We Welcome a New Member into The Thomas Cook India Group Fold!

The entire DEI Management Team, along with Ram, Mahesh and Abraham, in Dubai just after the formal announcement of the acquisiton.

With great pride, we announce the  acquisition of a 51% stake in Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI) – one of the world’s leading imaging solutions and services providers, to the Thomas Cook Group. 

  • Acquisition is PAT and free cash accretive from day one
  • Marks Thomas Cook India Group’s entry into an adjacent sector, complementary to its travel & travel-related services portfolio

bz26-FEB-thomas-cookThe acquisition marks the Thomas Cook India Group’s entry into an adjacent sector, complementary to its travel  and travel related services portfolio, and is both PAT and free cash accretive from day one. When you see what DEI does, you realise the magnitude and potential of a connection between the two companies.

Established in 2004, Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging is a Dubai-based, home-grown technology-driven company with offices in Singapore, Dubai, Mumbai, Orlando, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. DEI focuses on imaging solutions for the attractions industry with a robust end-to-end turnkey model by providing equipment, software, talent and operational expertise consultation to its business partners. 

With a strong network of over 120 partners, DEI is present at more than 250 venues spanning over 14 countries (Singapore, UAE, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, China, USA, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mauritius, Maldives, Egypt, India and Kuwait). From a few thousand transactions in 2005, DEI has completed 3.6 million transactions in 2018.

DEI’s partner attractions encompass waterparks, theme parks, aquariums, towers and resorts, including iconic attractions in Singapore (Universal Studios Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Zoo), Hong Kong (Ngong Ping 360),  Macau (Macau Tower, The Venetian, Macao), the UAE (At The Top Burj Khalifa, Ski Dubai, Wild Wadi Waterpark, Warner Brothers, Ferrari World), Malaysia (Petronas Twin Towers, Resorts World Genting), China (Atlantis Sanya, Chimelong Safari Park), India (Ramoji Film City, Imagica, Wonderla Holidays Ltd.), Maldives (Taj Exotica, W Retreat & Spa, Shangri-La Villingili), Mauritius (St. Regis Mauritius Resort, Shanti Maurice Resort & Spa), Indonesia (Waterbom Bali, Bali Zoo, Trans Studio), Egypt (Ski Egypt, KidZania), Thailand (Ramayana Water Park, Vana Nava Water Jungle), USA (Hard Rock Café New York, Mango’s Tropical Café and Gaylord), to name a few!

As if that is not impressive enough, in 2017, DEI launched KlassAkt, its school photography arm, and has already partnered with more than 90 schools across the UAE and India, including the prestigious GEMS group of schools in the UAE, the Oberoi International School, Jamnabai Narsee International School and Aditya Birla World Academy in Mumbai, India.

Madhavan Menon, our Chairman and Managing Director, said, “Our acquisition of DEI, a global imaging solutions and services giant, presents the Thomas Cook India Group an opportunity to participate in an exciting new business space, adjacent to our core travel services portfolio that is both PAT and free cash  accretive from day one. DEI is an entrepreneurial success story with an impressive and proven track record of leadership, growth and profitability.”

He elaborated, “With several key markets in common, the addition of Ram, and his team at DEI,to our family, also presents new synergistic opportunities leveraging our travel services across 25 countries. We see an immediate opportunity for our outbound customers from India and Hong Kong, as well as our inbound and DMS customers across our global network. With the growing demand for experiential travel and social sharing, DEI’s partnerships with iconic attractions, theme parks, water parks and resorts will further enhance our travel services portfolio in line with our philosophy of creating long term shareholder value.”

K.S. Ramakrishnan, founder CEO and President of Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging, said, “Our synergy with the Thomas Cook India Group in the travel and tourism ecosystem strengthens DEI’s position in our existing markets whilst giving us immense reach to expand. DEI is leading the digital transformation of the guest photo journey through NFC, facial recognition and other state of the art proprietary technology enabling the guest to receive and share their memories in real time. We are proud to be part of a globally renowned travel and tourism leader, the Thomas Cook India Group. Innovation being key to DEI’s core entrepreneurial spirit with focus on long-term partnerships aligns us perfectly with the vision and ethos of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.

 About Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI): DEI is the global leader in capturing guests’ memorable experiences by providing the highest quality imaging services and solutions. In 15 years of retail operations, DEI has expanded from a single location to over 250 venues across 14 countries. The DEI proposed solution is built on ‘enterprise-wide’ technology, focused on aggregating images across attractions, and for every individual guest. This allows for efficient archiving and swift retrieval of images on demand. Continuous innovation has allowed us to deliver the guests’ images from multiple retail points as well as personal consumer devices through our online and mobile app solutions.

Thomas Cook India expects a boost of at least $5 million to its bottom line after acquiring a 51 per cent stake in Dubai-based Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging for an enterprise value of $40.6 million (Dh149m), said Mahesh Iyer, CEO- Thomas Cook India., when signing the agreement. The acquisition could generate $5m to $8m a year for Thomas Cook India over three years. The investment in DEI, which has agreements for photography in about 40 attractions in the UAE, comes as it seeks to boost the number of visitors from India to the Middle East.

“DEI runs end-to-end photography solutions for Burj Khalifa and Ski Dubai and we send a lot of travellers from India and the world to Dubai, so we can bundle these experiences,” said Mahesh. “Travel has moved from becoming a commodity to being an experience and we believe this will enhance travellers’ experiences.”

Some interesting facts

Our company flies approximately 25,000 visitors from India to the Middle East every year, so we are targeting compounded annual visitor growth of 12 to 13 per cent over the next three to five years.  Dubai is a growing market and its proximity to India makes it attractive for short haul breaks.

Thomas Cook India will have two representatives on the board of DEI, but the Dubai-based company’s management will continue to run the business.

Dubai hosted 15.92 million visitors in 2018, up 0.8 per cent from a year earlier, and India retained its spot as the top source market with more than 2 million travellers, according to government data.

These impressive statistics ensure that the synergies between these two companies will be immensely beneficial to both. We look forward with confidence and enthusiasm to doing great things together!