JOHNS CREEK, GA – October 22, 2018 – EbixCash, the Financial Exchange Division of Ebix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBIX), a leading international supplier of On-Demand software and E-commerce services to the insurance, financial, healthcare and e-learning industries, today announced a number of key initiatives as a part of its plans to aggressively grow its Via Travel business.
The Company announced that it has decided to further invest in the growth of its B2B business under the leadership of travel industry veteran Mr. Praveen Chugh, who has immediately taken over as Via – Chief Operating Officer, Agency Sales. As a part of the hiring, Mr. Chugh’s existing travel company Business Travels Private Limited assets was also acquired by Via.
While being given the mandate to grow the B2B business of Via through multiple sales and acquisition channels, Mr. Chugh has been empowered by the Company to recruit as many as one hundred domain specific travel sales executives besides opening up new travel locations across the length and breadth of the country. The appointment of Mr. Chugh also follows a number of key senior sales leadership hires in the Corporate travel sector by EbixCash, for its Corporate & Luxury Travel initiative - Mercury.
Seen as one of the doyens of the Indian travel industry, Mr. Praveen Chugh has spent more than four decades in the travel sector, not only providing leadership and guidance to the industry but also in creating some of India’s largest travel companies. He is credited for having led one of the travel industry’s most successful growth stories TSI-Yatra, increasing the company’s turnover more than 300% in a span of 3 years. He is presently the President of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) besides being the Vice Chairman of the World Travel Agents Association Alliance (WTAAA) amongst other key industry leadership affiliations.
He also has the distinction of serving as a Member of APJC - Agency Programme Joint Council (IATA), since its inception. APJC comprises a distinguished list of 7 agents & 7 airlines as its members in India. He also serves as a Member of PAPGJC - Passenger Agency Programme Global Joint Council (IATA) since 2008. PAPGJC comprises a short list of 12 eminent Global agency representatives and 12 Global airlines as its members.
Elected President of TAFI in 2016 & 2018, Mr. Chugh has also held several key positions over the years like Vice President (TAFI) 2004 – 2006, President of TAFI 2006 – 2008, President of SKAL International – Delhi, President of SKAL International – India and Vice-President of SKAL - West Asia.
Mr. Praveen Chugh started his career by joining the hotel industry in 1974. Driven by a desire to venture into the world of travel, he joined the travel trade in 1976. He worked for 15 years from 1976 to 1991 with President Travels and was instrumental in making the company one of the top 5 Travel agencies in North India under his leadership. Subsequently, he started Pearl International in 1991 along with its promoters and took the company from a startup venture to becoming the largest travel agency in North India and one of the top three in the country.
In 1999, he started Travel Services International (TSI) which went on to become one of the largest Online B2B consolidation companies in North India with a turnover of $94 million. Yatra Online acquired TSI in 2010 which led to the creation of TSI-Yatra. Mr. Chugh successfully managed TSI-Yatra and took the company’s turnover from $94 million to $396 million in a span of 3 years, before exiting in 2014.
“We are simply excited to have Mr. Praveen Chugh on our side. His vast experience, success record and contacts in the world travel industry provide us with an industry veteran who can lead Via B2B sales to new heights. He has the ability and drive to grow our Via Travel Division business at high double-digit rates.” Ebix Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Robin Raina said, “We believe that the strength of our vast retail network, end-to-end enterprise travel technology & functionality, coupled with strong sales leadership; positions us to grow our travel business aggressively internationally,”
Via is recognized as a leader in the travel space in India, besides being the only profitable Travel exchange out of India’s leading travel companies of similar or large size. The Via distribution network encompasses over 85,000 agents in India, 14,700 agents in Indonesia, 9,900 agents in Philippines, 600 agents in Singapore and 350 agents in UAE and Oman. Besides being one of the leaders in the space in India, the Company has emerged as the largest travel solutions provider in Philippines also. With a hotel inventory of over 500,000 hotels and one of the largest ticketing platforms expanding across corporates and distribution outlets, Via has a significant share of the domestic & international airline ticketing business. Via has more than 5% share in both domestic & international airline ticketing in India, 10% in Philippines, 2.7% in Indonesia, 2.1% in Singapore.
Ebix considers the size of the Business Travels assets acquisition immaterial and thus did not disclose the financial details of the transaction. Ebix funded this transaction through internal sources using its own cash reserves. No Ebix shares were issued and no investment bankers were involved in the transaction.
With 50+ offices across 5 continents, Ebix, Inc., (NASDAQ: EBIX) endeavors to provide On-Demand software and E-commerce services to the insurance, financial, healthcare and e-learning industries. In the Insurance sector, the Company’s main focus is to develop and deploy a wide variety of insurance and reinsurance exchanges on an on-demand basis, while also, providing Software-as-a-Service ("SaaS") enterprise solutions in the area of CRM, front-end & back-end systems, outsourced administrative and risk compliance, across the world.
With a "Phygital” strategy that combines 260,000 physical distribution outlets in many Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) countries, to an Omni-channel online digital platform, the Company’s EbixCash Financial exchange portfolio encompasses leadership in areas of domestic & international money remittance, Forex, travel, pre-paid & gift cards, utility payments, lending etc., in an emerging country like India. The Company’s Forex Exchange has an approximate 70% market share of India’s airport Foreign Exchange business encompassing 25 international airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata International airports, while conducting over 1 million transactions per annum. EbixCash, through its travel portal Via.com, is also one of Southeast Asia’s leading travel exchanges with over 110,000 distribution outlets and 8,000 corporate clients processing over 24.5 million transactions every year. For further details, visit www.ebixcash.com
Through its various SaaS-based software platforms, Ebix employs thousands of domain-specific technology professionals to provide products, support and consultancy to thousands of customers on six continents. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.ebix.com
Incorporated in February 2007 in Bangalore, India, the Company is one of the fastest growing & profitable travel companies in Asia's online space driven by technology. The Company is a leading distributor of transportation ticketing, accommodation reservation, packaged tours, corporate travel management, travel ancillaries, retail and financial services. The company offers its services through a robust, highly scalable cloud based technology platform consisting of mobile apps, websites, corporate platform, and a centralized, toll-free, 24-hour customer service center.
VIA's Corporate Travel Management Business unit helps corporate clients effectively manage their travel needs and significantly reduce travel expenses. VIA expanded its footprints to Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and UAE. Today, Via's network includes over 110,000 active travel partners across 2,700 towns and cities & over 13,000 pin codes across Asia and over 7000+ signed SMEs. For more information, visit the Company’s website at http://www.via.com
An Ebix Group initiative, EbixCash is emerging as one of the leading Financial Exchanges in India. With a ‘Phygital” strategy that combines 224,000 physical distribution outlets to a Omni-channel online digital platform, EbixCash has established an enterprise financial exchange portfolio that encompasses leadership in Forex, money remittance (domestic & international), travel, wealth & asset management software, enterprise lending software, pre-paid & gift cards, utility payments etc. Ebix’s joint venture initiative with Bombay Stock Exchange positions it strongly in India’s insurance sector. EbixCash’s portfolio of products can be accessed digitally anywhere as also across its distribution outlets spread over 5,500+ cities and towns. For further details, visit www.ebixcash.com
As used herein, the terms “Ebix,” “the Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to Ebix, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and its consolidated subsidiaries as a combined entity, except where it is clear that the terms mean only Ebix, Inc.
The information contained in this Press Release contains forward-looking statements and information within the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. This information includes assumptions made by, and information currently available to management, including statements regarding future economic performance and financial condition, liquidity and capital resources, acceptance of the Company's products by the market, and management's plans and objectives. In addition, certain statements included in this and our future filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), in press releases, and in oral and written statements made by us or with our approval, which are not statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. Words such as "may," "could," "should," "would," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "seeks," "plan," "project," "continue," "predict," "will," "should," and other words or expressions of similar meaning are intended by the Company to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements are found at various places throughout this report and in the documents incorporated herein by reference. These statements are based on our current expectations about future events or results and information that is currently available to us, involve assumptions, risks, and uncertainties, and speak only as of the date on which such statements are made.
Our actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such a difference, include, but are not limited to those discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports filed with the SEC, as well as: the risk of an unfavorable outcome of the pending governmental investigations or shareholder class action lawsuits, reputational harm caused by such investigations and lawsuits, the willingness of independent insurance agencies to outsource their computer and other processing needs to third parties; pricing and other competitive pressures and the Company's ability to gain or maintain share of sales as a result of actions by competitors and others; changes in estimates in critical accounting judgments; changes in or failure to comply with laws and regulations, including accounting standards, taxation requirements (including tax rate changes, new tax laws and revised tax interpretations) in domestic or foreign jurisdictions; exchange rate fluctuations and other risks associated with investments and operations in foreign countries (particularly in Australia, UK and India wherein we have significant operations); equity markets, including market disruptions and significant interest rate fluctuations, which may impede our access to, or increase the cost of, external financing; and international conflict, including terrorist acts.
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Readers should carefully review the disclosures and the risk factors described in the documents we file from time to time with the SEC, including future reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K, and any amendments thereto. You may obtain our SEC filings at our website, www.ebix.com under the "Investor Information" section, or over the Internet at the SEC's web site, www.sec.gov.
Gautam Sharma or Darren Joseph on IR@ebix.com
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