Meet Patrick Groth
Regional Director, Asia

What are the challenges of your job? 

The challenges of being a regional director at Crown World Mobility are also what make the job really interesting. This region is made up of many distinct countries that have their own cultures and languages, and have many different levels of infrastructure to work in. Countries within the region also have their own unique client and assignee needs. This diversity makes my job challenging, but it also makes me feel very fortunate to be a part of it.

What are people's real experiences of the problems of being mobile? How do they solve them? 

Today, being mobile is helped by technology, enabling assignees and their families to communicate with the friends and family that they leave behind. Technology also allows people who are moving to obtain critical information right away and make new contacts more quickly. But some aspects of moving will always be challenging - getting settled into a new location, finding a community, starting a new job, getting to know a new work environment. Our role at Crown World Mobility is to support those types of traditional challenges, but also to support some new challenges. Today’s assignee needs to take charge of his or her career in a more proactive way, thinking about how the assignment can contribute to their next role after repatriation or their long-term career goals. We are working with many clients who are increasingly providing more guidelines and support to assignees around those career planning and "return on investment" aspects of a move. Dual-career assignment challenges, when an assignee and their spouse/partner both have jobs in the home location, but only the assignee has a job in the new location, is another newer challenge that assignees face. This is why more creative spouse/partner support is now a big part of what we offer, so that it isn't a barrier to the assignment, but something to manage better.

How do you think the industry has changed in recent years? 

Our industry has changed as a result of the changes that our clients and their assignees have faced. Some of them that I already mentioned come from demographic shifts, for example dual-career issues or managing repatriation from a career planning perspective, along with an increase in female assignees and the younger Generation Y assignees. We also have a lot more complexity today because companies are more sophisticated in how they run global mobility programs and they demand more from us. We support many more types of assignments, there is a greater focus on compliance and that is key. There is more transparency. The people working in our industry and the assignees who are sent to what might be considered a "remote" location are all more connected than ever before to a global organization. Ultimately, I think our industry is much more strategic today while also being better at what has always been part of our core business - the logistics of moving people.

How might technology change thingsfor better or worse? 

Of course technology changes everything. It allows for better tracking for compliance and for better planning. Technology enhances communication across time zones and cultures and organizations. Technology gives us access to useful information at so many levels. With an increasing number of employees (and assignees) entering the workforce who are Millennials, Generation Y and now Generation Z, we will be a workforce made up of mostly people who have only known an internet-connected world. This is going to increase technology's role in our industry, in our solutions. We are going to have to redefine what customer service looks like. Like I said, technology changes everything.

What are your feelings about the future of the industry?

I feel positive about the future direction of our industry and how it is able to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients and assignees. It is a dynamic industry. And I am very excited about being in one of the most fascinating and important regions in the world. Asia to me means high growth, sophisticated and smart mobility teams and a wealth of diversity and cultural nuances. I truly believe that this region will be a big part of determining how our industry evolves.