SINGAPORE – Zubin Karkaria, chief executive officer for VFS Global Group, is the first Asian to serve on the Executive Board of the 106-year-old Kuoni Group. Karkaria, who is also the executive vice-president of the Kuoni Group, will play a role in the strategic direction and decision making of the Group. Karkaria reports to the chief executive officer of Kuoni Group, Peter Rothwell. Simultaneously, VFS Global has been made a separate business division of Kuoni Group.
The Executive Board, whose members include the CEO, CFO, and Business Division Heads of the Group, is the pre-eminent managerial body of Kuoni Group. Karkaria is also the first Asian to serve on the Executive Board of Kuoni Group.
Karkaria, who joined Kuoni in 1991 in India, rapidly moved up from one managerial role to the next in the company’s Tour Operating Division, and was appointed as the deputy CEO and Head Business Development for Kuoni India and South Asia in 2003. He was then appointed as the CEO and managing director of Kuoni India and South Asia in 2005, being responsible for all units of the company – Tour Operating, VFS Global, Business Travel and Kuoni Academy.
Karkaria’s greatest achievement has been the launch and the stupendous growth of the VFS Global business. Built on the platform of a single core competence and launched in 2001 with one customer mission and three visa application centres (VACs), VFS Global is a world leader in its space with 43 client governments and 820 VACs across 87 countries. To-date, the company has handled over 55 million applications since its inception in 2001.