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Interview with Binoy Nair, Winner of the Service Through Friendship Award

After winning the Service Through Friendship Award at The Society of the Golden Keys of Great Britain & the Commonwealth Awards 2023, Binoy gives us an insight into his career so far.

Binoy Nair receives Service Through Friendship Award from Becky Stoddard, Big Bus London
Binoy Nair receives his award from Becky Stoddard, Head of Business Development, Big Bus London

1. What does this mean to you on a personal level?

This award does mean a lot as it is voted for by my fellow Golden Keys Concierge and to get this recognition from my peers, it's deft special. 

2. Can you tell us about the career path that led to where you are today?

I started in F&B as a waiter years back and rose up the ranks; I was one of the  founding members of the Indian Section as well as one of the first to get the Golden Keys in India. I moved to London 29 years ago and always wanted to be a concierge, working at The Grove Hotel as Head Concierge and then moved to St James' Court in 2011 as Head Concierge. I'm still enjoying my stint and wouldn't want to do anything else as this profession is very satisfying and challenging at the same time. 

Binoy is Head Concierge at St James' Court, A Taj Hotel

3 Are there any specific mentors you've looked to for guidance, and how have they helped you on your journey?

There have been so many but to name a few, they would be Tony Rossi, Darren Briggs, Michael DeCozar and Ricky Barlow, who guided me through the initial stages and encouraged me to make my mark in London and the GB section. A lot of concierges have helped me along the way and continue to be my sounding board for advice and guidance.

"Your career as a concierge is all about hard work, perseverance, wanting to always learn and explore and a lot of patience."
Celebrating success, from L to R: Alan McDougall, Tom Wardley, Darren Winter, Toru Machida, Przemek Zaniat, Binoy Nair, Daniel Bethel

4. What has been the highlight of your career so far?

To get The Concierge of The Year Award in 2016 was something which still gives me goosebumps and the most memorable accolade in my career.

5. Dealing with guests cannot always be easy; what's your approach to winning over difficult guests?

Do not take anything personally and empathise with them to see their point of view. Communicating and keeping them up to date with what you are doing to solve the issue in hand always helps and, of course, always keep a calm and cool demeanour. 

"Without the friendship none of us would be half the concierges we are today."

6. What personal sacrifices have you had to make to become so successful in this field?

One has to lose to gain and for me, the triumphs far outweigh the sacrifices I have made. This concierge role is not for everyone, however, once you put your mind to it as a career and know what you want to achieve, the final result is what matters. 

7. What attributes do you think you possess that make you an award-winning concierge?

The support of my fellow members, a bit of humility, hard work, never shirking from taking advice and be open to new ideas. 

8. If you could give advice to concierge new to this profession, what would it be?

As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day,  and your career as a concierge is all about hard work, perseverance, wanting to always learn and explore and a lot of patience. 

9. What is the most rewarding thing about being a concierge?

The brotherhood of concierges from around the world, making friends all around in our profession and most importantly, seeing a happy guest leave your desk. 

10. Les Clefs d'Or's motto is 'service through friendship'; how important is collaboration with colleagues across the industry to you?

The motto is something we all live by and practice on a daily basis; without the friendship none of us would be half the concierges we are today. This is so evident in the meetings  and events we attend and how we greet each other, same when we go for our International Congresses as well. This camaraderie is what makes us all tick and help us in creating magic moments for our guests.


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