During my time with the band Tradewinds in North America, I ended with lovely “good news about Guyana” stories. One of them, going back nearly a dozen years, has to do with Brian Bacchus, another West Dem boy like me from The Hague; Brian from Uitvlugt but then was involved in the Caribbean-American Passport Connection event in Orlando, Florida where they honored outstanding Guyanese contributors to America The CAPC had been operating for years in that city as the best of Guyana societies / Probably American, and had Tradewinds played for many of their roles arranged by Sam Roberts (son of Guyana’s Chief of Crime Skip Roberts). If this happened, at the Double Tree hotel, the ANPA paid tribute to a variety of GT people who have done well in the US in a variety of businesses or community work. In fact, I was very impressed by the range of abilities recognized at the event, and I really suspect that most of these Guyanese, in a wide range of disciplines, are relatively unknown in their homeland.
In this case, however, I was not surprised to see Brian Bacchus, who operates Luxury Rides Inc., a limousine service, as one of the honorary group on stage. His story is striking, and one I’ve known from the time we started playing for Sam Roberts’ group and Brian came up at the airport to pick us up in one of his shiny limousines that bears his name high in Orlando as one of the top of the line. Brian’s story is one of many Guyanese migrating to another country, bringing their ingenuity and determination and, as one person said at the Orlando event, ‘their perseverance’ implanted from their youth in Guyana.
The son of Raymond Bacchus, Uitvlugt Estate Field Manager, Brian emigrated to New York in 1983 with a “curiosity” about the rest of the world’s events, as he said. He recalls, “I had never worked in Guyana but once I got to New York I saw the need to educate myself and I was interested in the law. However, with no money to go to school, I got a job as a taxi driver; also while playing here I knew that a nine to five job was not for me. “With an interest in the music scene, he soon switched to working for a limousine service catering to people in that industry, but ambition pushed him. Brian recalls:” I spent about six months, watching how the business was operating, analyzing the various aspects and filing, and in 1986 I bought my own limousine 1. My philosophy, which still exists today, was to go beyond the standard transportation ingredient and concentrate on giving the little extra courtesy and customer support – getting them tickets for an event; arranging laundry services, changing flights, etc. – we would do those extras and that would turn them into regular clients instead I gradually started building customers among the various entertainment people while traveling, one of my first big name clients was Roberta Flack, she would ask for my limousine service whenever she came through and others were Kool and the Gang, the Beach Boys and Billy Ocean. ”
However, the West Dem boy was not too fond of the busy nature of New York, and in 1996, with established customers, he moved his business to Orlando. Brian recalls: “The first time I went to Orlando, once I hit the airport and saw the palm trees, and the tropical look, I realized that’s where I wanted to be.” Coming to his new location with many big music names already clients, he quickly began work from Universal Studios and the Walt Disney operation, and eventually the University of Central Florida.
Today Brian operates 20 limousines (of which 5 are wholly owned) and has subcontract arrangements with limousine services in other American cities. He said, “I never spent any money on advertising. I grew my business from this client group that I had secured in New York and was now recommending my services to Universal and Disney people. “It’s difficult to break into organizations of that scale, but Brian’s satisfied clients in the entertainment business were opening doors for him in his new environment.” I came there, “he said,” which is already known to some from the big names in music; from there, things really went away for me. ”
Reflecting now on his success, Brian credits his upbringing in Guyana. He cites his father in particular for fostering an ambition for him to be disciplined in his work and to make decisions based on careful analysis of a situation. “I was also hammered by my mother to be kind to people,” he said, “and with that background, reaching out to customers and deciding on their needs came naturally to me.” He called his operation Concierge on Wheels and saw it as the core of his business from the start. He said, “With that background, reaching out to customers and deciding on their needs came naturally to me. I really liked the name ‘Concierge on Wheels’ and that was the core of my service from the beginning. “His natural astuteness in business is reflected in a comment he made to me about his grip on detail:” I always tell my fans to perform their best, because you never know who is n observation. ”
On my first encounter with him, Brian met me at Orlando airport, where your transportation usually stops in line outside the terminal, but here Brian was with his glittering Lincoln limousine parked outside into the terminal in a safe area. He seems to pay for a special clearance that allows him to bring his vehicle inside near the luggage claim area, so as you pick up your suitcase, or electric guitar, just a few steps to off is the limo, which is customer convenience and superior service from the country boy from West Dem, competing in the big arena, and making waves outside; a diaspora success story, if I ever heard one. That’s Brian … if you go Orlando and need a limo, Brian is your guy at Concierge on Wheels. In his field, he knows how it’s going; and you do not have to walk very far.