The Moving Company, a student-led initiative that provides moving services for fellow students, first emerged as a lifeline for those facing the daunting task of relocating during the Covid-19 pandemic. Founded by Wenyang Chen and Álvaro Bermejo Morcillo, soon to be IE student Alumni, the company has quickly gained popularity, expanding its reach beyond Madrid and even across Spanish borders to assist students in Italy and other locations. In an exclusive interview with The Stork, Chen shared the story behind their venture and their vision for the future.
The Moving Company was born out of necessity when the pandemic forced students to return to their home countries. After the two weeks everyone thought the pandemic would last turned into two months and then more, Chen and Morcillo witnessed their friends growing concerns about their belongings and the financial burden of rental contracts with no means of retrieving their possessions. “We started this idea as a way of helping our friends, and the word spread so quickly that even people from Italy or out of Madrid contacted us to help them move their things”, Chen explained.
As first-year students, Chen and Morcillo faced numerous uncertainties while launching their company. They had to navigate the intricacies of the moving industry, learning step by step and adapting along the way. The challenges extended beyond logistics, including the complex process of establishing a company, managing taxes, social security, and a multitude of administrative obligations. “We had to discover everything by ourselves, and learn in little steps to become what we have achieved today”, Chen emphasised.
The Moving Company’s journey has been filled with remarkable experiences and heartwarming stories. From helping students move their furniture while they hosted late-night parties to facilitating international moves, the team has not only provided essential services but also embarked on incredible journeys themselves. Chen reflected on the pivotal moment when the company acquired its first office and warehouse, solidifying the foundation for The Moving Company’s continued growth.
When asked about advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, Chen stressed the importance of giving full commitment and effort to pursue ideas while being prepared for the possibility of failure. “It is important that they understand that this doesn’t happen from one night to another so that they do not get disappointed if an idea doesn’t work”, he shared.
Running a business is undoubtedly challenging, but Chen highlighted the significance of maintaining an open mind and being adaptable to change. He emphasised the value of treating employees with respect, creating a happier team and a stronger company. “The Moving Company keeps its operations running thanks to all of our team members too”, Chen acknowledged.
Overcoming initial scepticism due to their young age, Chen and Morcillo have proven their dedication and competence, earning the respect and trust of their clients and partners. Balancing academic commitments, company responsibilities, and a social life has been a test in itself, but Chen encourages young entrepreneurs to stay focused and resilient, ignoring naysayers and maintaining a positive mindset.
During the intense weeks of student move-outs, Chen admitted the toll it takes on the team. Sleepless nights, immense pressure, and the need for multitasking become the norm, with the team working tirelessly for 14 to 16 hours a day. However, during off-peak seasons, a healthier working schedule is maintained, allowing the team to strike a balance between work and personal life.
The partnership with IE University has been instrumental in The Moving Company’s growth. Chen expressed gratitude for the mentors and professors who provided guidance, as well as the strong reputation the company has built within the IE community. Furthermore, strategic collaborations with student residences such as MiCasaInn and RESA, as well as partnerships with organisations like Beyond Campus and the Comunidad de Madrid, have significantly boosted the company’s visibility.
Looking ahead, The Moving Company envisions becoming the leading moving company for students in Europe. While their immediate focus is on solidifying their position in Madrid and Segovia, they plan to expand to other major cities with international student populations, such as Valencia and Barcelona, within the next two to three years.
In closing, Chen shared a valuable lesson he learned along the way. He advised entrepreneurs to document their company’s growth and important processes, as it allows for reflection and appreciation of the journey. To all aspiring entrepreneurs, he emphasised the challenges of entrepreneurship but affirmed that with determination, the right mindset, and a good strategy, success will come.