Thomas Cook India targets high potential Outward Remittances Market

Enters into a first of its kind collaboration, with FINO PayTech Ltd

 

Mumbai, May 17, 2016: Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company has announced a first of its kind partnership with FINO PayTech Ltd, (a banking correspondent that has been granted in-principle payments bank license by the Reserve Bank of India) with an enviable reach across tier I to VI cities, pan India. This is the first time that a leading Foreign Exchange player has tied up with a Payment Bank to provide and facilitate ease in outward remittance transactions; also provide additional foreign exchange products and services to customers in tier I to VI markets.

 

As per RBI’s report, Indian outward remittances increased by almost 200% (from US$1.32 bn registered in the last financial year ended March 31, 2015 to US$ 3.81 bn for the eleven month period ended February 2016) - led by outflows for studies abroad and for maintenance of close relatives. Hence, Thomas Cook India’s strategic collaboration with Fino Paytech Ltd serves to tap into this significant and rapidly growing opportunity, and simultaneously catalyse growth for the industry.

 

In addition, Thomas Cook India’s internal research has revealed that a large consumer segment of India’s Tier II + markets follow traditional banking options for outward remittances, whether for study abroad or maintenance of close relatives based overseas, etc. Thomas Cook’s partnership with FINO PayTech  hence aims to open up a new and innovative channel of payment transfer to Middle and Rural India; additionally providing this rapidly growing segment access to Thomas Cook’s gamut of Foreign Exchange Products and Services. This unique collaboration also serves to expand Thomas Cook India’s footprint in tier I to VI markets courtesy FinoPaytech’s strong reach of over 400 money marts.

 

Mr. Mahesh Iyer, Chief Operating Officer, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., said, “At Thomas Cook India, we recognise the multi-fold growth rate of the outward remittance market and our alliance with FINO PayTech is hence a pioneering initiative to leverage the powerful potential emerging from tier II to VI markets. Our collaboration also serves to extend Thomas Cook’s footprint across Middle and rural India while empowering customers with outward remittances to more than 120 countries via innovative money marts.”

 

Commenting on the association, Mr. Rishi Gupta, MD & CEO, FINO PayTech said, “Remittances, both inward and outward, will be a key product offering for FINO as a payments bank. Our tie up with Thomas Cook (India) is therefore a strategic fit as we look to expand our product bouquet. We already have strong presence in the domestic remittance space, which is growing at 50% YoY and offer international remittance cash out services. We are pleased to partner with Thomas Cook (India) as it allows us to offer outward remittance services to our target customer base spread across Tier1 to Tier 6 locations, thereby completing the entire remittance bouquet offerings.

 

About FINO PayTech:

FINO PayTech is a payments technology solutions provider to banks, financial institutions and MFIs. Together with its extensive service delivery network of 30000 transaction points facilitates access to financial services to the unbanked and un-served segments of the population. It services over 28 million active banking customers spread across urban and rural areas in the country providing a range of financial services viz savings, remittance, insurance, credit etc. It is one of the recipients of in-principle approval from RBI to start a payments bank. (www.finopaytech.com

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 231 locations (including 20 airport counters) in 92 cities across India, Mauritius & Sri Lanka and is supported by a strong partner network of 111 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” 2016, 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 holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management.  The Company is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and has a global presence in insurance and reinsurance, 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, 2015, Fairfax increased book value per share at a compounded annual growth rate of 20.4% since its inception with a corresponding compounded annual increase in share price of 19.4% and had over US $41 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 1896 rooms spread across a network of 26 resorts in 23 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: http://www.sterlingholidays.com/

 

About SOTC Travel Services Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Kuoni Travel (India) Pvt. Ltd) & Kuoni Hong Kong

SOTC Travel Services Pvt Ltd (Formerly known as "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.
SOTC 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