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The CEO Magazine
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Saju James: nurturing business ideas with comprehensive immigration service

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Saju James: nurturing business ideas with comprehensive immigration service

Fragomen Immigration is empowering the business world to shine with its unique offerings and excellent guidance of Partner and MD, Saju James.

Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion. Saju James, the Managing Director of Fragomen Immigration Services India Pvt Ltd perfectly fit in this picture.  He is a champion of the entrepreneurial world. He is raised with his desire, dream and vision and his own keen eye for business opportunities and his youthful sportsman spirit, which never puts him down. He started off as the Country Head of Fragomen Operations in India and in due time got promoted as the India partner and was later promoted as the equity Partner of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP– the global immigration law firm.

 Saju’s personal journey is the perfect poster brand of the American Dream. He was born in a middle-class family in the Malabar region of Kerala.  When he was 3 three years old, he was sent to a boarding school by his parents who have been hardworking visionaries who believed that investing in a child’s education is the best investment possible. It was a defining moment in his life – this place taught him resilience, strength camaraderie and made Saju the person he is today. Thereafter, Saju became a proud alumnus of Loyola College, India by Majoring in Personnel Management, Industrial Relations & Labor Laws, and graduating as the University 3rd rank holder in 1990. After graduation, he was scouted and recruited by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Saju’s professional graph in TCS is what constellations are comprised of. He rose to glory in lightning speed within the organization and became one of the youngest heads of Immigration and Legal Compliance in North America at the age of 30. Soon he was sent across the United States to work in varying capacities and within a matter of years; he was appointed the Global Head of the CMC human resources division and later became the Director of HR for the Americas division which had 15,000 employees. 

While at TCS, he was a client of Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen and Loewy LLP – the leading immigration law firm in the United States. He formed close ties with the top partners at Fragomen. It was a one of a kind novel idea which was never before explored in India or even heard of. Saju always had an entrepreneurial streak in him and knew it deep within that his call was towards building something of his own and contributing to a greater audience by being a changemaker. The timing coincided with his other concern, a stable life with his family. He was also at a point where he felt that he has reached a career saturation point within the organization as there wasn’t much more scope for growth and the time was ripe for a change.

The entrepreneur in him saw the greater vision for the next fifty years, and he decided to take the leap. When he decided to return to India to set up the business model, Fragomen gave him the choice of choosing any city of his choice to set up the business, and he chose his native land for the business model. He began his venture as back-office operations with 5 employees and developed it into an operational entity catering to all 40 global offices of Fragomen and having nearly 700 employees and presence in all the major cities of India. In the beginning, the Global office was not keen on a client service model; it was developed later on and became Fragomen India’s greatest products.  With services such as India Inbound, India Outbound, Managed Services Programs, etc. Fragomen India has become one of the biggest offices in the firm. 

Inspiration for initiation

Saju has always displayed an entrepreneurial streak right from his childhood, and his leadership activities were evident right from his brilliant organizational skills back in school and college. The legal services industry in India was not very mature at that point, and that is where Saju saw his break and struck when the iron was hot. Fragomen was a comfort zone for Saju as he had worked with them before as a client, and he knew their client service and ethos. His market research was what cemented his decision to enter the entrepreneurial space.

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An Insight into Fragomen Immigration Services India Pvt. Ltd.

Fragomen Immigration Services India Pvt. Ltd. is a one of its kind premium Immigration service provider for multinational companies with a focus on immigration compliance and strategy and providing legal compliance assistance from its partner offices located globally besides functional and operational assistance at the doorstep in India. From complex immigration challenges to outbound consular services worldwide, Fragomen is here to help. It partners with businesses of all sizes, individuals and their families to meet their unique needs.   

In Kochi, Fragomen has a primary focus on providing outbound consular services worldwide. It works with our affiliate Fragomen offices globally to coordinate and streamline outbound consular immigration services from India into many different jurisdictions. These services are comprehensive and include preliminary eligibility screening, documentation and administrative application preparation and processing, consular and travel port of entry interview briefings, and consular debriefing sessions.  Fragomen in India is Fragomen Immigration Services India (Pvt) Ltd., operating exclusively as an immigration consultancy and not as a law firm in India.

Globally established in 1951, Fragomen has grown from a respected domestic U.S. immigration law practice to a truly global organization. The expansion has been a direct result of their strategic decision to establish offices in the markets where clients would benefit from their on-the-ground presence.

Converting challenges into good fortunes

Fragomen is an expert with its global presence and informed consultants. With an increase in global mobility, which ensued opening up on economics, and globalization in the 1990s and 2000s, the immigration spectrum widened, and mobility increased which put pressure on MNCs to follow strict compliances and fool-proof strategies which would increase their ease in doing business and that is where Fragomen’s international presence comes into play, and its legal and consultant factors combine to provide a never before premium service to the client.

Success Story: from inception to present-day

       1951: Firm originally established as Elmer Fried P.C. in New York City

       1978: Opened second office in Washington, DC

       1979: Florida and San Francisco offices

       1980: Los Angeles office

       1985: Chicago office

       1988: New Jersey office

       1995: office in Silicon Valley

       1997: Troy and Irvine offices

       1998: Dallas office

       1999: first international office in Brussels

       2002: Boston, Hong Kong, and Singapore

       2003: London and Frankfurt, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane

       2004: Expanded U.S. presence with the acquisition of Hirson

       2006: Shanghai office

       2007: Bengaluru, Kochi, and San Jose, Costa Rica offices