Cash is still king, believes Indian Australian Benny Manuel, director and owner of Currency Exchange International
The one thing that most of us forget or leave to the eleventh hour, while preparing to go on our exciting overseas holidays, is the foreign currency that we have to spend in our destination countries.
Then, there is a mad scramble to buy travellers cheques, foreign currency debit cards or even worse, buy currency at the airport and get fleeced by poor exchange rates and fees.
Most of us will invariably end up using our credit cards, which have hefty transaction fees. After returning home and adding up all the fees and charges incurred on foreign transactions, we are shocked to find that we have lost a small fortune! And with it the joy of a great vacation.
Perhaps, Benny Manuel can give us a helping hand here.
Benny Manuel is the director and owner of Currency Exchange International (www.currencyexchange.net.au), a foreign exchange business, having retail locations in Sydney CBD. The main customers of Currency Exchange are travel agents, shipping companies, duty free shops, inbound travel groups and corporates along with retail customers.
Currency Exchange operates on a “No commission, no fee” basis, which is an attractive feature for its customers. So what you see is what you get in terms of exchange rates. It deals in 35 different types of currencies including the exotic ones! Currency Exchange is a Master agent for Western Union, as well.
Currency Exchange works through a network of retail outlets and can door deliver currencies to its customers (conditions apply).
“Cash is still king,” says Benny Manuel.
Before migrating to Australia in 1999, Benny was flying high in India, literally! He was an accomplished pilot in the Indian Navy and a graduate of the National Defence Academy.
During this stint with the Indian Defence Forces he had flown over 300 hours of combat flying out of 2,500 hours of total flying, having participated in the Indo-Sri Lanka (IPKF) conflict. He still maintains his ties with the Indian Navy and was quite delighted to catch up with his former colleague, Rear Admiral Dasgupta, who visited Freemantle in June 2017 as Fleet Commander Eastern Fleet, on a goodwill visit of the Indian Naval Ships to Australia.
Subsequently, Benny moved to Dubai and worked as a BDM for a real estate company for a few years before migrating to Australia. In Australia, he kicked off his career in the area of Foreign Exchange as a dealer/BDM/GM before eventually taking over as Director/Owner of Currency Exchange International Pty Ltd.
Benny considers Australia to be a land of opportunities that lets anyone dream and make those dreams come true. In his spare time he enjoys playing squash, reading novels, listening to music and watching sports and is a regular at the Australian Open / other sporting events in and out of the country.
He says, “Business opportunities are like buses, there is always another one coming. Many people dream of success each day. You can make that happen when you wake up each day.”
What does he think of the current mania about Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies that have engulfed everyone, mums and dads, Korean housewives and teenagers, students etc most of whom who don’t understand the blockchain technology? Will it disrupt his foreign exchange business? Is there a need for 1,400 crypto-currencies in the world?
Benny says that Bitcoin and its other avatars are in a speculative mode pumped up by greedy profit hunters. He finds no real threat from it to fiat currency or to his business.
One of his mantras is, “Be very afraid when everyone is greedy and greedy when everyone is afraid. You don’t learn to walk by following rules but by doing and falling over.”