There is no compromising on luxury, so what if you have to shell out extra bucks to witness heavyweight champion Triple H versus Roman Reigns from the front row itself. For all those who want to roll around in that lap of luxury without running for ticket reservations or bookings, concierge services are here to serve your better. Be it a last-minute table reservation at a five-star restaurant or VIP access to the hottest gig in town, it's all just a call away. Concierge services have emerged as an easy way out for those who lack time and want to splurge.
From handling guest travel arrangements, the concept of concierge has evolved to lifestyle management services. The market for concierge services has increased in the past few years, paving the way for domestic and international entrants to pamper customers with a wide range of services.
Quintessentially Lifestyle India is one such firm that provides its members unlimited access to privileges, preferential rates and bespoke services. The partner franchise of Quintessentially Lifestyle UK has a membership fee starting from ₹300,000 a year.
So, how do these services work? At most firms, there is a lifestyle manager who connects with the members on a regular basis and studies the likes, dislikes and preferences of their clients and recommends services according to their tastes.
“Indians are a lot more conservative with their requests, as compared to members in other countries. Requests are mainly in areas such as travel, dining, gifts, flowers, shopping and recommendations from entrepreneurs, industrialists, corporate moguls and HNIs. They are well travelled, discerning and hence, expect high quality services. At times, Indians seem to be far more demanding and have an inherent need to look for ‘value for money’ than most customer segments in global markets,” says Mishti Bose, CEO of Quintessentially Lifestyle India.
Not only in India, these firms have established their familiarity with foreign countries as well. “Be it a last minute booking for the T20 International series, cricket matches or concerts in foreign countries, we get the bookings done for our clients. It is all about using your contacts to get that pricey seat, without losing your customer and retaining his trust in your service,” says Vivek Chadha, CEO of EYL. The concierge firm charges a membership fee of ₹100,000 every year.
American Express that introduced concierge services over 20 years ago on its platinum card offer services, which come ‘by invitation’ (Platinum and Centurion) and without any additional charges. “Be it tickets to an opera in Venice, booking personal villas in Ibiza or even flying Acai berries from deep within the Amazon rainforests, our team makes it happen. We offer almost anything a customer asks for as long as it is legal and ethical,” says Manoj Adlakha, CEO, American Express Banking Corporation, India.
With an ever-increasing aspirational population in India, there will be demand for concierge and support services, says Chaitanya Sinh, founder of A La Concierge, a concierge company catering to corporations and individuals since 2003. “There is an increasing emphasis on luxury and bespoke services from HNI clients. Hence, competitors funded by venture capitalists are out to capture market share. Home services, repair and maintenance and food delivery are some of the more saturated segments with numerous players,” he adds.
The number of HNIs as well as the mass affluent base in India continue to increase given India’s progressive economy. “With affluents nowadays being ‘time poor, money rich’, concierge services have become all the more relevant. Global exposure and awareness has led to a change in the Indian consumer’s outlook, aspirations and lifestyle needs and choices. Moreover, as the number of working women and level of wealth increases, there will be an increase in demand for personalised services,” adds Adlakha.