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 CEO of the Switzerland-headquartered Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd, and a member of the Group Executive Board of the company.
Joining Kuoni in 1991, Mr Karkaria handled several managerial roles before he was appointed 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. He was made a member of the Kuoni Group Executive Board in 2013, and in 2015 he became the first Asian to be appointed as the CEO of Kuoni Group.
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 recognized as the “Pioneer of the Global Visa Services Industry” and being listed as one of the “Top 25 Young Executives in India” by Business Today.
Mr Karkaria is a commerce graduate from Mumbai University and has completed his Business Management studies from Mumbai. He has also completed the Senior Executive Programme at London Business School, one of the world’s most preeminent business schools.
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.
Mr Paul John Maliekkal is the Deputy CEO – Visa Services, VFS Global and heads the visa business and operations globally. In this role, he is responsible for managing and leading business development with focus on key client relationships and strategy. He is also responsible for overseeing the VFS Global TasHeel business – a joint venture between VFS Global & TasHeel. Mr Maliekkal was previously designated as Regional CEO - Africa, Americas, Australasia, Europe, Middle East, Russia & CIS before he took over the Deputy CEO role.
In 2005, Mr Maliekkal joined the Kuoni Group where he served as Vice President of Finance for VFS Global operations, following which he held the position of CFO of Kuoni Travel (India) Pvt Ltd in 2008. In 2011 he was appointed CFO - VFS Global globally and he continued in that role until 2013.
Prior to his association with VFS Global and the Kuoni Group, Mr Maliekkal held a number of strategic roles in ESPN Star Sports (reporting directly to the CFO at ESPN Star Sports) and Money Television and Industries Pvt. Ltd.
Mr Maliekkal is a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Mumbai and Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Chris Dix is the Head of Business Development for VFS Global and is responsible for identifying new business opportunities, with a clear focus on developing new markets and strengthening client relationships. Chris joined VFS Global in August 2011 as Regional Head for Europe and the Americas, following which he was appointed COO for Europe and Americas in January 2012.
Prior to VFS Global, Chris spent 25 years as a career diplomat working for the UK Foreign Service. His last assignment was his position as Regional Director for South Asia (2007-2011) with UK Border Agency. Before that, Chris was the UK Border Agency Regional Director for Africa (2004-2007) and Director of UK Visa Services for India (1999-2004). Prior to this, Chris worked on Central American and South Asian affairs, and on UN humanitarian issues.