What was your initial vision for Packimpex 36 years ago?
I was originally in the freight forwarding industry, shipping commodities around the world, and I saw an opportunity in shipping household goods. Instead of the unemotional world of shipping managers and commodities, you're dealing with the sentimental values of the private individual. I realised that in moving someone's belongings, we weren't really moving household goods but moving people. I had one driving wish and it was to be the best.
How does this compare to the company's direction today?
The company has gone from being a moving company to a relocation company. Our vision was to be THE quality leader in the market. This idea of quality and of being the best is an ongoing objective in the company – and probably part of its success.
We've ensured that we never take anything for granted. We pride ourselves on listening to the changing needs of the market – and respond by making changes to our organisation, in our product portfolio, and in the delivery of services. Movers traditionally invest in warehouses and trucks; our focus has always been to invest in people. Most of all we've learnt to embrace change.
Why are people so drawn to working at Packimpex?
Through our activity in the relocation industry we are connected to the world. The diversity of the people and cultures you meet here makes it never boring and our business is very dynamic. The company itself is changing, creating a constant challenge for the employees and keeping them on their toes.
We also invest deeply in each of our employees and pride ourselves in offering multiple opportunities for them to grow and develop as individuals. The Academy is one place for skill training. We also try to keep a family feeling at Packimpex, with team building events that bring people together, and an open door policy for previous employees to return to the company.
What challenges do people relocating to Switzerland face?
Switzerland is a county made up of some interesting dualities. It is a small country, yet is has 4 national languages and therefore 4 distinct cultures. It is landlocked and mountainous, yet it integrates 25% of foreign workforce. In many ways it is still very traditional, but it is also a country of unparalleled innovation, with the most patents per capita in the world.
Therefore, I think newcomers will need to make an effort to get close to the Swiss people. They're friendly, but they won't necessarily take the first step. The biggest challenge is understanding that it's not us integrating you, but you who are doing the integrating. Go and talk to the Swiss people, they will be more than happy to help you!
What's in store for Packimpex in the future?
Packimpex has a great future. We're always conscious of the different and varying needs of each customer. In today's fast-moving world, I think the combination of feeling the market and feeling the people is surely a recipe for continued success. It is also essential to keep up with the challenge of communicating in the digital age. Our strategic partnership with Hello Switzerland is one of the solutions we believe is right for where we're going.