TBO ex­pands global foot­print

TBO Group has an­nounced the ac­qui­si­tion of Island Hop­per and Click­it­bookit, which are lead­ing com­pa­nies in terms of pas­sen­gers vis­it­ing the island na­tions of Mau­ri­tius, Mal­dives and Sey­chelles.

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The ac­qui­si­tion of Island Hop­per and Click­it­bookit, which have been a mar­ket leader in the Mau­ri­tius, Mal­dives, Sey­chelles and some Greek is­lands, is set to boost TBO Group’s leisure travel prod­uct foot­print and scope in th­ese island na­tions, be­lieves Ankush Ni­jhawan, Co-Founder, TBO Group. “With this ac­qui­si­tion, we will be­come an overnight leader in the island world. This would al­low Island Hop­per to use the ex­ten­sive dis­tri­bu­tion which TBO en­joys to­day as one of the largest agent net­works in In­dia. Go­ing for­ward, we will fur­ther pen­e­trate the South­ern In­dia mar­ket, which I think, is com­pletely vir­gin for Island Hop­per. The other thing we be­lieve is the right team and mix, and hence 24 of the pre­vi­ous em­ploy­ees of Island Hop­per have now moved into TBO Group that will be headed by Sandeep Bhasin,

who was one of the founders of the busi­ness.” Ni­jhawan shared that Bhasin will con­tinue to serve the com­pany as Vice Pres­i­dent of Island Hop­per un­der the TBO um­brella. added into th­ese is­lands, es­pe­cially Mal­dives, I’m sure the num­bers will just dou­ble in 2019 and 2020. At TBO, we are sure that we will con­tinue to be the win­ner for th­ese is­lands.” Sandeep Bhasin, Vice Pres­i­dent, Island Hop­per, said that they took up TBO’s of­fer of ac­qui­si­tion for a wider dis­tri­bu­tion. “What bet­ter way to con­tinue the legacy of Island Hop­per as a brand! What we bring to the ta­ble is the In­dian Ocean—Mau­ri­tius, Mal­dives, Sey­chelles and Greece, of which Island Hop­per has been a spe­cial­ist. This would not only mean a high rev­enue for TBO but also bet­ter mar­gins.”

In­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure

TBO, on the other hand, will get ex­cel­lent con­tracts and the ground han­dling in th­ese is­lands, which they never had ear­lier, claimed Ni­jhawan. “On the tech­nol­ogy front, we will en­joy seam­less in­te­gra­tion. Due to the strength of our tech­nol­ogy, the sys­tem will be­come more ro­bust and the amaz­ing con­tracts and deals we have with all our ho­tel part­ners in th­ese is­lands. Island Hop­per is an on­line busi­ness sell­ing ho­tels in th­ese is­lands, but what is im­por­tant is the sea­plane trans­fers, lo­cal sight­see­ing and pack­ages in which Island Hop­per ex­cels,” he re­vealed. On the other hand, Ni­jhawan added, “Island Hop­per and from the size and scale of TBO and give them ex­po­sure to in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. We will also walk into other mar­kets with the brand. In fact, the high­est num­ber of stays in Mau­ri­tius and Mal­dives come from the UK, Ger­many and France. Hence, it’s go­ing to be a global com­pany for us, and we will start sell­ing in In­dia for the next few months.”

Fo­cus on South In­dia

Ni­jhawan shared that Island Hop­per will con­tinue func­tion­ing as a brand name but the dis­tri­bu­tion and travel agents would be com­mon. “We would ob­vi­ously merge the sales team with our cur­rent teams. Ear­lier, Island Hop­per had 10 peo­ple in sales but to­day there are 160 peo­ple in the sales force pro­mot­ing Island Hop­per with some core se­nior peo­ple from its team re­spon­si­ble for the sales and op­er­a­tions. At TBO, my ini­tial fo­cus will be on South In­dia, apart from Delhi, Mum­bai and Ahmed­abad, where we have al­ready es­tab­lished our strength,” he claimed. Bhasin dis­cussed the good growth recorded in 2018. “Last year, we closed the Fi­nan­cial Year with about ` 150 crores for Or­ange as a com­pany, with 50 per cent go­ing to Click­it­bookit and 50 per cent to Island Hop­per. The idea will be to dou­ble Island Hop­per’s piece of busi­ness to ` 150 crores. We are an­tic­i­pat­ing to achieve ` 150 crores by March 2020.”

Ankush Ni­jhawan Co-Founder TBO Group

Sandeep Bhasin Vice Pres­i­dent Island Hop­per

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