“You only live once, and it’s far better to own one fabulous, life-altering product than to own five average ones,” this is the motto of the month-old Concierge India, which was launched on Facebook. The company has a vast network of vendors through which it sources out products and services that a person wishes for. No matter whether what you want is in India or in far-off Cuba or any corner of the globe, these guys will facilitate everything.
“When we were living abroad, our friends and family would constantly ask us to bring things back for them — gifts such as vintage wine, poker sets and fancy shoes. But when we came back to India, we saw an explosion of entrepreneurship, with new businesses and services popping up every day, and a massive increase in lifestyle options available to Indians at home. We realised that most people simply don’t know where to look for things, locally. We want to solve that. And while we’re at it, we want to support homegrown, high-quality Indian businesses, by connecting them with a growing pool of eager consumers. Our message is: Need something? Just ask,” says Ayesha Malhotra, head of marketing and external relations at Concierge India.
Dial a favour
The company’s sourcing service is free. All one has to do is share your request by writing to them. The company has developed an extensive network of vendors to whom they put out a “request for proposal” each time a new request comes in. They employ trained concierges who find what the customer is looking for.
Once a few vendors are found, they send their contact information to the consumer. “We take our customers’ privacy very seriously. We never share their contact details with the vendors,” specifies Ayesha. “Typically, it takes us anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days to source something, though if the request is particularly arcane, then it may take a few days to track it down. But we definitely track it down,” she adds.
Apart from some luxurious and difficult-to-find requests, the company also gets a lot of strange requests. “Our favourite request so far was for invisible shoes. This customer was undeterred by the insane price tag of ` 2,13,898. We also got a request for a carnivorous plant, the Venus Flytrap. We actually found a vendor who painstakingly cultivates these plants and ships them anywhere within India,” informs Ayesha. However, she makes sure that they don’t indulge in anything illegal. “Not saying we don’t get those requests — we do! We got an alarming number of requests from people looking for the Abhishek Manu Singhvi sex tape,” she chuckles.