Thomas Cook India targets Tier III growth markets

via small tech assisted outlets

~Launches strategic ‘Thomas Cook Mini’~

 

Mumbai, January 14, 2016: Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company, has announced the launch of ‘Thomas Cook Mini’, a strategic deployment of small technology assisted outlets to aggressively harness the growth potential emerging from India’s Tier III markets. Pathanamthitta, Kerala saw the Company’s inauguration of the first of its Thomas Cook Mini outlets.

 

Thomas Cook India’s internal research having highlighted the powerful growth potential for retail transactions, including burgeoning remittance opportunities, the Company conceptualised a quick deployment strategy of small technology assisted outlets to rapidly penetrate India’s underserved Tier III markets; hence the launch of its innovative Thomas Cook Mini. The outlets have been designed optimising space and will be manned by a small team, equipped with technology via mobile devices/tablets for seamless online connectivity to central systems, thus facilitating quick customer transactions.

 

This unique model delivers on a 2 pronged strategy of efficiencies of quick market penetration and scale-up.

 

While Thomas Cook has chosen its Foreign Exchange business to pioneer this initiative, its Thomas Cook Mini outlets will see expansion to include other Travel Related Services, basis the demand dynamics of the respective location markets.  

 

Mr. Mahesh Iyer, Chief Operating Officer- Foreign Exchange & Head Visas, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., said, “With our internal data-analytics clearly revealing the untapped yet high growth potential of Tier III markets, a low-cost, rapid penetration model was mission critical, and our Thomas Cook Mini fits the bill perfectly! Such small Tech assisted outlets give us the opportunity to set up shop, test the waters and expand- with the immediacy that was demanded and we are very excited with the initial response from our new Kerala Thomas Cook Mini at Pathanamthitta.”

 

Mr. Iyer added, “Such small, efficient, technology assisted outlets (equipped with mobile devices or tablets) will provide our customers with, both ease in access & convenience of swift foreign exchange transactions and we plan to harness this model to scale up our operations for other ancillary travel related services.”

 

“Our Thomas Cook Mini outlets also serve as a viable servicing/delivery centre for our Online Forex Store and Forex App, seeing significant growth of over 85%,” he concluded.

 

 

 

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 232 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‘ to the non-convertible debenture programme and long term banking facilities, and a 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 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.

 

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  66.80% 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 Limited is an integrated business services provider. Headquartered in Bangalore, the Group has more than 1,18,000 employees, with operations across 9 countries. The service and product offerings include four broad operational segments namely Global Technology Solutions, People and Services, Integrated Facility Management and Industrial Asset Management.

 

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

 

About Kuoni India & Kuoni Hong Kong

Kuoni India is a leading travel and tourism company active across virtually every travel segment including Leisure Travel, Business Travel, Destination Management Services and Distribution Visa Marketing Services.  Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. holds 56.56% stake Kuoni Travel (India) Private Limited (Kuoni India) and its 100% subsidiary, Travel Corporation (India) Ltd holds 43.44% stake in Kuoni India.

 

TCIL through its step down Subsidiary Horizon Travel Holdings (Hong Kong) Private Limited holds 100% stake in Kuoni Travel (China) Limited (Kuoni Hong Kong), which has an attractive business in the travel sector backed by a trusted brand name, and a stable and motivated professional management team. Kuoni Hong Kong is a premium outbound travel operator in Hong Kong.

 

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