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March 08, 2008

Remote assistant services

Business Today has an article on the remote "concierge" services provided by companies like Ask Sunday, Brickwork India and Get Friday.
The services being offered by these concierges, or virtual valets, range from regular to bizarre. There are requests for quick information look up, getting music organised, online shopping, wake-up calls with the weather update and a reminder to exercise thrown in, to even getting work done on the company’s quarterly report, market research, documentation, compilation of information and in some cases even getting jobs for their clients. “We have organised parties and delivered food locally in the US through phone, we got a window pane fixed in Geneva and we can get a contractor to fix a broken plumbing line sitting right here in Bangalore,” elaborates Sunder.

Get Friday’s client Valentin Yeo, 28, a self-employed SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) consultant in Munich, often needs support for his consulting business, updating and sorting his MP3 collection and sorting images. Though he says it is very uncommon in Germany to do something like this, it makes sense to him. “A lot of work would not get done if it wasn’t for Jasmine, my assistant at Get Friday. I guess I would say in a good week I get around 10-15 hours freed because of Jasmine,” he says.

Ask Sunday, which calls its clients Sunday members, partners with various travel agencies in the US to offer full service travel agency support. Tasks EveryDay gets requests to search ‘match’ portals to find suitable matrimonial matches. YMII, for its part, once got a vintage birth certificate (for a person born before 1930) from Shimla at the request of an Englishman in Canada.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.