Thomas Cook India Ltd swears by a constant endeavour to provide the same experience and uniform price to its end customers across India. In a candid chat with Ekta Verma, Jatinder Paul Singh, Senior Vice President & Head, Leisure Travel (Outbound) – Sales & Distribution, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd talks about the expansion plans of TCIL and also how their franchisees play a major role in improving the accessibility and visibility of the company in different parts of the country.
Share with us the inception, success and journey of Thomas Cook.
In 1881, we started our India operations, with our first office being set up in Mumbai. We’ve come a long way since then with TCIL’s footprint currently extending to over 240 locations (including 23 airport counters) in 99 cities across India, Mauritius and Sri Lanka and supported by a strong partner network of 134 Gold Circle Partners and 165 Preferred Sales Agents in over 150 cities across India. Today, we stand tall as the leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company in the country, offering a broad spectrum of services including leisure travel, corporate travel, foreign exchange, insurance, e-business and MICE- all under one roof.
Share the USP of your brand.
Thomas Cook (India) Ltd takes pride in making travel smooth and memorable. Instead of standard hotel stays, we offer caves; castles, tree houses and even a lighthouse “wow experiences” to keep our travelers engaged.
What services do you provide to your patrons?
Visas, ticketing, holiday packages, business travel management, foreign exchange, travel insurance are just some of the services we offer to our clients. We regularly conceptualise new travel solutions and tailor make our itineraries to suit the specific preferences and budgets of our diversity of consumer segments.
What is your franchise model in the country and what strategies have you devised to make it successful in India?
At Thomas Cook India, we follow the single model franchise pan-India, offering consumer services like visas, holiday packages, forex, travel insurance and ticketing, among others. We started with offering holiday packages but have expanded into a 360-degree travel solutions expert. Our franchise model allows the franchisees to bring in only the investment and the rest is taken care of by the company. The factors such as increasing demand of consumers from tier II and III cities, high disposable income, product preferences and increasing aspirations of consumers in small towns, have motivated us to develop a franchise model which helps to capture new geographical markets. We are looking for partners who have a good clout in a particular region and who share our vision and thoughts of operating our kind of business.
Where do you see the brand in five years time?
We see ourselves expanding our network to tier II cities as well. We’re looking to penetrate in newer segments, incorporating the latest technological innovations, to smoothen the travel experience.
Share your expansion plans. Which cities are you tapping for expansion?
We’re increasingly focused on expanding our network in the tier II and III markets. We’re also looking to increase our focus on the Middle-East market, since it will continue to grow massively over the next few years.
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