Category Archives: Agents

Thomas Cook (India) restructuring to focus on four verticals

The Board of Thomas Cook (India) (TCIL) has approved (subject to regulatory approvals) a corporate restructuring exercise aimed at streamlining its businesses into four key verticals namely, Travel (outbound, domestic, business travel & MiCE), Foreign Exchange, Destination Management Services and Portfolio Investments such as Sterling Holiday Resorts. In its current structure, TCIL along with its subsidiaries and associate companies such as SOTC, TCI, TC Travel (earlier Tata Capital Travel) and Sterling Holidays are engaged in various travel and travel-related financial services, vacation ownership and resorts while Quess Corp is engaged in human resource and business related services such as industrial asset management, integrated facility management, and technology solutions. In order to streamline the various businesses of the group, both from operating and management perspective, the restructuring will consolidate like businesses into identified entities creating a simpler and more efficient operating structure with dedicated and focused business verticals. Madhavan Menon, Chairman & Managing Director, TCIL said, “This proposed restructuring with the realignment of the travel businesses of TCIL and consolidation of the  human resource services business into Quess Corp, will simplify the group’s structure, enabling both TCIL and Quess to grow independently and consolidate their positions in their segments with far greater clarity of focus from an industry and growth/opportunity point of view – for investors, management and teams.”  

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TBO Group launches ultra luxury brochure for exotic itineraries

Catering to the demands of high value customers and requirements for exotic itineraries, TBO Group has launched a luxurious book creating awareness about new high-end products. Starting at $15,000 dollars a night, the book has 24 handpicked hotels across the world and two experiences that will help the agents offer their clients new ideas and crisp content. The book will be distributed to key travel agents.  

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Ebix acquires India-based CentrumDirect

Ebix, Inc, an international supplier of On-Demand software and e-commerce services to the insurance, financial, e-governance and healthcare industries, has acquired India-based CentrumDirect Limited (CDL) that operates in the foreign exchange and outward remittance markets, for approximately US $175 million. CDL will be tightly integrated into Ebix’s Financial Exchange EbixCash offering in India and abroad, with key CDL business executives becoming an integral part of the combined EbixCash senior leadership. Ebix Chairman, President and CEO Robin Raina said, “The acquisition of CDL provides us with new abilities in niche financial exchange sectors while expanding our footprint in India and establishing our EbixCash Financial Exchange as the largest financial exchange in the country. We have been eager to build a strong footprint in India’s airports and shipping ports, as their high levels of customer traffic provide recurring sources of revenue and income for any Financial Exchange. With a long-term presence in 24 international airports, and a few others to be deployed this year, the addition of CDL will substantially extend EbixCash’s branding and leadership position in India’s financial exchange markets.” Raina adds, “CDL already has a strong financial trajectory in terms of top line and operating margins, though we intend to build upon its success through complementary products and operational synergies. I am particularly pleased that the CDL acquisition will also further strengthen our management resources with the addition of CDL’s strong senior leadership team.”

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roomsXML and getabed merge business

rooms XML and getabed have announced merger of their businesses. Both roomsXML and getabed are independently owned and have been successfully providing accommodation to travel and wholesale partners in their respective markets. Ruchir Bang, Executive Director, roomsXML commented, “We currently are in a very interesting phase within the travel wholesale industry and certainly see a great future if we have the right mix of passionate team, user-focused technology and strong financials, and that’s exactly what both roomsXML and getabed bring to the table.” He added “This all started with the vision on where we want to see our businesses in future and what growth opportunities we can bring to our valued staff members across offices, rather than just seeing if the balance sheet numbers added up.” Under the new structure, owners of both roomsXML and getabed will continue to play an integral part in running the combined business, with Ruchir Bang as the CEO and Matt Stuart as the Chief Commercial Officer. The remaining senior leadership roles will be announced soon. The joint business will provide significant benefits and scale, which will then be passed on to their customers and suppliers.  As a result of the merger, they now offer a genuine global business with deep penetration in travel agency space across India, Middle East, APAC and Europe. Matt Stuart, MD, getabed said, “This is a hugely exciting time for both getabed and roomsXML. With the accommodation wholesale market evolving rapidly, we needed to ensure that we remain relevant. “

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Air Guru Travel Solutions bags India representation for Bali hotels

Air Guru Travel Solutions has been appointed as the exclusive partner in India to represent Bali’s high-end hotel properties that include Double Six Luxury Hotel, Seminyak, The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa, Seminyak Bali, The Downtown Villas, Seminyak Bali, Le Jardin Boutique Villas Semniyak, and the famous Bali Safari Marine Park & Mrar River Safari Cottages. Air Guru Travel Solutions already represent BPPD (Badung Tourism Promotion Board, Bali) in India. Dhiraj Kumar, Managing Director, Air Guru Travel Solutions, was appointed as an Honorary Representative for Badung Regency Bali by BPPD Badung Tourism Promotions Board, Bali, Indonesia in 2017. With the inclusion of the new luxury segment hotels, resorts and parks, Air Guru has now become a holistic travel solution providers in India for Bali for its B2B clients. He says, “The aggregation of vast variety of travel hot spots under one company will certainly result in more cost benefits for our B2b clients. We are honoured and delighted that Air Guru Travel Solutions is rising in capacity and services rapidly. Our vision is to offer complete travel solutions specially to Bali and Indonesia under one roof. We’ve been handpicking and partnering the most incredible portfolio of hotels, resorts and parks in Bali. Travellers are seeking enhanced ways to enriching travel experience and we believe our partnership with these luxury hotels, resorts and amusement park will meet this need.”

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Yatra.com appoints Mudit Shekhawat as Chief Marketing Officer

Yatra.com has announced the appointment of Mudit Shekhawat as Chief Marketing Officer of the company. He will be responsible for leading marketing activities, alliances and ancillary revenues across all Yatra.com business-lines and group entities. In addition to further strengthening Yatra’s brand positioning, he will also manage all consumer marketing initiatives across platforms to drive customer stickiness and loyalty. Commenting on the new appointment, Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C), Yatra.com said, “We are delighted to have Mudit come on board with us. As a veteran of the industry, he brings with him vast experience in digital and consumer marketing, which will spur additional growth for us and cement our position as India’s travel planner.” Shekhawat comes with rich consumer marketing experience of more than 12 years in the consumer internet space, most recently with Ola, where he was head of marketing. In his earlier stints, he has worked with Myntra, Yahoo and HCL Technologies in various marketing leadership roles. Shekhawat is an alumnus of IIT Madras, from where he went on to do a Masters in Engineering from Pennsylvania State University before finally finding his calling in marketing, and rounding it up with an MBA from ISB Hyderabad.

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Tamarind Global expands its base of operations to Dubai

Tamarind Global has gone international by expanding its presence to Dubai, a huge source market for Indian weddings and events. The company already has a presence in Dubai for its tours vertical. It will now offer a bouquet of event and wedding services to support its domestic and international operations from the Dubai office. Weddings and events will be supported by destination selection, planning and budgeting, guest list and vendor management, hospitality, travel and logistics, décor, F&B, entertainment and fashion consultations for the bride and groom wear. Apart from this, MiCE events will also be supported. A team of two will start the base of operations at the Dubai office. Kunal Rai, Vice President – Events and Weddings, will head the Dubai vertical, “With the launch of our Dubai office, Tamarind now offers its services to a ‘global’ audience. We aim to lead the market by providing an all-inclusive bouquet of services to make each event unique, glamorous and memorable.” Elucidating on the reason for expanding to Dubai, he said, “With the progressive growth of the Middle East as a popular destination, Dubai is the best choice to set up a regional HQ. It will act as a start point that will drive maximum output to penetrate primarily the UAE and Middle East market.”  

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Travel Air Representations to distribute Intrepid Travel in India

Travel Air Representations, the B2B wholesale travel division of FCM Travel Solutions, has announced the launch of adventure travel brand, Intrepid Travel in India. It will distribute and promote Intrepid Travel products and services in India. Headquartered in Australia, Intrepid Travel has over 800 different itineraries across Europe, Asia, Africa, North & South America, the Middle East, Australia, and both the Arctic and Antarctica. Joseph K Jose, Vice President & Head – Wholesale, FCM Travel Solutions (India), said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of Intrepid Travel, yet another leading global travel brand, in India. The diverse offerings of Intrepid Travel have been well-received globally and will strengthen our endeavour to address unique requirements of India’s leisure traveller market. Through this collaboration, we aim to offer Intrepid Travel’s bouquet of travel products in the country while focusing on Tier -II and Tier-III markets.” On the partnership, Brett Mitchell, Regional Director – Asia Pacific, Intrepid Group, said “We look forward to working with Travel Air Representations to launch Intrepid Travel to the Indian market”.  Currently Travel Air Representations works with over 2100 agents (Business Partners) across 110 cities and towns in India, with a team of over 110 passionate and professional team members.”

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Flipkart partners with MakeMyTrip

Indian e-tail major Flipkart announced its tie-up with MakeMyTrip for travel bookings. “Through the partnership, users can now make travel bookings through MakeMyTrip’s services using Flipkart’s mobile application,” an official from MakeMyTrip said. The partnership will be rolled out with domestic flight bookings in the next few weeks, followed by hotels, bus and holiday bookings. The companies, however, did not specify the exact time frame for the rollout. “The partnership will help us reach out to an even wider consumer base through MakeMyTrip’s multiple travel booking sites — MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and redBus — and open up the online travel market significantly,” said Deep Kalra, Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, MakeMyTrip. The tie-up also helps in furthering Flipkart’s goal of being a “one-stop destination” for all digital transactions, added Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart. The companies did not disclose the financial details of the partnership. Founded in 2007, Bengaluru-based e-commerce platform Flipkart claims to have a customer base of over 100 million in the country.

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Thomas Cook India appoints Senior Vice President for leisure business

Thomas Cook (India) has announced the appointment of Romil Pant as Senior Vice President for its Leisure Business, both international and domestic. Pant comes with more than two decades of experience in operations and credit management across sectors, including, telecom, financial services and travel. In his role, Pant will provide leadership and functional expertise to drive productivity and results across the company’s leisure businesses, while focussing on Thomas Cook India’s omni channel growth strategy. Pant has previously worked with MakeMyTrip.com, Capital First, HSBC, Citi Financial and Essar Cellphones. He is a Masters in Finance from University of Delhi.

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