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Issue of January 2003  
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Editorial Advisory Board

Ashwini Kakkar

Chairman and managing director, Thomas Cook India

Kakkar is in charge of establishing and developing business in the 11 countries of the Indian Ocean region. He is the first Indian in the company to be appointed as a member on the Executive Committee of the Thomas Cook Group. Kakkar joined Thomas Cook (India) Ltd in 1997 and the company has grown under his leadership. Thomas Cook (I) Ltd has opened a wholly owned subsidiary in Mauritius and recently acquired the Group's operations in Sri Lanka. Kakkar has degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Law; is a finance major from IIM Calcutta , and a graduate in International Business from INSEAD (France).

Subhash Goyal

president, STIC Group of Companies

Goyal has recently taken over as president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), and is also the chairman of CII's tourism committee. The eldest of 13 children, Subhash Goyal claims to have stumbled into the travel trade by default, having been born into a book distributor's family. He left politics following a stint as a student leader. His two daughters and wife, he claims, are his biggest coup. Recently, he introduced the "India-breaking myths" tour for non-resident Indians, who had "fixed and dated ideas about India". The tour, which promised money back in case of dissatisfaction, incorporated the best of modern India.

Vijay Chadda


Chadda, who presently heads the Retailing Division (BTI), Kuoni Travel India Pvt Ltd, was a commissioned officer in the Indian Army (1972 - 1992). He held a variety of command, staff and operational assignments in India and abroad and retired as lieutenant colonel. He was AFL Limited's regional head, North India for all divisions (DHL, Freight, Logistics and Travel) from 1992 to 1995. In 1995, he took over as general manager India - Indtravels (associate of Carlson Wagonlit Travel) and subsequently held the post of CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel India from 2000 to 2001.

Ankur Bhatia

managing director, Amadeus India

Amadeus India, is the National Marketing Company (NMC) for the Amadeus Computerised Reservation System (CRS) in the Indian subcontinent. As managing director of the NMC, Ankur Bhatia is responsible for enhancing Amadeus's presence in the sub-continent as well as marketing and distributing the Amadeus system. A keen student of Computer Science, amongst his pioneering projects was the incorporation of a service support company - Reservation Data Management (India) Pvt Ltd.

Ankur Bhatia set up this company even before completing his graduation in Software Engineering from King's College, University of London. Subsequently, upon his return to India he set up Amadeus India.

Ashish Kumar Singh

managing director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC)

Singh joined the Indian Administration Service before which he acquired a Masters degree in economics from the University of Allahabad. He held the post of secretary of Kottayam's Tourism Promotion Council from 1990 to 1992 and went on to become the director of the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS) and additional director, government of Kerala from 1992 to 1993. In 1995, he was appointed managing director, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation and also held the post of MD, Tourist Resorts (Kerala) and joint secretary (tourism), government of Kerala. He assumed responsibilities as MD, Sindhudurg Tourism Development Corporation and in 2000, became the managing director of MTDC.

Cyrus J Guzder

chairman and managing director - AFL P Ltd (formerly Airfreight Ltd)

AFL P Ltd is a multi-divisional company engaged in logistics, courier services and global freight forwarding. Guzder received his Masters Degree (Honours), from Trinity College, Cambridge University, UK in Economics & Oriental Studies. He is currently the chairman, CII's National Committee on civil aviation; chairman, supply chain management sub-committee, CII-Western Region; chairman, advisory committee on the white paper on logistics, CII-southern region; member, board of advisors, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI); Member, Board of Advisors, Air Cargo Agents Association of India (ACAAI); Member, Board of Advisors, Express Industry Council of India (EICI); Member, Council of The Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI).

Yogesh Chandra

secretary general, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) - India Initiative

Chandra retired as India's senior-most civil servant in the rank of cabinet secretary to the government of India. He graduated from Saint Stephen's College, Delhi, and was an Edward S Mason Fellow at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He joined the IAS in 1962 and served extensively in the state of UP where he was the collector and district magistrate in Lakhimpur Kheri and Pilibhit. He helped set up the industrial town of Noida as its chairman and CEO and was also the economic adviser to the King of Bhutan. Yogesh Chandra's area of specialisation is tourism and civil aviation and he has served as director general, tourism; secretary, tourism; secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and MD, India Tourism Development Council.

Ashok Fenn

President and CEO, InterGlobe Air Transport

InterGlobe Air Transport, a leading air transport management company in India, is based in Gurgaon near Delhi. InterGlobe represents 13 international airlines and has 25 offices in India and four overseas. Before taking up his current assignment at InterGlobe, he was responsible for the Group's corporate strategy and business development, helping to aggressively expand InterGlobe's portfolio strategically and geographically.

Ashok has over 20 years of experience in the travel industry, 12 of which were with American Express. Prior to joining InterGlobe, he was the head of Travel and Foreign Exchange Services for American Express, overseeing one of the largest business travel operations in the country.

Ashok has a Master’s degree in economics and a management development certification from the Asian Institute of Management in Manila, Philippines.

Tej Sahni

managing director, Vista Travels

Sahni is the vice-chairman and shareholder of Vista Travels. He has been associated with the travel and tourism and cargo industry for more than 33 years. Having started his career with Trade Wings as a management trainee, he left the organisation when he had already attained the post of manager, cargo and airfreight. He then joined Mercury Travels as assistant manager, Western India and eventually took over as manager. Later, he took over as general manager, India Cargo and regional manager, Western India for Mercury Travels. He left the organisation to start his own enterprise, Vista Travels in 1982. He is also a director and shareholder of International Ventures and Travels India (IVAT), an inbound tours company. He is also the advisor and director for RCI Travels, part of RCI India, a global time-share company. Sahni has held the post of TAAI president four years in a row and has sat in on various committees related to travel and tourism.

Prem Subramaniam

head - tourism infrastructure, Infrastructure Development Finance Company Limited, New Delhi

Subramaniam has worked three years with Godrej and Boyce, five years with Cox and Kings, six years with Kanoo Holidays in Saudi Arabia setting up the SaudiaWorld holiday programme for Saudia Airlines. His prior assignment was 15 years with the British Tourist Authority prior to joining IDFC in Sep 2003. The British Tourist Authority was the first overseas tourist organisation to have a full time presence in India. BTA was the first international organisation to shift to Gurgaon in 1993. In India, the BTA pioneered relationships with non-tourism partners and led Indian Cinema to the creation of a Bollywood map of Britain and the installation of Amitabh Bachchan at Tussauds. With IDFC the mandate is to drive private capital into commercially viable infrastructure projects in the tourism sector.

Khursheed Lam

Manager - India and South Asia, Qantas Airways

Khursheed Lam has built her airline career with Qantas over a period of 23 years. She heads Qantas Airways' operations in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Lam graduated in Psychology from Bombay University in 1970 and worked as a consultant in market research before joining the Qantas Travel Centre in Mumbai in 1980. In 1987, she became the Travel Centre Manager, assuming responsibility for all Qantas Travel Centres in the Indian sub-continent. In 1991, Lam was made sales manager, replacing the former country manager upon his retirement. She was elevated to the position of manager - India and South Asia in July 1996 with the resumption of services to India.

Over the years, Lam has acquired a wide gamut of experience in airline operations and aviation industry practices. She represents Qantas on a number of industry panels.

Saroj K Datta

executive director, Jet Airways (I) Ltd

Datta, after a two-year stint at the National Council of Applied Economic Research in New Delhi, joined Air-India in November 1962. During his tenure with Air-India, Datta worked in various sections of the commercial and planning departments of the airline. In 1980, he was appointed deputy director, planning and international relations department with overall charge of the department. He joined Kuwait Airways in 1987 as the planning and economic advisor. In early 1991, he joined the Jetair Group of Companies in Mumbai as its executive director.

Since early 1992, Saroj Datta has headed the Jet Airways project to set-up a private domestic airline conceived by Naresh Goyal, chairman of Jet Airways and of Jetair Ltd following the liberalisation of the domestic civil aviation industry by the government of India. Datta is a member of the Board of Jet Airways and of the CII Committee on Civil Aviation.

Seema Luthra

president and CEO, Galileo India

Galileo India, connect 46,000 travel agencies to 683 airlines and 52,000 hotels. Luthra, who is responsible for all aspects of her company's business in India, says her 16 years of airline sales and marketing experience has helped her spearhead Galileo's efforts to drive value in and costs out of the travel distribution business. In her last two assignments, Luthra has headed the sales and marketing functions for Scandinavian Airline Systems (SAS) and United Airlines respectively.

Ramesh Narayan

MD, Canco Advertising Pvt Ltd

In 1983, Ramesh founded Canco Advertising P Ld in Mumbai. Since then he has overseen the creative and management functions of the agency, which has offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.

He is the past president of the Advertising Club of Mumbai and the Advertising Agencies Association of India, member on the Board of the National Readership Survey Council (NRSC) and chairman, Planning Committee of AdAsia 2003. Narayan was also honoured as the Advertising and Media Columnist of the Year in 1998 and1999, by Media Meet.

Apurva Purohit

president, Zee TV

Apurva has been 12 years in advertising with two of India's largest ad agencies like Rediffusion DY&R and FCB ULKA. Apurva crossed over to the media function in the mid-90's. She started Lodestar Media in 1995, one of the first media buying houses. While heading Lodestar, Apurva was credited with the coveted ‘Media Agency of the Year’ award in the Emvies 2002.

Abraham Thomas

head of sales, MTV Networks

Thomas in his current position looks after the MTV Networks, that include, MTV and Nickelodeon. Prior to the appointment, he was head of sales for Sony Entertainment Television and also worked with the Indian Express Group as the all India - head of advertisement sales. He has 10 years of experience in the media.

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