We talked to Sumit Shome about Visa Simple which is one of UK’s leading immigration consultancies, specializing in providing bespoke immigration advice and support to those seeking immigration to the UK.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Sumit Shome: As Martin Luther King once said, “we must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope”. So, to answer your question, we are keeping calm and adapting to the “new normal” with the hope that things are turning for the better. It has been a sharp learning curve for me and as a family. While we have been thrown into a challenging time, we have learnt a lot about ourselves and each other, we have realized we are capable of doing so much more than we knew. It hasn’t been an easy road, and it will be bumpy ahead, but the journey is worthwhile.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Visa Simple.
Sumit Shome: I did a Masters of Law from the University of Strathclyde. Since 2005 I have been with firms working on UK immigration law. Migrating to another country is a huge decision for any individual, and the journey can be complicated. In my initial years as an immigration consultant I came across cases where a small oversight or sheer ignorance of laws, applicants had to not just spend on high lawyer fees but go through high levels of anxiety. All this just because applicants would initially want to save on the lawyer fees. That is when I started thinking that the services of an immigration consultant need to be more affordable, transparent and tailored to offer only how much is required so that at the start people take the correct steps.
My focus was to simplify a complex issue rather than over-complicate the matter and not to make use of an individual’s situation. With that thought and the aim to make professional immigration consultation affordable, ‘Visa Simple’ was founded. I can now proudly say we are recipients of the following Industry Recognition and Awards – Top 3 Best Immigration Consultants In London 2019 & 2020 By Three Best Rated Best UK Immigration Consultancy 2020′ UK Enterprise Awards By SME NEWS.
How does Visa Simple innovate?
Sumit Shome: At Visa Simple, we have been very innovative in making professional immigration consultation more affordable and accessible to all.
There are various stages in immigration consultancy, and each stage comes with different requirements. We offer our clients the option to choose how much assistance they want with their application. Whether it’s assisting from start to finish where we offer our professional services from checking eligibility to submission of an application or if they want our professional assistance at specific stages of the application. There are many applications where applicants can do most of the work themselves with our guidance where required. Our fees are generated as per the services provided and are very transparent. This allows the applicant to plan their expenses and get professional immigration assistance exactly where needed.
This is what makes Visa Simple different from the others.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Sumit Shome: The pandemic has hit almost every industry, and ours has been no exception. However, it is in this uncertain time when many clients have had a financial impact but have to submit their immigration applications, that our flexible services have been very useful and allowed our clients access to affordable professional service.
We have of course seen a drop in revenue, as with so much uncertainty various companies have put on hold sponsorships. Travel restrictions have also impacted business. However, we have pulled through the past months with a positive attitude, flexibility, and an empathetic approach towards our clients & staff. We are getting back on track, and things are looking bright again.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Sumit Shome: Life does at times, bring us at crossroads where we have to make difficult choices. Thankfully 2020 has not brought me to such a crossroad as yet. And the reason is that my clients trust in me, the positive attitude of my staff and the steadfast support of my family. The experience has reinforced my belief in the power of human kindness in every aspect of life, including in business.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Sumit Shome: Stress is part of everyone’s life, and anxiety is a familiar emotion to alert us of potential threats and evaluate situations & circumstances.
I believe in responding by action rather than reacting to the situation. By being in a state of readiness to be able to assess a situation and respond accordingly, I perform very well.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Sumit Shome: There are many immigration consultants in the UK. What makes us different is our definition of success. To us, success is not defined only by the revenue generated. It is defined by the number of people who successfully accessed professional immigration advice within their means and exactly where and when needed. I would like to add that 60% of our clients are referred to us by our past clients.
Therefore, to answer your question of how we stay in the competition, I would say, here the game itself is defined differently, and we are in that aspect ahead of the curve. A smile on the client’s face, to be able to see their eyes light up and to hear the spark in their voice on a successful application is something special, personal and priceless.
Your final thoughts?
Sumit Shome: Well, first of all, thank you very much for your interview. It has been a pleasant experience. I would like to thank all our clients for having faith in us and referring Visa Simple to friends, family & other businesses. Your good wishes and support have immensely helped us through these difficult months. This support has reinforced our belief in the importance of being a transparent, honest consultancy firm which would not waste your time and hard earn money.
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