Friday, December 29, 2006

This ‘Thomas’ doesn’t doubt much!


Perhaps it gets no time as it’s too busy ‘Cook’ing up ways to grow...
The Indian economy is booming, and so is the rising propensity of Indians to spend and this is directly impacting the tourism sector. Even net foreign exchange earnings are increasing phenomenally at around 20% annually. Thomas Cook (India), now under Dubai Financial LLC, is one company moving ahead with aplomb to capitalise on the opportunities. The company was recently involved in two major M&A deals – its merger with LKP Forex followed by its acquisition of Travel Corporation (India) Ltd. (TCI) for Rs.1.83 billion.

The company’s acquisition of TCI will facilitate a more ‘integrated operation’ for its travel business (which contributes to 78.5% of its revenues) and would help it gain advantage in the already booming travel & tourism industry in India. Expressing optimism about the potential, Udayan Bose, Chairman, Thomas Cook India Ltd. stated, “In view of the increase in inbound tourism that the country is witnessing, for us to be able to offer two platforms for inbound traffic will be a big advantage in the market.”

The merged entity will be in a position to provide the lowest possible price packages to its customers. Thomas Cook’s recent merger with LKP Forex – a major foreign exchange dealer – coupled with its buying of a 76% controlling stake in the Visa service-provider TT Enterprises are steps to provide a more ‘complete portfolio’ of services to customers. This would assist its financial services unit, which operates at high profit margins of around 57% on revenues.

Thomas Cook (India) also plans to increase its count of travel destinations (latest being Israel) to gain competitive advantage via a combination of financial services, logistics, operational integration & travel offers to the maximum possible domestic & international locations. This company is certainly very paranoid about missing the tourism bus!

Edit bureau: M. Arun

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2006

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