Real Leaders: Andrew Long, CEO, Ten Group
Who? Andrew Long – CEO
Where? Ten Group Asia Pacific
How long? Since 1998
“Outside of work I love playing golf with my son and I'm a qualified Rugby Football Union (RFU) coach. I also like walking my two dogs, one of which only has three legs.”
A day in his life
“As the CEO of a global luxury lifestyle concierge service for Asia Pacific, I get to work at about 8am in Singapore and the first thing is to ensure that our offices in other countries are all operating at their optimum levels. The first half of the day is always dedicated to offices in my region such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Mumbai and Australia. And later in the day I look after the operations in Middle East, Africa, Dubai and the UK. We are multi-time zone and working at different levels of operational development, so I need to make sure everyone is coordinated with a clear plan and objectives. In the middle of the day, I have client meetings and typically finish the day in the office by 7pm.”
The business of making dreams happen
“We provide travel and lifestyle concierge services to busy professionals around the world – one of the most diverse and interesting sectors. We are the go-to professionals when you need a premium travel agent, a fine dining expert, a luxury retail specialist or anything our members have on their to-do-list. That is why we have built a global infrastructure which enables us to fulfil requests around the clock. There is not a day which goes by without a new challenge coming up. We hire lifestyle managers with good language skills and expertise in the travel, ticketing, dining or luxury retail, as well as more diverse skills like property, home services and motoring.”
By establishing a very clear developmental structure for our employees, we also show them that there is a long future in luxury lifestyle concierge.
His best bragging rights
“We had a client in the UK who organised the party of a lifetime for his wife’s 50th birthday. He hired a beautiful castle as the venue, invited 150 guests and requested we get Annie Lennox to perform as a surprise. The moment where his wife was on the dance floor and Annie Lennox appeared playing the piano was spectacular. She cried, ran up onstage and gave the singer a big cuddle. It is heartwarming to see our members use their wealth to do really wonderful things for their loved ones.
Another Chinese member was absolutely delighted when we sent out a newsletter cataloguing the new range of Hermès Birkin bags, arguably the most sought-after handbags in the world. She phoned us right away and dropped a cool USD$500k purchasing the entire range.”
Retaining top employees Ten Group style
“We have created a business where lifestyle concierge is a profession. By establishing a very clear developmental structure for our employees, we also show them that there is a long future in luxury lifestyle concierge. Employer branding is extremely critical which is why we have a presence in the market and our websites talk about the roles we offer. Our employer brand matches what employees receive when they join the business and we deliver on the promise of development, training, experience and opportunity.
I take pride in the fact that we have one of the highest staff retention rates of any other business I have come across. Because of our global nature, with 16 offices worldwide, there is a lot of opportunity to be part of the business. We have got people in every office who have been seconded there to work on a specific project, and employees see that we have the capacity to move talent around.”
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