Roll of Honour 2015

1“No person was ever honoured for what he received.
Honour has been the reward for what he gave.”
–Calvin Coolidge—


At Thomas Cook India, we reward and recognise those employees who contribute to the company beyond the limits of regular duty; who are innovative and enterprising; who go that extra mile to delight a customer and make the company proud.

The Roll of Honour…. the most coveted accolade each staff aspires to achieve.  In a year of extreme tough trading conditions, 81 staff were selected across all businesses for their stellar contribution, which made an impact on their businesses and the company as a whole.

They had earned themselves a super holiday, and 69 of them went on a trip to Dubai, the Land of Gold in the Arabian Paradise. They were, indeed, on a “roll”! The trip was packed with exciting activity—so much to see and enjoy.

Our arrival was at Abu Dhabi for a one night stopover. A visit to Yas Water World created a splash, and a visit to the splendid Grand Mosque cannot be missed.  Imposing in pristine white, the Mosque has the largest marble mosaic in the world.  Another world’s largest is the carpet in the main prayer hall made by Iranian artists.  The imposing chandeliers incorporate millions of Swarovski crystals. . . (almost everything in Dubai is the largest, biggest, fastest !)

For the speed-conscious there was Ferrari World – the only Ferrari Theme park and home to the world’s fastest roller coaster.

A warm red carpet welcome awaited us at the Hyatt Regency, Dubai Creeks.  A visit to the top of Bhurj Khalifa, currently the tallest structure in the world, is mandatory.  The views from up there were breathtaking.  The day was rounded off with a splendid buffet spread at the JW Marriott, where we celebrated 2 ROH winners’ birthdays,– Shabbir Dhilla and Dennison Joseph.

Day 3 included a city tour, and we celebrated yet another Birthday – our Tour Manager, Gaurav Wakharkar! No trip to Dubai is complete without the Desert Safari in 4×4 Land Cruisers. The dune bashing was a great hit, some went on a camel ride at the Desert Safari camp, and all enjoyed the belly dancing and fire-shows.  The Indian chaat snacks (pao bhaji/sev puri, in the middle of a desert?!) were a pleasant surprise.

1st. September was the much awaited day of the Awards! It began with our Chairman & MD, Madhavan Menon, and Mona Cheriyan, President & Group Head meeting us all over breakfast, and Vishal Suri MD of SOTC dropping in later.

Madhavan met the winners individually, exhorting each one to continue giving their best despite the current tough business environment. 

Another surprise was in store for us. Swanky, gleaming stretch limousines were waiting to take us to the Mall of Emirates. For many it was a memorable experience as the cavalcade drew admiring glances along the way. 

Hyatt Regency Dubai Creeks played host for the ROH Awards evening, with a red carpet welcome. The evening began with an Ice Breaking Balloon Game organised by Mona, to enable us to get to know those colleagues we hadn’t connected with yet. 

At last, it was time for the Awards presentation, and the excitement in the air was palpable! The ceremony was interspersed with delightful dance performances. A birthday celebration was included for lucky guy Amar Jot from Batala, who was convinced this was his best birthday ever!  The festivities continued late into the night with everyone grooving at the party.

A huge dollop of appreciation to the team who organized the entire trip under the guidance of Mona Cheriyan, Rajeev Kale, Anshul Sethi and Meenal Hate, especially since the destination was changed from Thailand to Dubai at very short notice. The tinge of disappointment at having a less exotic destination soon evaporated, as one realized that good company and camaraderie is eventually more important than the venue! Special thanks to the rest of the Leisure, MICE, and HR teams led by Gaurav Seth, Deepti Sheth, Krutika Manek, Mitesh Damania, Bhupesh Patil, Abdul Shaikh and Muzaffar Ansari, along with our Visa, Forex and Accounts teams ; and not forgetting our able Tour Escorts – Gaurav Wakharkar, Prashant Jukar and Swapnil Gunjal, who were supported by the very amiable ground handling staff of Concorde in Dubai.

Finally –the day of departure, — it was time to say  a reluctant farewell and catch our flights back. As we said goodbye, there was a feeling of bonhomie and bonding with our coworkers and associates, many of whom we had met for the first time. We returned with a feeling of joy and gratitude.

Thank you to all for those five happy fulfilling days!

Khurshid Jussawalla
Assoc. Vice President – Supplier Relations,
Corporate Travel

Response and feedback!

It is impossible to include all the appreciative feedback we received from those on the ROH trip…but here are a few gems!

“I would like to thank the entire team involved in planning, operations and execution of this year’s ROH trip within such a short time after the blast in Thailand.

The overall quality of the hotels chosen, the restaurants selection, and the menu planning was up to the mark.  The Itinerary planning was excellent especially keeping the Limousine ride as a surprise! On tour coordination by Gaurav, Prashant and team was flawless and they took great care of all of us.”
Kedar  Pradhan
Senior Manager-MICE

“So it all started when we were informed that Thailand tour had been called off and now it was Dubai. There was disappointment at first, but eventually we all had a wonderful ROH trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabhi. The facilities provided were fabulous and the surprise factor of seeing the Burj Khalifa during prime hours, and the ride on the stretch Limo was the icing on the cake!  Tour Managers Gaurav Wakharkar and Prashant Jukar are rock stars !  Also Swapnil Gunjal  … they all took great care of the group.”
Mithuna Nair Arekar
Asst. Manager –Outbound

“ROH 2015 was oh so hot and happening! Many, many thanks to our ROH Organising Committee (and Sudhakar)- our trip kept getting better with one surprise after another—from The Top of Burj Khalifa, stretch limo rides, the delightful postcard previews every evening and breakfast with Madhavan! You kept us engaged with plenty of adrenalin rushes, and super fun on board the world’s highest roller coaster loop, 240 kmph Ferrari rides, ‘toboganning’ and zorbing down ice slopes (in 45 Celsius+ Dubai) and then some Bollywood dhamaka at the gala event… we were certainly on a roll!”
-Suzanne Pereira—
Sr. Vice President – Trade Relationships & Communications