Thomas Cook India bullish on Middle India

Deploys hybrid ‘Clicks & Bricks’ distribution model

~Expands network via 33 new technology assisted smart outlets in 2015~

 

 

Mumbai, Dec 9, 2015: Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company, delivered on its aggressive expansion strategy 2015, with a strategic clicks and bricks model to penetrate Tier II & III source markets via its hybrid solution of technology assisted outlets. 33 new consumer centres were set up across the country, including  Amritsar, Ahmednagar, Bareily,  Nellore, Ranchi, Palarivattam, Ludhiana, Valachery, augmenting Thomas Cook’s pan-India distribution reach to 233 locations (including 23 airport counters), supported by a strong partner network of 116 franchise outlets (Gold Circle Partners) and 112 Preferred Sales Agents.

 

Thomas Cook’s internal research has revealed the powerful potential of Middle India: a travel hungry consumer base with a clear need for a trust worthy brand to fulfil their travel aspirations. The Company’s research also reveals that while Indian travellers research online and may buy tickets online, when it comes to complex and expensive transactions like holidays, especially international, they prefer to have a human interface. The McKinsey report reiterates the size and exponential growth of Middle India: currently at 8.8 million households; expected to reach 43.6 million by 2025. Hence, in a strategic move to leverage this untapped market potential, Thomas Cook India’s innovation of leaner, more efficient, technology-assisted outlets was deployed.

 

Thomas Cook’s hybrid technology assisted outlets offer a 3 pronged consumer benefit:

 

  1. Door-step access to a range of holidays and travel related products-services (like foreign exchange, visas, insurance)
  2. The reassurance and comfort of a human interface via Thomas Cook’s travel experts
  3. Smart technology, ensuring real time access to available inventory coupled with online bookings; equally CRM benefits of seamless customer data for transactions; also tablet apps in key outlets- with critical content like destination info, tour options, day-wise itineraries, visa assistance, etc. 

 

Commenting on the strategic expansion, Mr. Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., said, “At Thomas Cook India, we foresee significant growth emerging from Middle India and hence were quick to transition to online and online-assisted selling via our focused hybrid omni-channel ‘brick and click’ model. Our technology assisted outlets will operate via tablets and mobile apps that enable transactions across the Thomas Cook range of products and services, including domestic and international holidays, flights, hotels, insurance and foreign exchange.”

 

“Middle India will continue to be a powerhouse in our success story and our extensive network now offering travel hungry customers enhanced access, convenience and the reassurance of human touch via our Thomas Cook experts, is timed perfectly for our Summer 2016 launch,” he added.

 

 

About Thomas Cook (India) Limited:

 

Thomas Cook (India) Ltd (TCIL) is the leading 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.

 

TCIL’s footprint (exclusive of its subsidiaries) currently extends to over 233 locations (including 23 airport counters) in 92 cities across India, Mauritius & Sri Lanka and is supported by a strong partner network of 116 Gold Circle Partners and 112 Preferred Sales Agents in over 130 cities across India.

 

ICRA has upgraded the long term rating of Thomas Cook (India) Limited’s non-convertible debenture programme to ‘ICRA AA/Stable’. CRISIL has assigned a long term rating of CRISIL AA-/ stable outlook to the non-convertible debenture programme and long term banking facilities and short term rating of CRISIL A1+ to TCIL’s banking facilities. Further, ICRA has assigned a rating of ‘ICRA AA-/Stable’ to the company’s proposed preference share programme.

 

Thomas Cook (India) Ltd has been voted as Favourite Outbound Tour Operator at the Outlook Traveller Awards 2015, Best Tour Operator - Outbound at the CNBC AWAAZ Travel Awards 2015, 2014 & 2013 and Best Company providing Foreign Exchange at the CNBC AWAAZ Travel Awards 2015 & 2014; felicitated with Diamond Award for Exemplary Achievements in Visa Issuance at the French Ambassador's Travel Awards Ceremony 2015; Thomas Cook India’s Travel Quest was honoured with a Gold Award at PATA Gold Awards 2015; honored as India's Leading Tour Operator 2014, World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia 2014Favourite Tour Operator at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards 2015  - 2011 ,recognized as a Consumer Superbrand 2013-14 & 2012-2013 and National Tourism Awards 2013-2014. Thomas Cook India’s Centre of Learning has received IATA accreditation as “Top 10 South Asia IATA Authorized Training Centers”2015, 2013 & 2012. For more information, please visit www.thomascook.in

 

Thomas Cook (India) Limited is promoted by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Fairbridge Capital (Mauritius) Limited and its controlled affiliates.  Fairbridge is responsible for the execution of acquisition and investment opportunities in the Indian subcontinent on behalf of the Fairfax family of companies.

 

TCIL has announced the acquisition of Kuoni Travel (India) Private Limited, a travel operator in India, and Kuoni Travel (China) Limited, a premium travel operator in Hong Kong

 

About Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited:

 

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited is a financial services holding company based in Canada with a global presence in insurance and reinsurance, as well as joint ventures including ICICI Lombard (India).  The Company, founded in 1985 by the present Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prem Watsa, has over the past 30 years, demonstrated a strong and consistent financial track record.  For the year ended December 31, 2014, Fairfax increased book value per share at a compounded annual growth rate of 21.1% since its inception with a corresponding compounded annual increase in share price 19.8% and had over US $36 billion of assets.

 

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. Fairfax Financial Holdings through Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. owns 73.96% on a fully diluted basis of the Quess Corp Limited (formerly IKYA Human Capital Solutions Limited), a provider of specialised Human Resource related Services and 100% of Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited (formerly Thomas Cook Insurance Services (India) Limited) engaged in time share and resort business.

 

About Quess Corp Limited (formerly IKYA Human Capital Solutions Limited)

 

Quess Corp Ltd., India’s leading business services provider established in 2007. Headquartered in Bengaluru, the company has over 1,10,000 employees, serves over 1500 customers across 8 countries in more than 8000 locations. It has presence across 5 verticals namely, Global Technology Solutions, Industrial Asset Management, Integrated Facilities Management, People Services & Logistics and Growth Businesses Group.With revenues of about USD 400 million, Quess Corp Ltd. is a step-down subsidiary of USD 37+ billion (as of 30th Sept 2014) multinational, Fairfax Financial Holdings Group; held through its Indian listed subsidiary, Thomas Cook India Limited. For further details on Quess Corp Ltd. please visit: http://www.quesscorp.com

 

About Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited:

 

Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited, a pioneer in vacation ownership and a leading leisure hospitality company in India, was incorporated in 1986 with the vision of delivering great holiday experiences to Indian families. To achieve this vision, the company pioneered Vacation Ownership in India and set about building a network of leisure resorts at some of the best holiday destinations in India. Currently, Sterling Holidays has a total inventory of 1767 rooms spread across a network of 24 resorts in 21 scenic holiday destinations in India.

 

In pursuance of the Order of Hon’ble High Court, Bombay, dated 2nd July, 2015 sanctioning the Composite Scheme of Arrangement and Amalgamation between Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Limited (SHRIL) and Thomas Cook Insurance Services (India) Limited (TCISIL) and Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL) and their respective shareholders and creditors (Scheme), the time share and resort business division and undertaking of SHRIL was Demerged into TCISIL and the residual business of SHRIL was Amalgamated with TCIL.

 

Post implementation of composite scheme, Sterling Holiday Resorts Limited (formerly Thomas Cook Insurance Services (India) Limited) continued the time share and resort business.

 

The company also has 15 additional sites where it plans to add new resorts in the coming years. For more information visit: www.sterlingholidays.com

For Media Enquiries please contact

 

Thomas Cook (India) Limited: Suzanne Pereira – D:+91-22-66091380; M: +91-9820297665; E:suzanne.pereira@in.thomascook.com

Perfect Relations: Ritika Arora – M: +91-9820910855; E: rarora@perfectrelations.com