Over 232 million people relocate every year to all corners of the globe, yet only a fraction receive professional support from relocation service providers. Millions of foreign assignees have to find their own way around their new home country. The brand new platform Xpatris.com aims to help smooth their entry into Belgium by providing immediate access to the most essential information.
Launched in January 2020, the platform attracted over 1.300 unique visitors in its first month, as well as the support of leading organisations such as BNP Paribas , Radisson, Everis, the Association of Belgian Relocation Agents, Commissioner. Brussels, International House Leuven and others.
Xpatris.com offers users a clear overview of the most trusted local service providers and provides direct access to the relevant products and services. The transparent platform lets users compare plans and offers, listing prices where available, as well as rate and review service providers. By allowing users to openly review the providers Xpatris wants to ensure the quality and competitiveness of services offered remains high. "Think of Xpatris as the TripAdvisor for expats," says cofounder Salvatore Orlando.
The platform is free for both users and service providers, and offers objective information. Every provider is given the same amount of visibility: there are no paid partnerships or sponsored listings. It's one of the many reasons that public Institutions, HR departments and professionals in the global mobility industry have been quick to take up this tool. Instead of spending time explaining the difference between different telecoms or insurance providers, they can direct assignees to the platform for up to date information and comparison. Xpatris.com also offers practical solution and advice on settling in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Leuven, such as registering at your local town hall or what areas are popular with expats.
"Thousands of expats move to Europe every single day and most of them do this without support from their employer," says cofounder Salvatore Orlando. "They'll ask family, friends and acquaintances who have relocated before them for advice or end up on Google. And much as they'll receive useful information, a lot of it will be contradictory and can be hugely confusing. This is what we want to address with Xpatris.com." “In fact, it's a great solution for expats who are already living here too,” adds fellow cofounder Pariksheet Barapatre.
"To give an example, I've been living in Belgium for 10 years, but when I recently wanted to look into extra dental cover, I was lost. There's a sea of information out there, but if you search for 'dental cover plans Belgium' you end up with a list of dentists and articles on social security. All I wanted to know was which providers offer which plans. Imagine how confusing it is for new arrivals. Where do you even begin looking?" says Salvatore.
Expats Helping Expats
Xpatris is the culmination of the two cofounders own experiences as expats in many different countries and now in Belgium. Italian national Salvatore Orlando and Indian Pariksheet Barapatre have put their combined knowledge into developing the platform. Pari's experience as a Silicon Valley and startups data engineer, together with Salvatore's experience in the financial and corporate world make for a strong business and development background. The platform is also supported by a Buddy Community: volunteers who have come to Belgium as foreign nationals. “We are expats helping other fellow expats,” concludes Pari.