One of the more unusual requests Rathod has had to fulfil was to procure 37 packets of a specific brand of dog food for a client. That is just a day in her life as a luxury concierge for Quintessentially, an international concierge service with over 60 offices globally. It works with a network of specialists and corporate partners to offer pampered clientele bespoke solutions to their needs.
What are some of the unique experiences you curate?
Our work ranges from booking priority and last-minute reservations at the finest restaurants to dream holidays at exotic destinations. We can plan business trips, secure last-minute tickets to the most coveted events, arrange exclusive backstage meet-and-greets with world-renowned artists and performers, and even track down rare artworks that you normally cannot get your hands on.
What does “lifestyle management” mean and how do you help your clients in this aspect?
Our clients rely on us to enhance the quality of their everyday lives through providing services, organising activities, and advising on and arranging a multitude of everyday needs. Ultimately, we take care of every aspect of their lives to save them an average of 30 hours per month.
What kind of requests do clients make to meet day-today needs?
These include sourcing for a well-endorsed nanny for the kids, a trustworthy courier, a highly recommended dog walker, an expert language tutor, the best dry cleaner in town, a last-minute flower delivery, and even arranging for an electrician or airport transfers for the whole family.
Can you share some unique requests?
More recently, one member needed to have some Bottega Veneta cushions, but they had gone out of production a year before. We spent hours calling stores in different countries. Finally, the Quintessentially office network in Italy helped us arrange to have the cushions customised. We heaved a sigh of relief when those beauties made their way to their new home! Another member was renovating her bathrooms and wanted all the fittings and fixtures to be pure gold and of a particular design. It took us a while but we found the perfect brand and vendor who could provide them along with certificates of authenticity.
What has been the biggest challenge you have overcome?
Constantly managing expectations. These are the hardest to do and sometimes the easiest to slip up on. Requests from ultra high-net-worth individuals can be specific and often difficult to execute. My approach is to be transparent and communicate clearly. We set accurate timelines and provide regular updates so as not to overpromise and under deliver.
After 17 years in the hospitality industry, which included senior management positions in The Lo & Behold Group and The Waterhouse at South Bund in Shanghai, Arron Goh decided it was time to quit. But a call from a friend who needed help with an urgent event drew him back. “One event led to the next and it became a year-long series,” says Goh, who realised there was a demand for luxury gastronomy concierge services and launched The Inside Access in 2018. He also offers a one-of-akind perk: “Baking pineapple tarts is a secret skill of mine,” he laugh. “We have received many gifting requests for them.”
What services does The Inside Access offer?
We plan events such as Chef on Board yacht parties featuring culinary teams from various award-winning restaurants, and we host Chef’s Tables at venues such as G Spot at Gaggan Anand in Bangkok or Nouri in Singapore. We also organise experiences like dining at a chef’s table in the kitchen so you can watch how the chefs work their magic. We can also score reservations at restaurants where tables are hotly contested all year round, including Gaggan Anand, Raw in Taipei and Les Amis here in Singapore.
What other types of requests do you work on?
We have executed full travel experiences in Singapore and Bangkok that cover all logistics including airline, transportation and hotel reservations, as well as bespoke experiences such as visiting renowned restaurants. Unusual requests include getting a chef for a private jet, bringing an international celebrity chef to Singapore to cook at a client’s home party, and arranging a helicopter ride for VIP clients.
What are the top three characteristics a luxury concierge should possess?
1. Communication skills. Having the ability to listen and to truly understand what the client is looking for is key.
2. Putting the client’s interest first. I have never gone into a meeting thinking about how I can close the deal. It’s always about how we can help.
3. Never be content. We are constantly finding areas of improvement.
What has been the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?
Our clients have high expectations. Being able to constantly wow the same client again and again is what sets us apart. We always strive to maintain consistency and surprise with little touches. For example, we have a client who engaged us eight times in two years. It started with one birthday party – a husband’s surprise celebration for his wife. Then the wife engaged us for the birthdays of her two children and husband. Coming up with three different concepts within four months was hard, but we impressed them each time.