Despite being severely battered by the coronavirus pandemic that saw its revenues plummet to zero, India’s largest online travel company MakeMyTrip continues to remain bullish on the sector. The company’s founder Deep Kalra is a big believer in "revenge travel", a term used to describe the apparent pent up demand from travellers who have been locked in for months owing to the virus.
“I am a big believer in revenge travel. So revenge shopping has happened as we know in some parts but revenge travel will be bigger,” says Deep during a recent conversation with YourStory. "Clearly it’s in the DNA of people to travel, it’s the biggest joy for many people."
A May report from US-based consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, based on a consumer survey, states that confidence in domestic travel rose by 60% in China as the country reopened. When a lockdown ends, the first thing people want to spend money on is eating out. The second is travel, the report highlights.
Business has slowly started to pick up for MakeMyTrip whose revenues plummeted from USD 500 million a month revenue run rate to zero at the peak of the pandemic. “We did USD 6 billion gross booking (in) the last year, the last fiscal that we reported and we were suddenly down to zero,” Deep describes the drastic fall.
After months of no travel, business started to come back for the Nasdaq-listed Gurugram company from July onwards. “Some of our lines of business have definitely started like domestic flights, I think we are back now at 15-20 percent capacity, which is a start,” Deep mentions during the conversation that happened at the end of August. For hotel bookings, demand is at 10-12 percent of the capacity, as is the demand for bus and other inter-city travel modes,” he adds.
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