Tursun Alkau: Reinventing Traditional Businesses with Innovative Technology

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on November 28, 2023

Tradition often trumps innovation, but entrepreneurs like Tursun Alkau are trying to change that by masterfully blending cutting-edge technology with old industries. In Alkau’s case, it is a mesh of tech and the moving industry.

Alkau’s journey from a Central Asian immigrant to the founder of MyProMovers, now hailed by Forbes as a leader in the Washington D.C. moving scene, shows the transformative power of innovative thinking in traditional businesses. The following delves into how Alkau reinvented the moving business by harmonizing automated solutions, AI, and futuristic robotic exoskeletons with the human touch, setting new industry standards.

Defying the Odds  

An immigrant from Central Asia, Tursun Alkau embarked on his American journey as a mover. Shocked by the unacceptable working conditions, he went against the grain and launched his own business. In less than six years, Alkau nurtured his venture, MyProMovers, from the ground up, achieving a revenue milestone of over $3.5 million. 

The company that started from one man and a truck has grown to 20 vehicles and almost 60 employees. MyProMovers now serves 4,000 customers a year, including U.S. military personnel, White House secretaries, and luxury brands, such as Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Bloomingdale’s. 

Alkau’s company works with diplomatic missions, such as the Korean embassy in D.C., and the market-leading secure digital identity network ID.Me. Spain’s King Felipe VI also used MyProMovers during his visit to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters in D.C. in 2022. 

Why is a traditional company experiencing startup-level growth? What’s the key to transforming a traditional business through innovation and technology? Here are a few tips from Tursun Alkau.

Dare to be First

When Alkau, a Chinese-to-Kazakh interpreter by education, started working as a mover in Washington D.C., he gained firsthand insights into the drawbacks of the industry. 

“The owners didn’t really care about expanding their businesses, keeping clients happy, or holding onto their staff,” he said. “There was no systematic approach, and the equipment was far from up to par. The trucks were ancient: there were holes in the floor, so if someone dropped their phone, it was a one-way trip to the abyss.”

Everybody thought that it was the nature of the industry. Owners tried to save as much as they could and didn’t have a long-term strategy. 

“I decided my business will be different.” Alkau said. “I invested in brand new equipment, integrated software to automate our processes, developed a retention program for my employees, and put clients in the core of my business.“ 

Never Stop Innovating

Alkau took a risk to innovate the traditional ways of running the moving business, and his approach paid off. MyProMovers employee retention rates are the highest in the industry: most workers stay for a few years and recommend their friends and family to join the company. And the client base has grown exponentially. 

Still, Alkau constantly improves and innovates his business. “We are currently developing our own software, because we outgrew all the existing products.” Alkau said. “Most of them have been developed by tech professionals who don’t fully understand our business. Our software will be the first on the market, created for the moving industry by movers.” 

To increase productivity, Alkau is using the best equipment available. “We move a lot of heavy and odd shaped items, such as pianos, hot tubs, or sculptures, so we are constantly searching for innovative ways to do this,” he said. “For example, when moving gun safes we use a special electric stair climbing hand truck.”

Don’t Replace but Empower People with Technology

At this stage, Alkau said it’s still too early to replace human labor with AI-based robots. Their movements are too impulsive, and the grip doesn’t let them hold things properly. 

“I researched and tested a lot of robots, and they are not there yet,” Alkau said. “Also, although we are using AI to manage our Google reviews and automate other processes, it’s missing the creativity of a human. An individual can understand that, for example, removing one leg of a sofa is enough to take it out. And the robot will spend too much time reassembling the whole thing.”  

Alkau figured out that half robot and half human could make an ideal mover. He decided to enhance workers with technology and approached a German company producing robotic exoskeletons, a wearable structure augmenting human strength. 

“Exoskeletons improve our workers’ safety and also provide data on their productivity,” Alkau said. “I believe my openness to technology allowed us to become the Tesla of the moving industry. But any traditional business can innovate and grow using this approach.”

MyProMovers is currently expanding, with plans to launch 50 new franchise locations across the U.S.

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Jordan French is the Founder and Executive Editor of Grit Daily Group, encompassing Financial Tech Times, Smartech Daily, Transit Tomorrow, BlockTelegraph, Meditech Today, High Net Worth magazine, Luxury Miami magazine, CEO Official magazine, Luxury LA magazine, and flagship outlet, Grit Daily. The champion of live journalism, Grit Daily's team hails from ABC, CBS, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fox, PopSugar, SF Chronicle, VentureBeat, Verge, Vice, and Vox. An award-winning journalist, he was on the editorial staff at TheStreet.com and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur with one sale. Formerly an engineer and intellectual-property attorney, his third company, BeeHex, rose to fame for its "3D printed pizza for astronauts" and is now a military contractor. A prolific investor, he's invested in 50+ early stage startups with 10+ exits through 2023.

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