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June, 19

Thomas Cook: Thomas Cook sees student remittance market doubling

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MUMBAI: Prem Watsa-backed Thomas Cook, the largest non-bank forex provider, is expected to double its student forex business given the surge in offshore enrolments. The travel firm is experiencing higher growth in smaller cities. “The student forex market is around $4 billion, and we expect it to double in the next three to four years,” said Deepesh Varma, executive vice president at Thomas Cook.

According to Varma, the business is growing at 160% of the pre-pandemic level, due to a sharp increase in students going abroad. Around eight lakh students travel abroad yearly, and this number has been rising post-Covid.
“A few things have changed. One is that disposable income has increased. Second is the availability of loans, which have made it much easier for people to get them. Third, there is a lot of peer pressure to venture out, especially in smaller cities,” said Varma. Earlier, 80% of the demand for student forex came from metros and tier-I cities. Now, that has changed to around 65:35.

“I’m sure that in the next four or five years, the contribution would be 50-50,” said Varma. His projections are based on the demand that his company sees in the 65 cities it is present in.





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