iconimg Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pooja Biraia, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, June 23, 2013
Your wish is their command, as a new breed of ultra exclusive concierge service brands work to deliver on exclusive demands by affluent individual and corporate customers. Gautam Kumar, a marble exporter from Mumbai, heaved a sigh of relief when his clients from Europe were well-treated by way of a vintage car pick up, followed by an exclusive, personalised tour of Rashtrapati Bhavan, and later a sumptuous culinary tour of Old Delhi, all arranged by Concierge Alliaance Global. “My clients were thrilled,” said Kumar.

When Adaa Oberoi wanted to get an assortment of five different brands of European chocolates in January, she asked a concierge service. “They were baffled initially, but then agreed. As promised, they did deliver the package, albeit an hour late,” she said.

India’s affluent consumers have never had it so good. Since the last two years, uber exclusive concierge services that claim to fulfil any wish with the exuberance and spark of a genie, have descended upon India’s metros.

Their services are exclusive and can cover even unusual requests ranging from a Michelin Star restaurant booking in a foreign location, a marriage proposal arranged at an exotic spot, a personal villa booked at a highly exclusive property... all delivered with fees to match, of course.

“We have actually entertained a request to send someone into outer-space,” says Dustyn Shroff, CEO, One Concierge, which provides an ‘on-demand’ concierge to assist with everyday or luxury needs.

“While a regular concierge will be great at picking up your dry cleaning, purchasing groceries and babysitting your children when you’re out for dinner, a luxury concierge will provide you access to Hollywood award shows and take you behind the cockpit of a fighter jet in the US.”

One Concierge, which operates in 115 countries, is focused on individual and corporate clients and offers services including employee recognition, property and lifestyle management, private travel and event planning. Membership, like with most high end concierge services, is key – member requests make up the majority of business.

A number of companies, such as Quintessentially Lifestyle (a London-based concierge company with a branch in India), AMEX, ER Concierge Services, Les Concierge Services, T'Rouge Concierge, One Concierge, Club Concierge, have come up in Mumbai alone over the past two-three years, offering uber bespoke services at uber premium prices.

And there are takers. “Our market research has shown that there is a high potential and high presence of ultra-high net worth individuals living and working in India,” said Shroff.


Time, says Srikanth DS of Les Concierges—a personalised concierge service—is a precious resource for affluent individuals who need assistance in getting things done. Often possessing the expertise but lacking the time, this demographic is actually seeking a less busy, efficient extension of itself in the concierge service.

“We take care of all those tasks which the well-heeled individual cannot devote enough time to,” said Vikram Kumar, director, marketing and revenue, Concierge Alliaance Global, which started 18 months ago in Mumbai. 

“Our discerning card members are quite diverse – from entrepreneurs to CXOs – all of who are busy individuals with hectic schedules, looking for ways to buy back time into their schedules, and that is what our concierge can do for them,” said Shailesh Baidwan, country manager and head, consumer cards business, American Express Banking group.

He added that on behalf of an American Express Platinum Card member, AMEX delivered a hot and sour soup to his son in Cambridge when he was down with flu. “We’ve delivered flowers to a particular

contact in Beijing, a perfume that had just been unveiled to someone for his girlfriend, orchids that grow only on a particular plot of land in Amsterdam. We even helped a member locate his wallet which he left in another city during a business trip.”