When a storm strikes, brittle ships batten down their hatches and wait for the winds to die. But sturdier vessels, with power in their belly, cut through the frothing waters.
COVID-19 is a viral storm — literally, now that the virus is air-borne — which has gripped all countries and companies by surprise. At the centre of the resultant chaos and unease, ironically, is the one industry that keeps the world footloose and fancy-free — of travel. Over the past four months, this industry has come to a grinding halt; planes have been grounded and hotels have folded.
The airline and the hospitality companies had anyway been struggling, facing the brunt of an economy that has been slowing down since 2019. In the travel industry, the one segment that was doing well was that of the online travel-aggregators (OTA). “They have been one of the main driving factors behind growth in revenue and investment in the travel and hospitality space bringing in much needed innovation catering to the new-age traveller,” says Ankur Pahwa, partner and national leader