The online buyer base will grow before pandemic ends, according to the founder and group executive chairman of MakeMyTrip.

Fundamentally, COVID-19 has been the biggest blessing that the internet economy could get in India, according to Deep Kalra, founder and group executive chairman, MakeMyTrip.

“At the end of COVID, we would have jumped from 110 million to 200 million buyers online because there is no other way to order or pay,” he said, addressing over 1,000 delegates at TiECON Chennai 2020, an event that was held virtually for the entrepreneurial community.

Mr. Kalra also spoke about the travel and hospitality industry. “It is going to take time for the travel industry in India to open up. There is a silver bullet, but we don’t know when it is going to come.” He said the future of the travel industry in the short-term was going to be tough. “But I am a firm believer that once we see this through, we are going to see revenge travel. I am very optimistic about the long term; there are no questions about travel being replaced by anything because it is experiential,” he said.

This year, TiECON, organised by The Indus Entrepreneurs, will have sessions in Tamil, too. C.K. Ranganathan, president, TiE Chennai, and chairman and managing director of Cavinkare, said entrepreneurs from across Tamil Nadu would hugely benefit from the sessions. Day one saw a panel discussion on ‘Local to Global: The Chennai Startup path’. The conversation touched upon the need for research and development and innovation, particularly in science and technology, the ability to cater to local as well as global markets, and the role of a supportive ecosystem.

This year, TiE Sandhai (marketplace), a platform that caters to the needs of the local entrepreneurial community, has gone virtual. TiECON is the world’s largest conference for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs with participation from top technology companies, leading venture capital firms and global service providers.

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