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Date
16 April 2013

Business Shapers: Ben Elliot

Ben Elliot is the co-founder of Quintessentially, the luxury lifestyle group and  24 hour global concierge service, which he started in London in December 2000.

They now have over 60 offices worldwide, offering everything from access to fine wines, private jets, property and luxury cars, to fine art, bespoke gifting, event planning, communications, design and much more.

Transcript

Business Shapers: Ben Elliott

Ben Elliott

Founding Director, Quintessentially

Business Shapers from Mishcon de Reya

In association with Jazz FM’s Jazz Shapers

My parents were so kind and loving to me and my sisters, that they always encouraged us to do things and as a child and as a teenager I was always trying to sell stuff to people, I was always trying to do things. 

I was involved in other businesses.  I would set up a juice bar business, which had been successful and sold that and I had been also involved in some of London’s most fantastic night clubs and through that I kept on kind of meeting people who, who seemed in need of some kind of service in that they wanted tickets for things, they wanted to go to restaurants, they wanted to travel properly.  Twelve years ago here in London we started as a concierge service and the more we’ve got to know our clients, be they individuals or corporates, the more we kept on thinking about the commercial opportunities.  We’ve come so far from where we first started with kind of three of us with some mobile phones by our bed looking after our members 24 hours, to a business that today employs 3000 people proudly globally that we feel there is many other things that we have to do.

The reason why we’re setting up these businesses in the first place is one, we don’t think the service offered by other providers is good enough; and two, we are old fashioned opportunists and that we want to keep it within our family as opposed to going to somebody else’s.

Every year we try and do four or five things with four or five partner charities and look, it’s our responsibility in the audience we look after who are people who have money, they are wealthy people to encourage those people through as many innovative ideas as possible to give money back. 

The way I live my life and run my business is  I am pretty straightforward with people, I want to hear what people are doing, I’m interested in other businesses, where people come from, where people are going.

I think people setting up businesses in their twenties, I really you know encourage them to do it because you don’t have all the concerns that somebody who has maybe got a mortgage or children and all those things, it’s the best possible time to do it.

If you want to set up a business you’ve got to be excited about it, you’ve got to take pleasure in what you do, you’ve got to kind of skip to work in the morning and that old fashioned thing that if you have your own business and you take pride in it, it’s a great, great privilege to run your own business.

Business Shapers from Mishcon de Reya

In association with Jazz FM’s Jazz Shapers