Women of Worth 2017

Heavy lifter

Aakanksha Bhargava of PM Relocations on how she successfully grew a business in a labour-intensive male-dominated industry

"The year was 2007. I was 21-years-old, alone in Bengaluru and setting up the PMR office in the city. In the midst of one assignment, the workers didn’t turn up. So, I drove to the tempo stand at night, all by myself, and picked up a few labourers to do the loading,” says Aakanksha Bhargavarecounting her entrepreneurial beginnings. PM Relocations was actually founded by Bhargava’s parents Rajeev Bhargava and Archana Bhargava in 1985 in Kolkata, six months before she was born. But the credit goes to her for scaling up operations over the past ten years. “Our revenue back in 2007 was Rs.2 crore. This year, we are confident of closing with revenue of Rs.65 crore,” says Bhargava. The number of workers has also grown from a modest 35 in 2007 to 535 at present. When Bhargava joined, the company was present only in two cities. Today, it is present in 14 cities including Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad. “My father did have confidence in me right from the beginning, but he probably thought that I could maintain the business at the same level where it was. Even he didn’t think that I could bring it this far,” she says. 

Nascent stage
Bhargava’s father decided to move his business from Kolkata to New Delhi in 1992, as Kolkata was fast losing its commercial centre status at the time. Her mother also joined in the business in 1994 when Bhargava was eight years old. It is therefore not so surprising when she says that she imbibed entrepreneurial values very early on as a child. “My father used to plan our vacations around his work. Summer holidays were never vacation time. For him, PMR came above everything. People preferred shifting homes on Sundays, and my father would never said no to anyone. When I was 10, he  would take me to these houses on Sundays, conduct surveys and come back,” says Bhargava. 

Her mother managed the finance department, but still found time for her. “I never had the feeling that my mother wasn’t there for me. I participated in a lo

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