Corporate Focus January 2013
IME: To the People, From the People
IME runs with the belief that it’s the people and not “bricks and mortars” that are the building blocks of an organization’
Suman Pokhrel, CEO
International Money Express (IME)
International Money Express (IME), a leading and reliable remittance company in Nepal, specializes in the delivery of money transfer services to people around the globe. Established about a decade ago, IME has grown into a niche brand among a range of remittance companies in the country. In fact, With its coveted campaign ‘IME Garau’, the company has become synonymous with remittance services. IME Remit, an online money transfer product developed by IME, helps to facilitate money transfers. IME ensures fast and reliable and secure money transfer services.
A regular monitoring of the customers database as well as system performance and anti-money laundering checks are there to make the hard earned money of customers safe and secure. The journey of IME has reached a decade and today it boasts of an extensive international presence spanning more than 25 nations, a network of over 75,000 pay-out locations worldwide and a workforce of more than 1000 employees to serve a customer base of over a million.
“During its decade-long journey, IME has not only earned recognition and reputation inside the country; it has received accolades in the international market as well. In the coming days, we envisage becoming one of the leading remittance service providers in the world through our innovative and spirited team work,” shares Suman Pokharel, CEO of IME. According to Pokharel, IME has been more focused on the Indian market lately, with its promotional campaign going on at full swing. The company is also looking at expanding its market in other countries in the long run.
IME’s mission is to provide the best remittance services and solutions to families, friends and businesses across the globe, according to Pkharel. Geographical distance doesn’t matter with IME’s growing faith in the people and its spirit to go the extra mile in pursuit of customer delight. IME is marching ahead with an extensive network in and outside the nation, with presence in over 20 countries including Malaysia, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Israel, Oman, the USA, the UK, Australia, Japan, India and Kuwait.
Ensuring that Nepalis residing and working abroad can remit back to their homeland easily is a priority for IME. For this, the company has formed an strategic alliance with Money Gram International, Xpress Money, Instant Cash, Kyodia-Japan, Ria Financial, UBI India etc. “Remittance is the backbone of our national economy. IME has gained the people’s trust through its fast and reliable remittance services. It has also discouraged remittance flow through unauthorized and informal channels, thereby reducing leakages,” explains Pokharel.
A steady remittance inflow has kept the Nepali economy afloat even during such times of political instability and economic slowdown. Remittance has played a pivotal role in fulfilling the basic human needs, especially in the rural areas. “Most of the Nepalis abroad are migrant workers doing blue-collar jobs. It is these people who are responsible for the biggest chunk of remittance coming to the country. Instances of remittance coming from the skilled Nepali workers abroad are few and far between,” he reveals. When asked about the major turning point in IME’s journey, Pokharel says the day the company was started was itself a turning point. “The concept of starting a remittance office didn’t exist in Nepal back then. IME takes pride in having taken such an initiative.”
IME runs with the belief that it’s the people and not “bricks and mortars” that are the building blocks of an organization. Team IME comprises of young and vibrant youths and Pokharel feels proud to be a part of such a team. “Most of the employees at our office are below 35. It is the unrelenting energy and vivacious working spirit of the team that has brought IME to where it is today,” the CEO gives full credit to his team for the company’s success. The people’s faith in IME keeps the team in the driver’s seat in the competitive market. And now the IME brand itself speaks about the company’s highly efficient human capital.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
IME believes that doing the right things is a necessary precondition for doing well. Since its inception, the company has aligned its resources and taken business decisions that have had a positive impact on its stakeholders - customers, employees, agents and business partners. The company has also trying to do its bit for the ecosystem, communities and society at large through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. IME’s four-pillar CSR policy covers Health and Safety, Community Giving, Education and Environment. IME Kalyankari Kosh, a Rs 2 million fund, has been set up with the aim to extend financial support to the migrant Nepali workers injured in accidents during their work and also to support the families and survivors of the workers who die in Malaysia and the Gulf Countries.
Highlights of IME’s CSR initiatives for 2069/70
- Free Health Camp and Medicine distribution at Khanigaun – 4, Nuwakot, where 300 locals of the nearby VDCS got benefitted with free health check-ups, advisory services on general nutrition, menstrual hygiene and general medicines for free.
- Donation of blankets to 28 families deserted by the wind-fed inferno in Chang Thapu Bazaar, Panchthar.
- A financial assistance of Rs 50,000/- to Hemraj Acharya, branch in-charge of Arun Impex, an IME agent based in Ratnanagar, Chitwan. The amount was given for further treatment of Acharya, who was badly injured in an attack by a gang of robbers in September 2012.
Assistance to Bal Mandir for a cash prize of Rs 5,000 entitled for the most disciplined student amongst the Hawkers Children Club.
Marketing, Branding and Promotion
No doubt, IME has been offering quality remittance services to the people. IME has made special focus on integrated marketing communications and brand promotion. Campaigns like ‘IME Garaun’ and ‘Nepali Ko Baideshik Safalta Lai Nepal Bhitryaune’ have helped the company to rise as a trusted brand. Aimed at enhancing the ‘popularity’ of the IME brand, these campaigns have struck the right chord with the Nepali people. IME’s marketing communications mixes generally appear to be dominated by year-round direct/ community marketing campaigns. The popular comedy pair of Deepak Raj Giri and Deepa Shree Niraula has given a celebrity endorsement to the IME brand by helping disseminate the company’s message in an entertaining way.
Market size of inward remittance: USD 4 billion approximately (yearly)
IME’s market share: 35 per cent (approximately)
Annual growth: 25 per cent approx (which is more or less equal to the industry’s annual growth)
Capital Structure of IME Nepal
Authorized capital: Rs 500 million
Paid up Capital: Rs 50 million
Issued capital: Rs 250 million
Costumers’ Trust and faith in IME. Today, the company has become synonymous with remittance services in Nepal.
Being a private limited company, IME has some limitations and has to sell dollars to commercial banks. So the irony is that later IME has to compete with same commercial banks.
Ample of them; More things are yet to be done to stop the illegal channels of remittance. The company can penetrate new, emerging markets.
Rise in the unhealthy competition among the remittance companies