In 2001 Mr Karkaria conceptualised and set-up VFS Global – one of the most outstanding examples of innovation across the Kuoni Group, and led VFS Global to become a global leader in its space within 4-5 years of its inception. He is also the Executive Vice President of the Switzerland-headquartered Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd, and a member of the Group Executive Board of the company.
Joining the Kuoni in 1991, Mr Karkaria handled several managerial roles before he was appointed as COO of Kuoni India’s Tour Operating division in 1999, and then as the CEO and Managing Director of Kuoni India and South Asia in 2005 – managing the Outbound and Domestic tours division, the Business Travel division, and the Inbound Travel division, and simultaneously growing the VFS Global business.
Mr Karkaria has served on the boards and committees of several industry bodies including as External Director on the board of ITDC (India Tourism Development Corporation). He has also won several accolades recognizing his business leadership and entrepreneurial skills, including being listed by Business Today (one of India’s leading business publications) as one of the “Top 25 Young Executives in India”.
Mr Karkaria is a commerce graduate from Mumbai University and a Business Management diploma holder from Poddar College, Mumbai.
Mr de Canson, a French national, has joined VFS Global in December 2013 as the Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for Finance and Legal functions for VFS Global. A commercial finance leader in high tech and financial services, Mr de Canson joined VFS Global after a 14 year career at Apple where he held various finance management positions, including EMEA Financial Services manager, UK Controller and Controller for the emerging markets, EMEA and India. His last assignment was Head of Finance for Western Europe, providing strategic Finance leadership and controls for the region’s general manager. Previously to Apple, Mr de Canson worked in the financial services industry in the Dutch group ING and at CIT, a US company. Mr de Canson comes to VFS Global with 24 years of finance experience covering several diverse countries across Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East and India. Mr de Canson holds a Master’s Degree in Management from ESCP Europe.
Mr Martyris has been in charge of Kuoni India’s HR department since 2004, during which he was also responsible for VFS Global. Currently he is Global Chief of Human Resources for Kuoni Travel Holding and is also Chief of Human Resources of VFS Global, responsible for VFS Global' global HR strategy, leadership development , Talent and Performance Management. Mr Martyris has over 35 years of experience in handling human resources and over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry. Mr Martyris graduated from Xavier Labour Relations Institute in 1976 since which time he has held senior management positions at the Oberoi Group and The Indian Hotels Company Ltd, served on the board of Tata Coffee as an independent director in 2003, was invited to be a member of the Global HR Council of the Conference Board, USA in 1998 and was Chairman of the HR Committee of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce between 2007 and 2009.
Mr Savla joined VFS Global in January 2004 as Chief Technology Officer with the responsibility for strengthening the company’s global IT delivery model, before becoming the Chief Information Officer for Kuoni India & South Asia in September 2005. Mr Savla remained with Kuoni until 2010 when he joined Standard & Poor's (CRISIL) as CIO for their South Asia region, with responsibility for its KPO business IT in Europe and the Americas.
In March 2011 Mr Savla re-joined VFS Global as Chief Information Officer – with additional responsibility for emerging markets for Kuoni’s travel businesses till January 2012. Prior to joining VFS Global, Mr Savla held various leadership positions within Merrill Lynch, G.E. Shipping and IL&FS in India. During his career, Mr Savla has won several industry awards including the CIO 100 award (2007 - 2012), and NASSCOM innovation award, and has served as an advisor, juror, or committee member for various industry bodies. Mr Savla graduated from the University of Mumbai with an Engineering degree.
Ms Drummond, a British national, joined VFS Global in March 2014 as Chief – Business Development. She is responsible for overall Business Development, including bid management and production, for VFS Global. She is a senior sales and business development professional with extensive experience of selling high value solutions to the Public Sector and developing enduring strategic relationships with market influencers and business partners. Ms Drummond’s rich experience spans across 30 years, and she joins VFS Global from SAS UK where she served as the Sales Director for Public Sector, before which she held positions of Strategic Alliances Manager with VMware UK Ltd., and Global Director, Public Sector Industry Solutions, and EMEA (Europe Middle East & Africa) Industry Director with SAP Ltd. She has also held key positions with Oracle UK Ltd., and BEA Systems Ltd. A qualified professional, Ms Drummond has participated in several sales and business development programmes.
Mr Maliekkal is responsible for managing and leading VFS Global’s business across Middle East, Africa (excluding North Africa), Europe & Americas, and Australasia, focussing on strategy, business development, and managing key client relationships. He is also responsible for overseeing the VFS TasHeel business – VFS Global’s joint venture with TasHeel. Mr Maliekkal joined the Kuoni Group in 2005 as Vice President - Finance, VFS Global, and was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer of Kuoni Travel (India) Pvt Ltd in 2008. From 2011 until 2013 he was the Chief Financial Officer of VFS Global. He has previously held the positions of Senior Manager reporting to the CFO at ESPN Star Sports and also Manager at Money Television and Industries Pvt Ltd. Mr Maliekkal graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Bombay and then qualified as a chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Mr Raghavan is responsible for managing and leading VFS Global’s business across CIS, North Africa, and South Asia focussing on strategy, business development, and managing key client relationships. He is also overall responsible for the Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC) business. Having joined VFS Global in 2004 as Sr General Manager, he was responsible for setting up operations across China. Since then, he has been responsible for establishing VFS Global's operations in a number of countries in the CIS region including Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkey, etc, besides managing other regions such as Europe and MENA. Prior to his current role Mr Raghavan was the Chief Operating Officer – CIS and South Asia. Mr Raghavan has almost 27 years' experience in the travel and hospitality sector – 7 years with Oberoi Group of Hotels and 12 years with Air-India. Mr Raghavan is a Hotel Management Graduate from Delhi and a Post Graduate in Marketing Management from Mumbai University.
Mr Alexander is responsible for managing and leading VFS Global’s business across South East Asia, North Asia and the Pacific Rim, focussing on strategy, business development, and managing key client relationships.
Mr Alexander joined VFS Global in 2005, as General Manager for Business Development. He has over 21 years of experience in client acquisition, sales & marketing, strategic planning & brand management portfolios in Indian & International markets. Prior to joining VFS Global, he has held leadership positions across a wide spectrum of organizations viz. Coats Viyella India Ltd, GE Lighting India Ltd and Hutchison Max Telecom (now Vodafone). Ajit has completed his Bachelor’s degree (with Honours) in Commerce from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and holds a Master’s degree in Management Studies from Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. He has also completed the Management Development Program from The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Mr Dix is responsible for managing and leading VFS Global’s business across Europe and the Americas, focussing on strategy, business development, and managing key client relationships. He joined VFS Global in August 2011 as Regional Head for Europe and the Americas, becoming COO for the region on 1 January 2012. Before joining VFS Global, Mr Dix spent 25 years as a career diplomat working for the UK Foreign Service - most recently on secondment to the UK Border Agency as Regional Director for South Asia (2007- 2011), Regional Director for Africa (2004-2007), and Director of Visa Services India (1999-2004). Prior to that Mr Dix worked on Central American and South Asian affairs, and on UN humanitarian issues. Mr Dix has worked in Switzerland, Bangladesh, Spain, Nigeria and India.