Thomas Cook India targets the high potential

International Trade Payments market for SMEs

 

~Signs strategic alliance with Western Union Business Solutions and DCB Bank~

 

Mumbai, March 7, 2016: Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company, has announced a strategic collaboration with Western Union Business Solutions, a business segment of The Western Union Company, and DCB Bank Limited (formerly Development Credit Bank Ltd.). Today’s announcement aims to assist Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in India with their trade payments across borders.

 

According to KPMG, SMEs have emerged as one of India’s largest growing sectors, with a significant GDP contribution of over 17% in 2014, and expected to see strong growth to approximately 22% GDP contribution by 2020. Therefore in a strategic initiative to tap into the rapidly increasing SME opportunity, Thomas Cook India’s collaboration leverages the global payments technology platform of Western Union Business Solutions coupled with the expertise of the trade finance units of DCB Bank, to enable dedicated relationship management and automated confirmation of payments, ensuring ease of procurement for the SME. Thomas Cook India would reach out to its set of SME base and the larger market to essentially refer trade remittance transactions to DCB Bank through the Western Union technology platform.

 

Mr. Mahesh Iyer, Chief Operating Officer, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “This alliance is a pioneering move by Thomas Cook India, to penetrate the high growth Indian SME segment for its international trade payment requirements. SMEs form a dynamic segment; noteworthy in that the number of new entrants is seeing strong growth of 23%. At Thomas Cook India, we are delighted to collaborate with Western Union Business Solutions and DCB Bank in offering expertise and convenience to our SME customers in their outward trade payment solutions.”

 

Mr. Kerry Agiasotis, President at Western Union Business Solutions said “We are delighted to be collaborating with Thomas Cook India to support tens of thousands of SMEs in India. Western Union Business Solutions is a trusted, valuable business ally, helping SMEs in India to compete on the international stage. We are finding solutions for businesses, to deliver growth in a massively important global landscape.”

 

Speaking about the business alliance, Mr. Praveen Kutty, Head — Retail and SME Banking said, “DCB Bank believes that this solution is ideal for MSME (Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises) and SMEs. Both MSMEs and SMEs are important contributors to the economy. The business alliance with DCB Bank, Thomas Cook (India) and Western Union Business Solutions has the vision to empower MSMEs and SMEs by providing smooth and convenient trade remittance facility.’’

 

 

 

 

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 229 locations (including 23 airport counters) in 93 cities across India, Mauritius & Sri Lanka and is supported by a strong partner network of 114 Gold Circle Partners and 112 Preferred Sales Agents in over 130 cities across India.

 

ICRA 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  69.55% of the Quess Corp Limited (formerly IKYA Human Capital Solutions Limited), a provider of integrated business 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 one of India’s leading integrated business services providers operating in four broad segments: Global Technology Solutions, People and Services, Integrated Facility Management and Industrial Asset Management. Headquartered in Bengaluru, it has a pan-India presence with 43 offices across 24 cities, as well as operations in North America, the Middle East and South East Asia. As of November 30, 2015, it employed over 118,000 employees.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 16 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 Travel (India) Pvt Ltd is a step-down subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Group; held through two companies, its Indian listed subsidiary, Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL) and TCIL's subsidiary Travel Corporation (India) Ltd.  Kuoni India is a leading travel and tourism company active across various travel segments including Leisure Travel, Business Travel, Destination Management Services and Distribution Visa Marketing Services.

 

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:+91-22-42427380; M: +91-9820297665; E:suzanne.pereira@in.thomascook.com

Perfect Relations: Apurva Shukla – M: +91-9987632105; E: ashukla@perfectrelations.com