Thomas Cook Press Office: 022 66091380

Thomas Cook India’s Centre of Learning partners with Pondicherry
University to offer MBA in Tourism

~ Centre of Learning is the first Industry non-academic partner for the University ~


Mumbai, February 12, 2013: Centre of Learning, the educational wing of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, has formed an alliance with Pondicherry University to offer MBA in Tourism through Distance Learning. The course has been approved by the Joint Committee of DEC1, AICTE2, AIU3 & UGC4 and focuses on upgrading skill sets for a career in the travel & tourism industry. Pondicherry University, well known for innovations in education, has chosen Centre of Learning as its first nonacademic industry partner. Present on the occasion were Prof Chandra Krishnamurthy, Vice Chancellor, Pondicherry University, Dr Anjaneya Swamy, Director Distance Education, Pondicherry University, Dr Arvind Gupta, Asst Director Distance Education, Pondicherry University, Mr Adrian Williams Head-Human Resources, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, Ms Smeeta Gulvady Vice President and Head - Centre of Learning, and Mr R Thirumal Regional Human Resources, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.


The distance learning MBA is a foundation course for developing a competent cadre of executives to meet the country’s growing requirements for trained personnel in the tourism industry. The strategic tie-up between Thomas Cook India’s Centre of Learning and the Pondicherry University will allow students and working professionals from all fields to get valuable exposure from industry experts, translating into strong value additions.


A Central University, established through an Act of Parliament in 1985, the Pondicherry University has emerged as India’s fastest expanding university crossing a growth mark of 300% during the last four years. This highly respected institution has about 5000 students now representing 33 states of the country and abroad, and over 450 highly qualified faculty from across the country.


Talking about the association, Mr. Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, said “Our alliance with Pondicherry University is a step towards empowering our students with the necessary skill sets to grow in the fast-paced travel industry of India. An MBA in Tourism will allow them to master the multiple aspects of tourism by developing a range of highly valued professional skills thereby providing a competitive edge in their careers.”


With the aim of providing effective and exceptional educational and training programmes for the travel industry, Thomas Cook India’s Centre of Learning provides the industry with a unique inflow of well trained and highly skilled professionals. The Centre works towards nurturing & readying students to get absorbed into the growing travel industry of India.


  1. DEC - Distance Education Council
  2. AICTE - All India Council of Technical Education
  3. AIU - Association of Indian Universities
  4. UGC - University Grant Commission


About Centre of Learning:

Centre of Learning (CoL) is an initiative of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. (TCIL) to develop talent for the organization as well as for the Industry.

In the context of high growth and increasing customer expectations, talent management is a key challenge for the Travel Industry, relating to both the shortage of actual numbers and the desired capability levels from both a technical and managerial perspective. Centre of Learning has been set up with the objective of proactively facilitating the talent management in the travel industry and would strive to grow, harness and nurture the skill sets in the industry.

CoL offers a range of programmes from basic to advance to suit the needs of travel aspirants, students and working executives. Apart from the under-graduation and post-graduation programmes, it has also ventured into Corporate training, International Tourism Board training & college tie ups. CoL promises its students on the job training by providing them a 3 month internship with Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.

CoL having set up its first independent office in Mumbai has rapidly grown and having launched its franchisee operations in 2012, will continue its foray into major cities.


About Thomas Cook (India) Limited:

Thomas Cook is one of the largest integrated travel and travel related financial services company in the country offering a broad spectrum of services that include Foreign Exchange, Corporate Travel, MICE, Leisure Travel, Insurance, Visa & Passport services and E-Business. The Company set up its first office in India in 1881, and has been providing world-class travel service for 132 years.


TCIL’s footprint currently extends to over 253 locations (including 27 airport counters) in 101 cities across India, Mauritius & Sri Lanka and is supported by a strong partner network of 131 Gold Circle Partners and 169 Preferred Sales Agents in over 100 cities pan India.


Thomas Cook (India) Ltd has been honoured with the “Favourite Specialist Tour Operator" award at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards 2011 & 2012 and was also conferred with the CNBC AWAAZ - “Best company providing foreign exchange” in India for the third year in a row. In addition, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd has been awarded the ‘Best Corporate Travel Management Company’ by World Travel Brands 2012, the ‘Most Trusted Tour Operator Brand’ by the Times Travel Honours 2011 and also recognized as a “Superbrand” 2011-2012 by consumers for excellence in travel services.


CRISIL has reaffirmed Thomas Cook (India) Limited with the ‘CRISIL A1+ and AA- rating. The Brand Trust Report™, India study 2012, has ranked Thomas Cook (India) Ltd as The most Trusted Brand in Services. Recently, TCIL was awarded the prestigious National Tourism Award (2010-2011) for ‘Outstanding Performance’ as an ‘Inbound Tour Operator’. For more information, please visit


About Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited:

Fairfax Financial Holdings is a Toronto-based financial services holding company with a global presence in insurance and reinsurance and a portfolio of assets in excess of $30 billion invested worldwide. The Company, founded in 1985 by the present Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prem Watsa, has over the past 25 years, demonstrated a strong financial track record to achieve an annual appreciation in Book Value per Share of 24.7% annually.


Fairfax has almost 20 general insurance subsidiaries and joint ventures globally, including ICICI Lombard (India). The portfolio also includes several market leading insurance companies such as Odyssey Re (USA), Crum & Forster (USA), First Capital (Singapore), Fairfax Brasil (Brazil), Gulf Insurance (Kuwait).


Fairfax is engaged in long term investments from its own resources, with a focus to delivering long term capital appreciation through a flexible and value oriented approach.


For Media Enquiries please contact:

Thomas Cook (India) Limited
Suzanne Pereira – B: +91-22-61603333; D: +91-22-66091380; M: +91-9820297665;


Perfect Relations
Aditi Palav - B: + 91-22-24367155 M: +919930880096