Relocating to another country, town or city can be stressful at the best of times, and having a specialist company to help with logistics is essential to keep those stress levels down. One entrepreneur in Mozambique has created a business to take away the headache of relocation, and instead make it as stress-free a process as possible.
LoA found out more about this successful niche business that is helping making the business of relocation easier for customers.
What does your company do?
Maputo Relocation Solutions is the first and leading provider of relocation services in Mozambique. Operating since 2009, MRS has consistently provided relocation services to numerous clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to individuals working for the private sector, Global Relocation providers, NGOs and multilateral organizations.
"In a nutshell, whether you’re searching for the ideal house, settling-in, battling bureaucracy, finding the right school, searching for local staff, lost in translation or wanting to know the local culture, MRS is prepared to be your ideal partner and to devise an intelligent solution for your relocation needs."
What inspired you to start your company?
In 2009, I began my relocation career with my business partner and good friend Madalena. We identified the need to assist expatriates during their process of relocation to Mozambique, and idealized Maputo Relocation Solutions, the first and leading company in Mozambique specialized in professional mobility. Our goal is to easy the integration of expatriates in Mozambique making them feel at home from day one. Committed to quality and customer care, we are recognized for meeting deadlines whilst ensuring our clients top-quality and client-oriented services.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey and do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I am Marta Roff, mother of 4 children aged between 6 and 13 years old, I am the co-founder and Managing Director of Maputo Relocation Solutions, the first and leading provider of relocation services in Mozambique. I was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers from my parent’s different marriages, and my younger sister just turned 1! I frequented a catholic school until grade 9, and moved to a public school where I completed grades 10th to 12th. Initially I decided to enrol in business management but changed my mind and ended up earning my B.A. in Fashion Design, awarded with the first prize of my class in 1998. My working career started in 1998, with a trainee role at a fashion magazine. Not long after, while I was still looking for a job, I begged my father, a medical doctor, to employ me in his drug addiction rehabilitation clinic. There was not really a place for a fashion designer in a drug addiction rehab centre, but he still offered me a job. My role was to talk to the patients waking up from their detox phase and convince them to carry on with the complete rehab program… I ended up as Managing Director. I relocated to Mozambique in February 2000, joining an NGO in a remote village to teach in a secondary school and ended up also volunteering in a local hospital, which turned out to be a life changing experience. Being a teacher in Mozambique was highly rewarding. It made me realize how privileged we are to have easy access to education. My role at the hospital was to assist the existing nurse in the paediatric and antenatal care sectors, and assisted a couple of births named after me. The day before I left to go back to Portugal, in April 2001, I met my husband. He followed me to Portugal and we got married in June 2002. In August 2002, we moved back to Mozambique and ventured into the hospitality industry as a Managing Director in a holiday resort in Bilene. In 2004 we moved to Maputo to run a small 4* guesthouse. In 2009, I began my relocation career with my business partner and good friend Madalena.
"With more than 15 years in management and customer service, I process the experience and knowledge to serve the needs and expectations of our clients, with an eye for detail and the ability to successfully handle challenging transitions."
What gives you most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
All my experiences to date have brought me unique insights and firsthand experience of the Mozambique culture and way of doing business. It has given me the local knowledge to serve the needs and expectations of our clients, with an eye for detail and the ability to successfully handle challenging transitions.
What are some of the biggest learnings you have gained along the way?
As a woman entrepreneur and mother of 4 children, I find that having a big family alongside a career is actually liberating. Behind the assumption that work and children are hard to balance, lots of work and lots of children would be even harder, but for me and for most women with careers that’s not the case if we can structure our work schedule for flexibility.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to another woman entrepreneur?
It’s all about work life balance. Entrepreneurship, just like motherhood, is not for me a 9-5 job. I also make time for myself. I run, which is my meditation time. I love dancing. I do party. I do not spend quantity time with my children and family, instead I spend quality time with them. This would not be possible without the precious help of my home staff, my husband and friends who are key elements for my work life balance. I am truly grateful for my life and the people that make and made part of it.
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Why LoA loves it….
One of the keys to business success is finding a niche in the marketplace, and then creating a unique, high quality product or service offering to fill that need. In the highly specialised world of relocation services, Marta Roff has certainly found her niche, and her business Maputo Relocation Services is winning loyal customers who are in need of a stress-free relocation experience. She is a great example of what it takes to built a specialist company and to make the marketplace your own. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa