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HomeCover StoryInterview with Shiivani Aggarwal- Challenges, Milestones, and Roadmap to Success

Interview with Shiivani Aggarwal- Challenges, Milestones, and Roadmap to Success

Give us a bit of background about yourself and your company?

I joined Formula Group 20 years ago when the organization was just a travel company. At the time, the travel sector was faced with survival threats with the onslaught of online travel companies and diminishing margins. 

Therefore, in 2004, we realized we needed to reinvent ourselves and so began our journey towards becoming a one-stop shop for multinational companies in India with end-to-end support.

I have been an avid traveller, having been to 5 continents and over 25 countries. I also completed my education in the travel and tourism industry.

Shiivani Aggarwal passion for travel and exploring different cultures was the key to my landing a job at Formula Group two decades back.

Formula Group started out as a car rental solutions company, primarily targeted at expatriates. We wanted to offer them a driven car solution that was compliant, organized, safe, and secure. With our customers’ interest and faith, we continued the journey. Later on, we expanded the business line into multiple verticals including relocation, immigration, and recruitment services.

Where does your interest in entrepreneurship come from – how did you start?

In my view, leadership is not simply a matter of interest but rather an innate quality that fuels growth and a passionate drive to advance an organization. My inspiration for leadership comes from my 3-year-old son, who teaches me valuable lessons every day. To be an effective leader, one must possess the ability to execute plans and pave the way for progress.

I joined the organization at the young age of 19 and have since climbed the ranks to become the CEO of the company. The journey from reporting to the most junior members of the team to leading the entire company has been a thrilling experience. I believe that true leadership is not defined by one’s position or title, but rather by the ability to guide the company and its people.

For me, leadership involves working as a team, delegating tasks at the appropriate time, and coaching individuals towards achieving a shared vision. Our business is centered around people, and a human touch is essential. Without the growth and development of our employees, it is impossible for the company to progress.

Give us insights into the major offerings of the company. And how does the company support people with its offerings and services?

Our company supports employee mobility. We help people and companies relocate from one spot to another. It includes both national and international relocation. At Formula, we relocate people within India to foreign locations in an extremely simplified process. Our offerings include taking care of Immigration, finding a house, renting a car with a driver, searching for office space, and moving goods from one place to another.

We have a single-window model process to manage mobility and relocation across various nationalities. Moving from one city to another is a tedious task, and our company has helped thousands of people do this hassle-free.

What makes your company stand out in the market?      

 A key factor that makes our company stand out from the rest is a single-window model. There is no similar service model company in India that offers all moving solutions under one roof. It simplifies HR, clients, and people moving who need a single point of contact. Companies often face a tough time managing the mobility of employees to new spaces as it involves coordination with multiple service providers for contracting services.

We simplify the entire process for them. Besides, we have an entire technological platform to bring complete transparency to the service delivery platform. It does not just help the moving person track and access the process; even HR and the client can easily see through the ground-level work carried on at a given time.

How do women feel in a male-dominated industry? Have you experienced a different attitude because of gender?

The industry is definitely biased regarding role allocation in the organization, but I have been fortunate enough to get my piece of recognition and titles. Moving ahead as a woman in this environment is hard but not impossible. We need to be more specific and strong-headed about our aspirations, as it can only help us grow and flourish. I think every woman who is zealous about achieving something should take care of it.

Who are your clients? How do you keep your clients happy and satisfied?

Our clients are mostly Multinational companies including many Japanese, American, and Swedish companies amongst others. We are currently working with the top 20 among the top 100 Fortune companies and many others among the top 500 Fortune companies. Our expansive client base makes us cater to various industries like FMCG, Automotive, Steel, Hospitality, Trading, and other industries.

We keep our clients happy with 100% customer satisfaction. Our goal in the organization is to achieve customer delight, and I have learned it from the Japanese, who treat customers as God. We believe in ‘Kaizen,’ which means constant improvement that motivates us to grab customer satisfaction and improvise on our processes consistently.

What is the road map of your organization?

Our roadmap is to create a technologically sound and customer-centric employee mobility segment that ensures hassle-free transfer of people, companies, and groups from one place to another. Going down the line, we are aiming to support many more corporations and help them grow.

How would you like people to remember you and your company? Though the statistics of women entrepreneurs in India are rising, our society often doubts women’s ambitions. Is it difficult for women to start a business in India?

Our goal is to be recognized as the ultimate solution for all employee mobility needs – a significant milestone we aspire to achieve. In India, the number of female entrepreneurs is increasing, and the current landscape is vastly different from what it was two decades ago when I entered the workforce. As the first woman in my family to pursue a career, it was heartening to receive immense support from my business-oriented family.

In my opinion, women possess an inherent ability to multitask and execute diverse roles with exceptional proficiency, which propels them towards effective leadership. Gender is inconsequential; success requires appropriate management and unwavering commitment to one’s work.

How do you achieve a balance between your personal and professional life?

It is very crucial to get the right work-life balance. For me, I love traveling, and I have goals set for the entire year. I want to plan two trips each year, and now that I have a kid, I plan it according to the school calendar and not just mine.

Exploring new places and being happy in your personal space is equally important to fuse in more energy at your workplace and amongst the workforce. So, yes, creating the perfect work-life balance is something you can’t be ignorant about!

List the awards and milestones won by the company.

Here are some of our valuable rewards and recognitions listed below:

  • The Relocate Awards: Destination Service Provided of the Year (2015)- Winner
  • The APAC EMMAS: Outstanding Contribution to Global Mobility (Raman Narula) (2018)- Winner
  • The APAC EMMAS: Outstanding Corporate and Social Responsibility Initiatives (2018)- Runners Up
  • The APAC EMMAS: Destination Services Provider of the Year (2019)- Highly Commended
  • The Relocate Awards: Excellence in Technology or Analytics (2022) – Highly Commended
  • The APAC EMMAS: Most Innovative Use of Technology in Global Mobility – Assignee Management (2022) – Highly Commended
  • The Relocate Awards: Destination Services Provider of the Year (2022) – Shortlisted
  • The Relocate Awards: Excellence in Technology or Analytics (2022) – Shortlisted
  • The APAC EMMAS: Corporate Housing Provider of the Year (2022) – Shortlisted
  • The APAC EMMAS: Destination Services Provider of the Year (2022) – Shortlisted
  • The APAC EMMAS: Most Innovative Use of Technology in Global Mobility – Assignee Management (2022) – Shortlisted
  • The ACAC EMMAS: Global Mobility Professional of the Year (Raman Narula) (2022) – Shortlisted
  • The APAC EMEA: Most Innovative Use of Technology in Global Mobility – Assignee Management (2022) – Shortlisted
  • The APAC EMEA: Corporate Housing Provider of the Year (2022) – Shortlisted

As a source of inspiration for many, what would your advice be for female entrepreneurs who are planning to enter the business world?

My advice for business leaders to women entrepreneurs is to stay strong and believe in themselves. That’s the most important attribute of a leader. If you have commitment and dedication towards something, you will achieve anything. It is possible to become a successful entrepreneur when you know your roadmap, and have a vision of how to achieve the targeted goals in life. I believe that’s the best possible way to grow and evolve. Just believe in what you do!

Does your company contribute towards society and if yes, what are the areas you support?

Success is incomplete if we achieve only financial goals. It must include contribution to society.  This is the only way to give one a sense of content and peace within.

There are several areas in the society that we are trying to support and are now engaged with NGOs in different fields to support the needy. We are working in the areas of women empowerment, skill development, public health care services, education for girls and shelter for abandoned elderly and disabled people.

We work with Navjyoti India Foundation for Remedial Education Program. The NGO has launched a program to provide quality education to children from economically weaker sections. With the support of Formula Group, the program has trained and encouraged 375 girls to become self-dependent.

For the vocational training program, we work with NGO Shikhar, which has launched a program to promote entrepreneurship for young girls from economically weaker sections of society. Over the last three years, more than 600 women have become self-dependent through this program.

Our work with NGO Sapna is focused towards treating over 55,000 disadvantaged people at their institutional facility in Alwar. They have also provided resources for surgeries, taken care of people suffering from chronic conditions, and facilitated heart surgeries for children. We also provided an ambulance to the NGO.

We also work with Sood Charity Foundation in the areas of Healthcare, Education, Employment, and Technology Advancements. The NGO is providing state-of-the-art healthcare, education, employment, and technology advancements to thousands of people across the world.

Finally, we also support The Earth Saviours Foundation, which provides shelter for abandoned elderly and disabled people. The NGO goes on roads in search of abandoned senior citizens and mentally disabled people and brings them to the shelter home where they are provided with free accommodation, food, and medical care. More than 500 people are living permanently at the shelter home.

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