Business Heroes - Borderless Business: Ten Group (highly commended)

Alex Cheatle's lifestyle concierge company, Ten, has sorted out elephants for weddings, found babysitters in New York and even helped get a client's son out of jail in Thailand.

by Hannah Prevett
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

To some of his clients, Alex Cheatle is definitely a business hero. But being everything to everyone is certainly not easy - especially when customers can be scattered across the globe.

'You have to understand the nuances of every different culture,' explains Cheatle. 'Just as a Scot generally prefers to deal with a Scot, not only does a Chinese like dealing with a Chinese, but someone from the same area of China.' Also, members from different cultures like to be communicated with differently. 'The Chinese like text messages, whereas Europeans and North Americans would much prefer to get an email,' he says.

The majority of Ten's members are still here in the UK, closely followed by Russia and China. It has made strides in the US too - despite the fact the lifestyle concierge market on the other side of the Atlantic is so highly saturated - all of which helped contribute to an impressive £17m turnover this year. Cheatle ascribes at least some of Ten's success to the fact it's based in the UK capital: 'London's got a certain kudos - lots of our members like being members of a service that's based here,' he says. 'It'd be weird for a global service business to be based anywhere else.'

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