OMNI’s new Moscow connection

Intermark Relocations in Moscow has joined OMNI (Overseas Moving Network International). The company is also a member of IAM (International Association of Movers), One Group, and EuRA (European Relocation Association).

The company is privately owned. It started business in 1993 as a DSP (Destination Services Provider) and quickly expanded to become one of the first relocation consultancies in the CIS countries. It now handles over 200 family relocations every month. Unusually, it made the transition from DSP into moving, rather than the other way around.

Today, the company is run by managing partners Irina Yakimenko and Marina Semenova. Irina started with the company 17 years ago. “We first added immigration services and, in the last 10 years, moving,” she explained. “It was one of the best decisions we ever made.”

In the past, Intermark was content to use partners to handle the moving side. But, having researched the market, Irina and Marina decided that having control over the whole process would be better for their customers. “Coming from a relocation background, we were very careful how we grew our assets to keep the service of good quality and efficient. It really worked. It was also a good way for us to diversify as a business.”

It was also well received by their corporate clients as having all three services (DSP, relocation, and moving) in one place helped them to streamline their supply chains. “It gave us a different competitive advantage.”

Irina observed that there is an interesting relationship between relocation and moving. “There’s a tendency for each industry to undervalue the other’s contributions,” she commented. “Each often perceives itself as more crucial. This needs to change.” To that end, Irina is on the Board of EuRA and is working to help bring these complementary industries closer.

Of course, since the beginning of the War in Ukraine, the company’s business has changed dramatically. “When the war started, we were moving expats mainly. But over the last two years, it’s been mostly Russian nationals. Especially in Moscow, most young Russians are very much against what’s going on. Corporations first moved out their international employees, then started moving their Russian nationals to other locations.” Irina explained that this was driven, in part, by companies’ desire to retain talent. She explained that there are also inbound shipments to Russia, “But nothing close to what it has been.”

“Now that we have developed our moving service, I believe that OMNI can benefit from our partnership as much as we can. We have a different mindset from traditional movers because we are a young company that came from a DSP background. I think we can offer a different perspective to OMNI and its membership. Giving more exposure to both industries will create more respect, value, and trust between the key players. I hope it will bring us closer.” She explained, for example, that DSPs need to understand that moving is not just about boxes. “It’s a very complex and impactful part of the relocation process. Movers can also benefit from knowing more about the complexities of providing DSP services.”

Irina is looking forward to being part of OMNI and engaging in more high-level, strategic conversations, rather than the purely transactional.

Although it is the Intermark office in Moscow that has become a member of OMNI, the company owns its own assets in ten CIS countries and operates extensively not only in these countries but also across Eastern Europe, and is represented throughout the region.

Photo:  Irina Yakimenko (left) and Marina Semenova