[Interview] René Stegmann, Director, Relocation Africa
René Stegmann is a South African entrepreneur experienced in the Mobility, Research and Immigration industries, and is currently the Director of Relocation Africa.
Tell a bit about the company, please?
Founded in 1993, Relocation Africa provides a variety of Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration and Expatriate Tax services across the continent of Africa. This year, we are celebrating 25 years of growing our presence across the continenent, and expanding upon our experience with assisting individuals and corporate clients settle into new environments as efficiently as possible.
Where is Relocation Africa located?
Our Head Office is located in Cape Town, South Africa. We have a dedicated team of specialists at our Head Office, who facilitate services delivered by the rest of our locations across the continent of Africa.
How is Relocation Africa funded?
Relocation is a private, owner-managed company and we believe in organic growth.
Who started the company, and when did it start operating?
The company was founded by my mother, Rosemary Elizabeth Maytham in 1993, when she discovered that the Johannesburg Relocation services she was providing to friends actually formed part of a structured industry overseas. At that point we decided to formalize the business. While I am the shareholder of the business, the company has a Board of Directors with a strong focus on processes and policies that drive the business, while at all times remembering the human element of what we do.
For whom are your services?
Our services are, for the most part, Business-to-Business, and our corporate clients come from a variety of industries, and are categorised as multi-nationals who are sending their expatriate talent into new territories, to develop their businesses.
What are the company’s Unique Selling Points?
We are wholly managed and owned by African-born shareholders who are unbiased, meaning Relocation Africa Group does not derive its income from commission – we only receive our professional fee. This allows us to consistently act in the best interest of our multi-national clients, in the true sense of partnership. We also view the relationships and network we have built over the years as vital to our success. Quality of service remains top of mind each time we undertake a project, and we ensure our lines of communication remain open and transparent.
Relocation Africa is one of the only businesses in our sector to obtain the Global Quality Seal, which is an industry ISO9001 standard. It is testament to the rigorous internal assessment of the quality of service that we continually monitor, based on what is happening in our industry. Another point of pride is the numerous memberships and affiliations we have with industry bodies such as the British Chamber of Business in South Africa, SARA IMG, Worldwide ERC, EuRA, and TIRA, which allow us to remain connected to global industry changes, and contribute back into an industry about which we are pationate.
A lot has changed since 1993, especially technology-wise. Have such changes affected your services?
Our services vary greatly and as an SME, we have had to consistently adapt to the needs of our clients, and review our geographic footprint, our services offerings, and our people, in order to give the best to our clients without putting the business at risk. Our products and services are well-received and consistently reviewed and aligned.
What are the ambitions of Relocation Africa?
We are continually looking at ways to both grow as a business, and strengthen the existing relationships we have with our clients. One such example is our recent addition of our new Expatriate Tax division, and its range of services, after noticing a need for these in the African market, and a fit within the rest of our business. Currently, we offer inbound and inter-regional services in Africa, but are now gearing up to become an outbound business, offering managed services to the rest of the world.
In what direction is the company be going in this year?
Relocation Africa Group is an SME and whilst we have a great offering, we do need to review how technology can assist in us scaling our business, to ensure we continue to offer efficient, cost-focused programs going forward.
Our focus is to streamline our product offering and ensure we can gain traction through the integration of technology, while understanding the person behind the process. Ensuring our clients understand the importance of integration and adaptation of their assignees is key to our assisting them in achieving commercial success.
The market is constantly evolving, and we all need to adjust accordingly. There is now more of a need for shorter-term projects, with fewer family members accompanying expatriates on assignement Looking at how we adapt to this need in the market is essential. Colloboration with other service partners is essential, as we are better together. Corporates are looking for a one-stop solution, but we can’t be everything to everyone, so colloboration with partners is often a wise solution.
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