The Good Life

Convenience Of Class

The growing club of savvy über-rich is fuelling the rise of dedicated concierge players 

The specialized luxury concierge services around the world are pushing boundaries, extending their services and reach. Their clients comprise of über HNIs and enterprises wanting to stay on top of their game.

Arman Motiwalla, founder, One Concierge, a global concierge, says, “We are seeing a large increase in demand from certain regions such as India, the UAE/GCC market, and of course the Far East.”

The Indian luxury market was expected to cross $18.3 billion in 2016. Analyses suggest that the luxury industry will continue to expand not just in India, but globally. Whether it is five-star hotels, fine dining, luxury vehicles, or putting together travel reservations; concierge and lifestyle services are at the centre of the luxury industry. “In the span of a few short years, we have seen our business grow from a small local concierge to a global enterprise with clientele and staff spanning the globe. Regardless of financial market trends, our clients’ needs for convenience, accessibility and expertise has been consistent. Our scope of services keeps evolving with the needs of our clients,” says Motiwalla. Some of their elite clients include heads of states, royal families of the Middle East, and Hollywood and Bollywood talents.

While companies can choose to reward their employees and clients with financial benefits, in today’s competitive market, companies need to differentiate their offerings to retain talent and clients. The need for alternative benefit solutions is sharply on the rise and there is great interest from the financial services, real estate, travel, and automobile industry. On an individual basis, clients are increasingly viewing concierge and lifestyle services not as a luxury but a necessity to maintain their lifestyle and remain productive.

Kanika Gogna, director, Marketing, Quintessentially says, “Our understanding of our clients has increased considerably since we started in 2010. We have four levels of memberships, and when we started, we thought the largest clientele would be from the bottom-most tier but over time ,we realized, it is actually from the top-most tier, the über HNI who is continuously looking for a unique experience.”

While Quintessentially also ties up with luxury real estate properties and other luxury-focused enterprises, they feel their end client is the same.

Over time they also observe a changing pattern in the über HNI category. Kanika Gogna, director, Marketing, Quintessentially says, “The age profile of the über HNIs now is much younger, people with a lot more energy. So the focus is on adventure sports in luxury destinations, such as, a skiing holiday in Verbier in Switzerland or getting them membership to exclusive nightclubs such as Hakkasan in LA, as some popular demands.” Music festivals such as Tomorrowland or a Lollapalooza, are also much sought after. The concept of families having a good time, collecting new experiences together is also new, as earlier youngsters wouldn’t be seen partying or attending concerts with their parents, which is a growing trend today. Amongst destinations for landmark celebrations, some of the new flavours are Russia, Croatia, and Jordan. 

Real estate giants have roped in international concierge services to cater to their A-list clientele who want the same level of customer service as that they experience outside the country. Lodha Group, which owns premium residential properties such as the Trump Tower and Altamount has a tie-up with St. Amand concierge that ensures everything from limousine on call, a jet at one’s disposal, to even personalized care for pets. Arvind Subramanian, regional CEO, Lodha Group says, “From adhering to global servicing standards to associating with the best in class partners, the concierge industry has evolved to a full-fledged hospitality partner across industries. Concierge services have become all the more important in the aspect of luxury real estate, where it is more about building a lifestyle that the resident can experience day in and day out. The aim is to provide a fresh and renewed engagement while staying relevant globally.”

DLF, one of the leading real estate companies in India, also acknowledges the importance of concierge offerings, so much so that now they are recruiting people from the hospitality industry as they feel soft skills are required for jet-setting residents. Sudhanshu Bhushan, executive VP, DLF Home Developers, who was earlier with the Oberoi Group says, “We have high-end customers who expect a high level of convenience and luxury which they enjoy at home. We try and bring in that personalized assistance by helping them with last-minute restaurant reservations, holiday bookings, theatre tickets, access to high-end clubs, parties, and special events across the globe.” DLF also has a tie up with Quintessentially for their Magnolias property.