It has offices in Zurich and Dubai, 64 governments use it as a client, and it operates in 140 nations. However, the Indian heritage of VFS Global, a market leader in the visa processing industry, is being highlighted as the company prepares to shift ownership.
Purchasing a controlling share in VFS Global from Swedish private equity firm EQT on Thursday in the hopes of a recovery in international travel following the pandemic. According to media reports, the transaction is worth $2 billion for VFS Global .
In order to alleviate the problems faced by Indian travelers, Zubin Karkaria, then the chief operating officer of Kuoni India, developed VFS in 2001. visa applicants back then had to wait in line outside consulates while visa personnel looked over their paperwork. VFS made it easier for consulates to conduct their jobs because they only had to decide whether to issue or deny a visa; VFS would take care of paperwork collecting and review. Following Pune and Ahmedabad, the first pilot project was with the US consulate in Mumbai.
Soon after, further contracts were signed, and by 2005, Kuoni India was handling visa applications for 11 nations in India, including the UK, Canada, and Australia. That year, Karkaria also assumed the role of CEO for the Indian company.
The company’s international expansion started in 2007 when the UK government contracted out the issuance of visas in 33 nations.
The company’s global support office is located in India, one of the top three markets for the business today. In 2019, it processed six million applications from 51 locations.
“Conceptualizing, carrying out, and nurturing the business are key to Zubin’s success. He has a deep understanding of the visa and travel industries, according to a former coworker.
Although VFS Global now dominates the visa processing sector with a market share of over 50%, the venture’s concept was once viewed with suspicion.
In a 2015 media interview, Karkaria stated, “My colleagues thought the Americans would never agree to such a concept.” He claimed that their visa policy was the strictest, requiring the most procedures and paperwork of any nation. Karkaria is now VFS Global’s CEO.
According to a former coworker, “VFS’ basic business processes are process-driven and the company has been successful in duplicating them around the world.” in this industry.
Visa processing is a specialized industry that depends on government relationships and confidence. Governments at both the local and international levels issue contracts, therefore the business must uphold a high standard of service delivery and abide by data protection rules. He continued, “VFS strength has actually been its operations team.