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Thomas Cook India buys Thomas Cook brand for Rs 13.9 crore

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Chennai, Dec 3 : Travel services major Thomas Cook (India) Ltd has signed an agreement to acquire the Thomas Cook brand for Rs 13.9 crore for use in India, Sri Lanka and Mauritius markets, said a senior company official.

The company signed an agreement with AlixPartners, Thomas Cook UK’s appointed Special Managers, he added.

“The brand valuation was done by our internal team and an external team. Both of them arrived at a similar value,” Debasis Nandy, President & Group Chief Financial Officer told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

Thomas Cook (India) was previously contracted to pay an annual brand licence fee of Rs 2 crore to Thomas Cook UK until 2024 for usage of the brand.

The brand license agreement also gave TCIL the right of first refusal to acquire the brand in the event of the Thomas Cook UK Group going into liquidation before 2024.

“I didn’t think there was an option till 2024 to reduce the price further even though the right of first refusal was with our company. Waiting till 2024 would have resulted in uncertainty as the UK company was sold to a Chinese company. The assets of the UK company were being sold and cash realised to pay off its creditors. There was also the risk of the brand being sold of to somebody else, Nandy said.

“It was a fairly decent valuation, seven times of times of the annual royalty,” he added.

According to him, Thomas Cook (India) now owns the brand and can change the look and feel of the brand.

Refuting the view online companies are eating into Thomas Cook (India) business he pointed out the former largely sell airline tickets and hotel rooms whereas his company sells travel packages.

“We get 30 per cent of our business or about Rs.500 crore from online sales, Nandy added.

Ruling out extending the Thomas Cook brand to other group company’s offerings Nandy said the plan now is to consolidate our business and then grow it further.

Queried about resort subsidiary Sterling Holiday Resorts he said it will continue to add five/six resorts per year.

“Sterling Holiday Resorts will largely into asset management and will not buy or build properties of its own. The idea is be light on assets and save on outlay,” Nandy said.

He said the travel market is expected to pick up in 2020.

Speaking about the market trend he said, tourists are now opting for short haul trips than going for long haul ones.

The Thomas Cook India Group continues to remain financially strong with cash and bank deposits balances of Rs. 1,088.3 crore of September 30, 2019. On a standalone basis Thomas Cook India is debt free. The Group generates an average annual free cash flow of around Rs. 200 crore.

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This Diwali get discount on Maruti Suzuki up to Rs 55,000

India’s largest carmaker company, Maruti Suzuki is all set for this festive season. It has rolled out Diwali offers to customers on elect Arena and NEXA models including the Wagon R, Swift, Brezza, Baleno, Ciaz and S-Cross.

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India’s largest carmaker company, Maruti Suzuki is all set for this festive season. It has rolled out Diwali offers to customers on elect Arena and NEXA models including the Wagon R, Swift, Brezza, Baleno, Ciaz and S-Cross.

The discount on Arena model will be available till October 16, on the other hand, discounts on other models will be available till October 20. Customers will get up to Rs 55,000 discount if they buy the car this season.

Alto: Customers will get benefits up to Rs 41, 000 on Maruti’s Alto. Both petrol and CNG variants are available with these offers. Maruti Alto’s price ranges from Rs 2.94 lakh to Rs 4.36 lakh.

Maruti S-Presso: Customers will get benefits up to Rs 48,000 on this car. The S-Presso’s will be available in petrol and CNG. The S-Presso is priced from Rs 3.70 lakh to Rs 5.13 lakh.

Maruti Celerio: Customers will get benefits up to Rs 53, 000. The Celerio is priced from Rs 4.41 lakh to Rs 5.68 lakh. The Celerio X ranges between Rs 4.90 lakh and Rs 5.67 lakh.

Maruti Wagon R: Get benefits up to Rs 40,000. These offers are applicable to both the petrol and CNG variants of the Wagon R. Maruti’s tall boy hatchback is priced from Rs 4.45 lakh to Rs 5.94 lakh.

Maruti Swift: Maruti is offering discounts on both the MT and AMT variants of the Swift. Maruti Swift is priced from Rs 5.19 lakh to Rs 8.02 lakh. Get a discount up to Rs 40,000.

Maruti Swift Dzire: Get a discount up to Rs 44,000. Maruti has priced the Dzire from Rs 5.89 lakh to Rs 8.80 lakh.

Maruti Vitara Brezza: The Vitara Brezza is priced from Rs 7.34 lakh to Rs 11.40 lakh. Benefits of up to Rs 45,000 on Maruti’s sub-4 metre SUV.

Maruti Baleno: All variants of the Baleno are offered with these benefits. It’s priced from Rs 5.63 lakh to Rs 8.96 lakh. Get benefits up to Rs 33, 000.

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All new Hyundai i20 to launch in November, check features here

The all-new Hyundai i20 is scheduled to launch in India next month. Hyundai India has released the first set of the new i20’s sketches, showcasing what the car set to arrive in India will look like.

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The all-new Hyundai i20 is scheduled to launch in India next month. Hyundai India has released the first set of the new i20’s sketches, showcasing what the car set to arrive in India will look like. It looks identical to the global-spec model with a few changes here and there.

In a statement, Hyundai Motor India Limited stated, “Deriving its futuristic and dynamic characteristics from ‘Sensuous Sportiness’, the all-new i20 brings harmony between four fundamental elements: Proportion, Architecture, Styling, and Technology. The all-new i20 is designed to evoke an emotional Human – Machine interface representing the persona of Modern Tech Savvy, Ambitious and Sophisticated customers. Set to recreate benchmarks of the premium hatchback segment, the all-new i20 showcases an energetic new avatar and a serene ambience on the inside.”

The design of the all-new Hyundai i20 in India is similar to the model for international markets. Based on the newly-released sketches, the upcoming car in India will get a different response. The rear appears to be unchanged, it is the same as one of the models available in markets across the globe.

New Hyundai i20 is expected to be offered with a choice between three engine options: 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol, 1.2-litre petrol, and a 1.5-litre diesel. For transmission, the upcoming Hyundai car in India will most probably get a choice between a manual transmission, an IVT, an iMT, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic based on the selected engine.

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2020 lockdowns to drive new forms of automation: Report

Document extraction, robotic process automation (RPA) from anywhere, drones and various employee robots will proliferate.

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The ‘great lockdown of 2020 will make the drive for automation in 2021 both inevitable and irreversible and remote work, new digital muscles and pandemic constraints will create millions of pragmatic automations, according to a new report.

Document extraction, robotic process automation (RPA) from anywhere, drones and various employee robots will proliferate.

“In 2021, up to 30 per cent of organisations will ramp up their focus on quality by better planning and testing automation before deploying it to production or exposing it to employees,” said the Forrester report on automation.

Three times as many information workers will work from home all or most of the time, while many companies will institute hybrid models in which workers come to the office less often.

“As a result of the pandemic, new forms of automation will support one in four remote workers either directly or indirectly by 2022”.

Direct support in the form of giving a bot to individual workers to support their daily journey will be rare.

However, indirect support will blossom, as intelligent automation handles employee benefits questions and supports document, customer service, and line-of-business tasks that are often invisible to the home worker, the findings showed.

Recent rapid growth in the consumer drones industry has sparked momentum in the commercial drone market.

While social distancing is a factor in drone usage, two forces will accelerate adoption in 2021.

“First, governments are crafting better regulations to facilitate drone adoption and commercialization, with Amazon Prime Air gaining FAA approval for drone deliveries and India driving drone pilot training with new policies,” according to the report.

Second, the rapid evolution of computer vision and 5G will enable real-time drone intelligence over ultra-reliable, low-latency communications.

Like machine learning, RPA will become an embedded feature of many platforms by the end of 2021.

“But rushed and haphazard automation exposes systems and the business to serious risk, so the lack of focus on automation quality is alarming, the report warned.

It can lead to monumental failures that not only damage a company’s reputation and customer trust but also limit broader public trust in automation (specifically AI) as a result of media scrutiny, it added.

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