If you are migrating to Australia, you need more than an immigration agent. You need a friend and guide whose support extend even after you have landed on the foreign soil. And you will find that at Debika Migration Services, which is registered with Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). Founder Amitava Deb moved to Australia more than 30 years ago and found his calling helping people migrate to and to settle in the country. Thus, DMS came into being in 2004.We spoke to him at length about his journey, immigration services and much more in an interview.
Tell us about your journey into the immigration services space and how you started DMS Migration.
I am a child of migrant parents from (now) Bangladesh which used to be part of India. I grew up inheriting a feeling of despair that comes from having to leave everything behind. Partition (of India) was a big part of my life and that is what got me thinking about the topic of migration. Migration is part of my identity.
I have a technological background. I studied at Jadavpur University and IIT Kharagpur. When I moved to Australia, I studied Immigration Law. It became part of my journey. I am a people’s person. I love to communicate with them, help them. It brings me immense happiness. And because of the partition I am awfully familiar with immigration issues.
Please highlight a few of your immigration services. Do you customize services as per the need and eligibility of your clients?
There are different reasons why people move. Some migrate for better opportunities, better lifestyle while some get married and migrate here.
The refugees of Afghanistan, Iran etc. get married in Europe, India and want to migrate here. The reason is that this is a peaceful country, the government encourages business migrants. Today, the most popular form of migration is skilled migration.
Yes, we offer customised services. Every individual, situation, skill set, the way they talk, the way they are brought up, their personality – everything needs to be considered while providing them with immigration services. They want a friend holding their hand more than just an agent. So, depending upon the person I customise services, and it is not just after landing into Australia but also after that. I offer counselling as well.
There are many clients who I have not yet met in person because the process is online and there is no need to meet face to face or visit an office. But it makes me happy that I can touch their lives with my services and counselling.
What makes DMS Migration the most preferred choice among your clientele? How do you stay competent in the market?
I offer personalised services. Also, I do not overload myself. Having a manageable ceiling of cases at any time, I balance my workload. I am easily accessible anytime and people can reach me even at midnight and over weekends.
Being an accomplished business leader, what are your thoughts on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the immigration services sector and the Australian business ecosystem in general?
Covid-19 has been managed very well in New Zealand and Australia. We have less than 10 cases per day as against 70,000 in India and 40,000 in US. In October 2020 we had our annual budget session. Unlike other countries, Australia recognizes the importance of migration for economic recovery post pandemic. They did not slash the numbers. Priority is now being given to business migrants and global talents to help accelerate economic recovery with a combination of innovative business ideas and working capital. The total annual numbers will remain the same. Preference will be given to the areas of Technology, Health, ICT and anyone with innovative business ideas.
In other countries, like the US, the situation is little different. Their leadership feel that immigration will affect their economy.
What is your opinion on the future of the immigration consulting market, in terms of technological improvements, increase in demand, or the sorts?
We are going to keep adapting to market requirements and to the needs of the ecosystem and the same is true with the current challenging situation we have with Covid-19. Every government needs to rethink their immigration strategies. Immigration is important and economic growth of an otherwise negative population growth country depends on it. For example, marketing earlier used to be through billboards, now it is through SEO and digital marketing. Eighty percent of my clients are from India. I entered the business more as a human being than a businessperson. Of course, business is important, but immigration is a life-changing journey for people. So, it needs a human touch too. You have to be available all the time and be proactive with guidance to the right approach.
What would you advise the emerging entrepreneurs and professionals who wish to enter the immigration consulting industry?
Go beyond migration and help clients settle by providing counselling, accommodation support, job support, community services etc. Be proactive. Use more of AI to make your business operations more efficient.