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Distribution, product innovation key drivers for growth: Thomas Cook India

Travel services firm Thomas Cook India is betting big on enhanced distribution with special focus on tier-II and III cities and product innovation to drive growth, a top company official said.

The company currently offers services like foreign exchange, corporate travel, leisure travel, insurance, visa and passport services and e-business.

The firm's strategy includes a two-pronged initiative of enhanced distribution for increased penetration into viable source markets coupled with product innovation to target high potential emerging segments like regional tours, ladies first, theme park holidays and millennials, Thomas Cook India Chairman and MD Madhavan Menon told PTI.

The enhanced distribution is with special focus on tier-II and tier-III cities, he said.

"Technology will continue to drive our initiatives and empower our customers both external and internal...," Menon added.

Highlighting the importance of small towns and cities, he said: "Regional India's tier-II and III cities and towns are emerging as strong power-drivers in our growth story across our travel and foreign exchange businesses and will continue to form a key focus area to catalyse under-leveraged potential." 

Besides setting up company-owned branches, foray into such opportune markets will also include the franchise route that enables quick turnaround in establishing our presence and catering to local demand, he added.

"Our unique regional tours launched to leverage the high potential regional and tier-II and III markets are seeing strong demand due to inclusions of a local 'son-of-the-soil' Thomas Cook Tour Manager to create guidance/reassurance, local food on tour to add the comfort of home-cooked food, and brochures in local languages," Menon said.

From a foreign exchange business perspective, while the retail segment will be significant for future growth, the company will continue to focus on the increasing card penetration as Indian consumers move towards digital money, he said.

"We also envisage benefits accruing from the progressive turnaround of our international inbound businesses (DMS- Destination Management Specialist companies), domestic and e-business," Menon said.

When asked if the company was looking for more acquisitions going forward, Menon said: "Yes, we have had at least one acquisition a year over the last few years. And while there is no acquisition currently on the table, we are open to exploring opportunities as and when they may arise.


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