stakeholders updated about the status of the move. Hardware like RFID (radio frequency identfication) which, if implemented end to end, will enable transparency to all stakeholders in the chain,” says Deepu.
Tapping into new segments
The B2B vertical of Pikkol handles commercial movements (office and retail) and corporate employee mobility. Pikkol also offers software solutions for relocation management called Pikkol Elite (employee mobility) and Bareshell (commercial space relocation). These solutions let businesses monitor and manage their relocation requirements through customised dashboards.
The company plans to use chatbots to keep customers informed about the status of multi-city relocations, and object recognition to further simplify the data collection process on the customer’s side. Also in the works is a decision-making engine using machine learning models, which will help the customer decide what to move, what to sell or buy for the new locale and facilitate that transaction on the day of the move so that the customers can use the asset till that time.
Pikkol operates across all major cities in India, while providing destination services to others. It has started executing international relocation projects to several destinations across the US, Europe, Australia, Middle East and South America.
Talking about how they stay true to their ethos, Deepu says, “Right from providing 24×7 execution support in time-based critical server movements, especially when additional server downtime can cost lakhs of rupees, to providing extra manpower and trolleys at midnight when larger vehicles were not allowed inside some gated communities, we have gone the extra mile to ensure a hassle-free move for our customers. With a customer satisfaction rate of 98.3 percent, on-time delivery rate of 96 percent and damage-free moves at 97.4 percent, Pikkol is already reckoned as a brand that stands for customer-centricity.”
- Vodafone’s IoT services can help track and monitor the trucks
- With toll-free services, companies can respond more quickly to customer queries and requirements
- Vodafone’s Internet Leased Lines and MPLS services can provide reliable and secure internet access to power business-critical applications, and stay connected with different stakeholders in the value chain
- Assistance in getting seamless broadband services at the new location can be part of the post-move solutions offered by relocation service providers to help customers settle in
- The M-Pesa solution can power cashless transactions and be used in payments
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