Ben Elliot, co-founder of luxury lifestyle concierge company, Quintessentially, spoke about the development of his business and the experiences he gained since he started at the tender age of 24. Quizzed on his time at Eton, Ben talked about the impact of failure and a highly competitive environment. When asked about fagging (the practice of an older Etonian making sometimes odd requests of a younger boy) he revealed that he had once been asked while at school to crawl through a passage to deliver a note to Nathaniel Rothschild inviting him to tea. The sender was actor, Damien Lewis.
The conversation moved on to cover changes in London and how this has affected Quintessentially. Audience members were keen to understand the impact of the 2008 financial crisis; the competition; and differentiation. Artificial intelligence and questions of how robots might impact on the concierge business model were explored. Ben revealed that he worries about the future of “work” and what people will do in the future.
The conversation turned to politics and Ben shared his that “It’s almost impossible for a conventional conservative politician to be elected in London”. His father, who was in the audience, took the chance to ask him if – given his passion for politics – whether he would stand as an MP. Watch this space for the video to see the answer!