Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global, has been appointed as the CEO of Kuoni Group – VFS Global’s parent company and one of the world’s leading travel services provider – effective 05 November 2015.
He is the first Indian to be appointed as the head of the 109-year old travel services company, and will concurrently continue in his function as the CEO of VFS Global. He will continue to be based in Dubai, UAE.
Kuoni is in the midst of implementing a strategic directional shift whereby it has exited from its traditional tour operating business and is increasing its focus on three core activities – global travel distribution, destination services and visa services – in all of which it holds leading positions. After exiting the tour operating business, Kuoni is aiming to accelerate the implementation of its new corporate strategy, and that will be one of Mr. Karkaria’s key priorities in his new role.
Zubin Karkaria, 47, founded VFS Global in 2001 and expanded the company successfully as global leader in visa services for governments worldwide. Within the Kuoni Group the VFS Global Division has shown the strongest growth and profitability. VFS Global serves 32 client governments, with 314 visa application centres across 19 cities in the country. The company has served the Government of India since 2008, in 8 countries.
In the words of Heinz Karrer, Chairman – Kuoni Group, “The Kuoni Group has been transformed from a broad-based travel company pursuing a wide range of very different activities into a focussed global service provider for the professional travel industry and governments. The Board of Directors has decided to accelerate the implementation of this new strategic direction, and we have great confidence in Zubin Karkaria, who has so successfully developed VFS Global into a global leader, to lead the Kuoni Group forward.”