Business Development Plan and CRM: Thomas Cook Group
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Published: Tue, 06 Mar 2018
Customer relationship management(CRM) consists of the processes a company uses to track and organize its contacts with its current and prospective customers. CRM in its broadest sense simply means managing all customer interactions. In practice, this requires using information about one’s customers and prospects to more effectively interact with its customers in all stages of its relationship with them. We refer to these stages as the customer life cycle.
The customer life cycle has three stages:
- Acquiring customers
- Increasing the value of customer
- retaining good customer
The specialist area o fbusiness development comprises a number of techniques and responsibilities which aim at gaining new customers and at penetrating existing markets. Techniques used include:
- assessment of marketing opportunities and target markets
- intelligence gathering on customers and competitors
- generating leadsfor possible sales
- advising on, drafting and enforcing sales policies and processes
follow-up sales activity.
- Learning of the major products and services of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.
- Major Clients
- Major Competitors
- Acquiring a larger market share
- Learning about Customer Relationship Management
- Acquiring new customers.
- Retaining existing customers
- To have larger market share
- Sometimes it is very hard to get an appointment with a corporate client as they have tough schedules.
- Meeting the right person in the organization is not an easy task who has the decision making power.
- Lack of transparency by companies in providing their data.
- Time period constraint was there for carrying out analysis.
2.1 Company Profile
Thomas Cook Group plc is a leading international leisure travel group, created by the merger of MyTravel Group plc and Thomas Cook AG in June 2007. Thomas Cook Group plc is a fully listed company on the London Stock Exchange. Thomas Cook (India) Limited is a part of Thomas Cook Group. It remains as a subsidiary of TCIM Limited, an unlisted private company, incorporated under the laws of England and Wales having its Registered Office at Peterborough, England, U.K. and holding 55.87% of the post Rights Issue paid-up equity share capital of the Company. Thomas Cook UK Limited (TCUK) apart from holding 21.45% of the post Rights Issue paid-up equity share capital of the Company, also holds 100% holding in TCIM Limited. Thus, TCUK indirectly holds 77.31% of the present paid-up equity share capital of the Company.
2.2 Thomas Cook (India) Limited
During the year 2008, the Company successfully consolidated various businesses across Thomas Cook (India) Limited and its subsidiaries. The Company derived the synergy benefits in 2008 arising out of various initiatives like network harmonization, closure of non-core and loss making units, manpower realignment, and contributions from tourism boards for marketing spends, re-negotiation with vendors due to increased bargaining power. The one-time cost of integration amounted to Rs. 69.8 million.
Thomas Cook organized a 19 city Summer Holiday Sale, a pan-India Holiday road-show offering the best Holiday deals. The roadshows were very successful giving a boost to the Domestic Business. The year 2008 was focused on Domestic Tourism with its launch through the brand name: My India, My Way. During the year, packages catering to the needs of different segments of customers were created. the Company was the first Travel Company to offer Indian Rail Bookings online in partnership with IRCTC on its portal. Further, the Company also integrated with Hotels4u real time on www.thomascook.in giving its online customers first hand access to over 30,000 hotels in the Hotels4u inventory. The Company also tied-up with Axis Bank for pre-paid forex card which offers exchange upto 7 currencies.
Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. is the largest integrated Travel and Travel related Financial Services Company in the country offering a broad spectrum of services that include Foreign Exchange, Corporate Travel, Leisure Travel, and Insurance. The Company launched its Indian operations in 1881 and is celebrating its 127 years of world-class service in India. Thomas Cook (India) operates in the following areas of business, namely:Leisure Travel, Corporate Travel Management, MICE, Foreign Exchange, SWIFT Network, Travel Insurance, Credit Cards, Pre-Paid Cards, Life Insurance and E-Business.
Post March 31st 2008, Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL) is a part of Thomas Cook Group plc UK (TCG). On March 7th 2008, TCG announced its decision to acquire TCIL from Dubai Investment Group. Thomas Cook Group plc is one of the largest travel groups in the world with a market capitalization of approximately US$6 Billion.
In June 2006, Thomas Cook (India) acquired LKP Forex Limited and Travel Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd. (TCI).TCIL presently operates in over 61 cities across almost 166 locations in the country. The company has overseas operations in Sri Lanka which is a branch of TCIL and Mauritius which is a subsidiary of Thomas Cook (India). The Company employs over 2,500 resources and is listed on both the Bombay Stock Exchange as well as the National Stock Exchange.
Thomas Cook (India), over the years has received several prestigious awards such as the Golden Peacock Award for excellence in Corporate Governance and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Golden Award for Best Travel. Recently, the Company won the Best Tour Operator at the CNBC Awaaz Travel Awards 2008 and was also accredited the P1 rating which is the highest financial rating given by Crisil.
2.3 Financial Facts of the Company
Revenues as on December 31, 2010 as declared in the annual report was Rs 2588 million crore. A dividend of 37.5% on the equity share capital had also been the proposed dividend on the equity capital and preference
Capital absorbs Rs. 93 million for dividend and Rs. 16 million for Dividend Tax.
2.4 Listing of Shares
THOMAS COOK INDIA LIMITED is listed on two Stock Exchanges in India viz. Bombay Stock Exchange Limited, Mumbai and National Stock Exchange of India Limited, Mumbai.
2.5 Principal Bankers:
State Bank of India
ICICI Bank Limited
HDFC Bank Limited
IDBI Bank Limited
Standard Chartered Bank
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
2.7 SWOT ANALYSIS
Inability to fully cover each market
Not aggressive in advertising
Hotels in Manesar
Other players in foreign exchange market.
3.0 INDUSTRY ANALYSIS
3.1 About Foreign Exchange Market
In today’s world no economy is self sufficient, so there is need for exchange of goods and services amongst the different countries. So, unlike in the primitive age the exchange of goods and services is no longer carried out on barter basis. Every country in the world has a currency that is legal tender in its territory and this currency does not act as money outside its boundaries. So whenever a country buys or sells goods and services from or to another country, the residents of the two countries have to exchange currencies.
Foreign exchange market is described as an OTC (over the counter) market as there is no physical place where the participants meet to execute the deals. The largest foreign exchange market is in London, followed by the New York, Tokyo, Zurich and Frankfurt. The market are situated throughout the different time zone of the globe in such a way that one market is closing the other is beginning its operations. Therefore, it is stated that foreign exchange market is functioning throughout 24 hours a day.
3.2 Need for Foreign Exchange
If an Indian company exports cotton fabrics to USA and invoices the goods in the US dollar. The American importer will pay the amount in US dollar, as the same is his home currency. However the Indian exporter requires rupees i.e. his home currency for procuring raw materials and for payment to the labour charges, etc. Thus, he would need to exchange US dollar for rupee. If the Indian exporter invoices their goods in rupee, then the importer in USA will get his dollar converted in rupee and pay the exporter. From this we can infer that in case goods are bought or sold outside the country, exchange of currency is necessary.
3.3 Following are the major bifurcations:
- Full fledge moneychangers – these are the firms and individuals who have been authorized to take both, purchade and sale transaction with the public.
- Restricted moneychanger – these are shops, hotels, etc that have been authorizes only to purchase foreign currency towards cost of goods supplied or services rendered by them or for conversion into rupees.
- Authorized dealers – these are the ones who can undertake all types of foreign exchange transaction. Banks are the only authorized dealers. The only exceptions are Thomas Cook, Western Union.
3.4 Participants in foreign exchange market
The main players in foreign exchange market are as follows:
- Customers: The customers who are engaged in foreign trade participate in foreign exchange market by availing the services of banks.
- Commercial Banks: They are the most active players in the foreign exchange market. Commercial banks dealing with international transaction offer services for conversion of one currency into another. They have a wide network of branches.
- Central Bank: In all countries Central Bank have been charged with the responsibility of maintaining the external value of the domestic currency.. Generally this is achieved by the intervention of the bank.
- Exchange Brokers: Forex brokers play a very important role in the foreign exchange market. However the extent to which the services of foreign brokers are utilized depends on the tradition and practice prevailing at a particular Forex market centre.
- Overseas Forex market
3.5 Major Competitors
The major players in the foreign exchange market
- TT FOREX
- RR SEN
4.1 Holidays – Inbound
Inbound Tourist refers to tourists/ travelers coming to India.
Inbound tour operators promote India as a tourist destination. TCIL organizes tours for foreign tourist visiting India. TCIL organizes Individual tours, group tours and Conferences. Various services offered in inbound business are accommodation, ticketing, roundtrip, excursion, land arrangements, airport transfer etc. These services are procured from providers of these services like hotels, airlines, transporters, guides etc. within India. Customers are typically individuals and are sourced by overseas principals, tour operators or travel agents. TCI, one of the subsidiaries is among the leaders in inbound tourism and works closely with tour operators worldwide.
TCI has a widely distributed network of travel agents and tour operators worldwide. It has around 20 offices in India and a total of 11 offices in USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, China, Korea, Japan and Australia.
TCIL also acts as a ground handling agent domestically for Charter flights coming from international destinations. TCIL also offers customized individual holidays, group escorted holidays, MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition) arrangements and emergency medical assistance.
Inbound travelers handled by our Company are primarily from Europe and USA.TCIL enters into business arrangements with the foreign tour operators for servicing their customers when they arrive in India.
4.2 International Holidays
Outbound tourist refers to Indian Nationals traveling out of India.
TCIL offers outbound tour packages across approximately 50 Countries. Outbound packages include various services like air tickets, visa, travel insurance, airport transfer, hotel accommodation, sight seeing, etc.
International Holidays is further classified into following categories:
- Group Escorted Holidays: These are ready made packages where a group of travelers is escorted by a Tour Manger.
- Customised Individual Holidays: Tailor made packages based on individual requirements
- MICE: Dealers/Employees are sent on tour by Corporates.
- Sales agency amongst others for Star Cruise, Rail Europe, Globus, Cosmos Tours, Greyhound, Amtrak, Rocky Mountaineer Vacations, Japan Rail and Costa Cruises
4.3 Domestic Holidays
- Domestic Travel refers to Indian Nationals (Tourists, Business Travelers, Students, Leisure travelers) traveling within India. Various services offered are accommodation, ticketing, roundtrip, excursions, land arrangements, airport transfer, etc. These services are procured from service providers like hotels, airlines, transporters, guides, etc.
- TCI, one of our subsidiaries specializes in special interest and incentive tours, conferences and air charter / cruise ship ground operations. It operates its own Taj Mahal Tour and Delhi City Tour and is a General Sales Agent (“GSA”) for the Palace on Wheels and the Deccan Odyssey.
- TCIL is an active member of various industry and professional organizations.
4.4 Air Tickets
Book your Air Tickets for your travel with TCIL either offline or online through the sitewww.thomascook.in. TCIL offers a complete range for flights, right from Low Cost to Full service Airlines, to choose from.
4.5 Rail Tickets
Book your Rail Tickets for your travel with Thomas Cook either offline or online through the sitewww.thomascook.in. You can choose either Indian Rail Tickets that are available via IRCTC or International Rail Tickets via Rail Europe. TCIL offers a complete range for Rail Bookings, International or Domestic.
4.6 Corporate Travel
Corporate Travel forms a dominant share of overall travel business of our Company. TCIL manages the travel budgets of several large national and multinational companies. The large scale of operations enables it to effectively manage travel budgets of several Multi National Companies, Blue-Chip companies and Multinational banks to their advantage. The Company provides Integrated Travel Management / Advisory Services to more than 300 Corporates.
TCIL provides customers a complete basket of products for all their travel needs:
- Air Reservations
- Hotel Reservations
- Land arrangements which includes sight seeing, car rental, transfers etc.
- Passport / Visa Service
- Conference / Incentive tour arrangements
- Foreign Exchange
The branches specialize in offering tailor-made Travel Policies for each corporate, thereby bringing savings on spend.
Based on requirements and volumes of business, corporate are serviced either by having a dedicated relationship team visits client’s office regularly or having a dedicated & expert travel consultant with Centralised Reservation System located at the client’s site as an ‘implant’.
4.7 Meetings, Incentives, Exhibitions & Conferences
One Stop Shop for all your travel needs i.e. air tickets, accommodation, event management, forex, visas, travel insurance etc. Hands on approach of senior management, including travelling along with the group Dedicated team in each hub providing specialised services Most experienced and cooperative Tour Managers in the industry Operations geared up to handle large groups. TCIL has successfully handled several groups of over 300 pax in the year 2008 A specialised quality control department that would ensure smooth delivery of services at every stage.
Experience:This refers to the experience of the travelers right from the time they board the airline to the foreign destination till the time they come back. The travel here is a REWARD for the dealers/employees of the company who have done well over a period of time. The company (as well as the employees) expects the trip to be an enjoyable, hassle free and fun filled “experience”. Thomas Cook understands their concern and provide them this experience through our:-
- Experienced, dependable and extensively traveled Tour Managers, who are available with the group 24 X 7, provide their personalized services to the group and at times, act as crisis managers. In contrast, the other tour companies often send their ticketing person as the “tour manager”.
- The requests for special Dietary requirements are taken care of completely. The Indians are very particular about the food they eat (e.g.) Jain food. It is made sure that the clients get the same, irrespective of the location they are traveling to.
- The sightseeings that are offered are often exotic and different from the rest of the tour operators.
Customer Focus/Customer Centric/Exceptional Service:This primarily refers to the experience of the corporate with the sales representatives. There is a huge extent of customization in case of a MICE trip in terms of destinations, hotel requirements, conference needs, sightseeings to be covered, gala dinner venue, team building activities etc. The prime focus is always to cater to our customers’ specific needs and the intent is to delight the customer by always delivering more than promised by us/expected by them.
Dependable:This comes out of the reputation of the company (TCIL) and the vast experience of handling a large number of MICE movements in the past. The fact that TCIL has trusted business partners (suppliers) for every destination and that there is always an experienced tour manager with the group ensures that the clients feel secure when they travel with us. Moreover, the reputation of the company ensures that there will be no let up in the service quality and there won’t be any trivial financial issues.
Reservoir of Knowledge:The experienced employees of the MICE business make sure that they function as a “travel consultant” to the client rather than being a “travel agent” to them. It is believed that with the expertise, TCIL is in a position to provide multiple options to our customers. This is especially true in case of clients who have a budget constraint. Once the client is provided with multiple options along with the pros and cons for the same, they are in a much better position to take a decision regarding the destination as well as the services that they expect us to provide them.
Value for Money/Cost Effective: TCIL is committed to provide quality service to its clients and they do not believe in any compromise on the same (0% Compromise). It is made sure that the experience that our clients get is of a greater value than the cost that they pay for it. If TCIL’s cost is more than the competition, then there is ALWAYS a very strong reason for the same (which could be better quality of hotels, better airlines, EXTRA inclusions etc.).
Product Innovation:Over the last decade or so, the MICE industry has been booming. Since then, some of the companies have been traveling each year (with multiple incentives/conference tours). They are always looking out for new destinations for the incentive trips. TCIL’s endeavour is to be ahead of the competition at all times and product innovation is one way of doing that. TCIL has promoted new destinations at different points of times which have traditionally never been thought of for a MICE trip. E.g. Jordan, Japan, Macau, Canada. Moreover, within the same destinations, TCIL has managed to change the product mix by changing the venues for Gala Dinner (at cruise, Desert Safari etc.) or including some exotic sight seeings or providing some out of the box team building activities or in any other way.
Wide Reach:TCIL is confident of providing our customers with the best of the services at any destination that they wish to visit. This is due to the vast resources of the company and due to the number of trusted business partners that we have all over the world.
One Stop Shop for MICE needs/Integrated travel services:It’s the firm belief that once the customer enters one of our offices, all his travel needs will be catered to. TCIL provides the customer with the forex services, insurance cover and a travel card. Moreover, TCIL can service their visa requirements better than any other tour operator because of our goodwill and the relationships that we have with the various embassies/consulates. We have the ability to provide the customer with a 360 degree experience on a consistent basis.
Work with Play:This is particularly true in case of the corporates who have an offsite for a conference/meeting. TCIL ensures that after a hard day’s work, they have a relaxed and fun filled evening. This can be done by sending them on a night cruise or by treating them to a Gala Dinner with free flow of liquor and a Live DJ. In one of the cases, we had sent a couple of VJs and RJs (RJ Taraana) from India who made sure that everyone from the group was involved in the fun activities.
4.8 Thomas Cook Credit Card
The Company offers Thomas Cook credit card in association with ICICI Bank Limited. Thomas Cook and ICICI Bank are marketing and issuing a co-branded credit card to the customers for using the same at various Master Card retail merchant establishments for availing benefits attached to the said card. The card has been devised as part of loyalty program for the products of the company with benefits attached to spend through the card at Thomas Cook outlets.
Thomas Cook Titanium MasterCard features in brief:
- The card has been specially designed for frequent travelers.
- Attractive 6 reward points for each spend of Rs.100 on the card on Thomas Cook products
– Free Delivery of Foreign Exchange within city limits
- Rs. 5,000 discount on any Thomas Cook GIT product
- 1 Free Air ticket to a domestic destination on the issuance of new card
- Complimentary travel inconvenience insurance policy
- Access to MasterCard travel lounges at Airports across the world
- Redemption of reward points for Thomas Cook holiday packages, hotel stays, air tickets, airline upgrades, etc
- Conversion of Thomas Cook reward points to frequent flyer miles – convert the reward points earned on card to frequent flyer miles on select domestic airlines.
- Positioned as a comprehensive travel card
- Assured gifts for the joining fees – free air ticket / discount voucher
- Higher reward points for card swipes at Our Company’s outlets
- Redemption of reward points against Thomas Cook products encouraged
4. 9 Travel Insurance
Insurance business of being carried out through our 100% subsidiary – Thomas Cook Insurance Services (I) Ltd. (“TCISL”). TCISL is a corporate agent of Tata AIG General Insurance Company Limited. TCISL entered insurance distribution in 2001 and offers the following products and services:
- “TravelCare” (Overseas Travel Insurance)- Travel Care offers security for travelers which covers travel insurance, hospitalization, loss of documents, Repatriation of Remains, emergency Cash Advance or any other crises which requires assistance.
- “FamilyCare”- An Overseas travel Insurance cover for entire family of 4-5 persons with single overall sum insured.
- “ScholarCare” (Overseas Student Insurance)- A customized product for all students studying abroad which ensures timely assistance in case of unexpected surprises in a foreign land.
- CorporateCare (Overseas Corporate Travel Insurance)- For Companies where employees travel abroad frequently on work, we have customized group policies. All foreign trips undertaken by employees in a year are covered under a single policy.
TCISL provides all insurance products at all our outlets, leveraging on ability to cross sell insurance products to our Travel and Forex customers.
4.10 Foreign Exchange
Thomas Cook India is the largest non banking authorized Dealer in India providing an array of foreign exchange products and services to various customer segments in India, Srilanka and Mauritius It has the largest network of branches with 144 locations across 53 cities in India including 28 airport counters in major cities working 24 x7x 365 days. It also has a vast presence in Mauritius with 12 locations including international airport and also in Sri Lanka at 3 major locations. It has been awarded the best foreign exchange company by CNBC Awaaz for the year 2008 and 2009.
4.11 Service Strategy of Thomas Cook
To deliver exceptional service to all internal and external customers
By Being By Providing By Ensuring
Proactive Professional Service Personal Care
5.0 FOREIGN EXCHANGE
Thomas Cook has been granted an authorized dealers’ license (category II) by RBI to deal in foreign exchange through its designated branches. Under this license, we have been, inter-alia, granted permission to undertake the following activities:
1. Retail purchases of foreign currencies and travelers cheques.
2. Bulk purchases/sales of foreign currencies from/to authorized dealers, money changers and franchisees.
3. Release / remittance of foreign exchange for the following activities:
a. Private Visits
b. Remittance by tour operators/travel agents to overseas agents/principals/hotels
c. Business Travel (including for Central and State Government officials)
d. Fee for participation in global conferences and specialized training
e. Payment of crew wages
f. Film Shooting
g. Medical Treatment abroad
h. Overseas Education
i. Remittance under educational tie up arrangements with universities abroad
j. Maintenance of close relatives abroad
k. Stall rentals and participation fees in connection with participation in overseas exhibitions / fairs
4. Import and export of foreign currency and export of encashed Traveler’s Cheques
5. Maintenance of foreign currency accounts with banks abroad and undertaking forex cover operations in India and abroad.
The activities permitted by RBI are carried out only at the specific locations permitted by RBI. As an Authorized Dealer, we are a member of the Foreign Exchange Dealers Association of India.
Our Company provides the foreign exchange and payment solutions for:
- Foreign exchange for leisure outbound travelers
- Foreign Exchange for migration, employment, medical treatment
- Remittances for students studying abroad, gift remittances etc
- Encashment services & inward remittances for inbound tourists visiting India, Non Resident / Resident Indians.
- Travel money and remittances for business travelers.
- On site support for inbound tour conferences.
- Film production houses traveling for shoots abroad.
- Remittances of tour proceeds for tour operators.
- Bulk purchases and sales of foreign currencies from Banks, Non Bank Retailers and Money Changers.
Our business model revolves around leveraging its position as an Authorized Dealer with systems, ability and experience of handling large volumes of forex transactions for both wholesale and retail customers in a highly cost-efficient manner.
The strong network enables TCIL to attract large wholesale clients such as public and private sector banks, FFMC’s and RMC’s to use our services. TCIL has a strong network of approximately 160 offices in 55 cities and 100 RMCs & Hotel Franchisee.
The Company has foreign exchange counters at the international airports of Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Cochin and Trivandrum which are open 24 hours and 365 days a year to cater to the needs of the international travelers. It also has a round-the clock Foreign Exchange counter at the New Delhi Railway Statio
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