The prevalent economic conditions, affected adversely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent Russia-Ukraine war, are expected to exhaust the option of funding and borrowings through venture capital for startups, EaseMyTrip Co-Founder and Director Prashant Pitti said on May 23.
"In the start-up ecosystem, the funding and venture capital is a little bit on the cautious side," Pitti said, while speaking to Moneycontrol in Switzerland's Davos, where the world's political and business leaders have gathered for the World Economic Forum (WEF) summit.
The slugging economic conditions, however, provide a "good opportunity for companies to go back to the drawing board and see what you could do better as compared to what you were doing earlier", Pitti said, adding that such an analysis is possible only when the financial resources get strained.
In EaseMyTrip's case, he claimed, the economic slowdown would not be a major obstacle as the company is not reliant on external money.
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"EaseMyTrip is a very efficient company on its own... We have never relied on VC money, and have grown using our own profit," Pitti said.
"Infact, it is good for EaseMyTrip as our competitors who were overtly demanded on investors' money will face the crunch."
"Overall, for the industry, this is a process of living and dying. When the money flow comes in low, the ones who are really good, the ones who are innovators and the ones who can control their cash flows, will survive and even thrive in the future," he added.
'Vengeance travel here to stay'
Despite flight and accommodation prices being high, the demand for travel has increased, Pitti said.
"What we are seeing is vengeance travel. After facing restrictions for around two years, people have realised how integral travel is to their lives," he added.
Through bookings made via EaseMyTrip, it has been learnt that the average travel duration has gone up from 3.2 to 4.7 days, Pitti claimed. Similarly, "the percentage of business class, four or five-star bookings have gone up almost twice" as compared to the pre-pandemic period, he added."I don't think vengeance travel will be a short-lived phenomenon. It is here to stay," he further said.