I would like to wish each of you and your families a Happy New Year.
2019 ended with a big bang when Thomas Cook India acquired the perpetual rights to the Thomas Cook Brand in India, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, from the liquidators of Thomas Cook PLC. For many of us this is a milestone event, as we have taken the responsibility for keeping the iconic brand alive forever, after the failure of the Owner of the Brand, who had it for the last 185 years. For me personally, this represents one of the most important milestones in my career, and I am sure many of you at Thomas Cook feel the same way. Importantly the pressure of time on changing the brand is no longer relevant. However, we will look at ways and means to refresh the Brand at some stage.
2020 also started with a bang now known as the “Corona Virus”. The magnitude and extent of the damage of the spread of this virus is becoming evident, and is likely to impact various companies in the group. We hope that the virus can be controlled and tamed as soon as possible, given the action the individual Governments are already taking. Having said that, we have enough experience in dealing with events like this at the Group Management level, and can handle it. We are putting measures into place to protect each company by trying to mitigate the risks associated with the virus. I am engaging with each of the MD’s/CEO’s in watching the situation very carefully, and providing the necessary support as and when required. We are already putting controls and processes into place to deal with the impact of the virus. I would like to once again assure you of our commitment to managing this situation. We hope that this will be behind us soon and we can get back to doing what we are supposed to do, selling and providing excellent experiences to our customers.
2020 or the year of the “metal Rat“, as the Chinese calendar refers to it, will be an eventful year with all the changes that are being implemented across the Group in the form of technology, productivity, innovation and structures. Business transformation is what will sustain us as through this decade, and I am sure we will be successful.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Laurent, Luzi, Maria, Dipak, Mahesh, Vishal, Peter, Ramakrishnan and Sangha, Alex, Monika, Mark, Ram Kenkare, Abraham, Mona, Indiver, Amit and Chaminda for their patience and cooperation during the year. A special thanks to Debasis, Rosanna and Lakshmi for tolerating my constant demands with calm acceptance!
May this be a really good year for us all.