Indian companies should have enough reserves in the tank to fight competition, says MakeMyTrip founder Deep Kalra

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January 21, 2021 12:30 AM

Kalra said that unlike some established economies like Europe that have implemented stringent rules around monopolistic business practices and privacy, India is yet to concretise laws in that space and they are still “evolving".

Kalra said during good times, companies start expanding their workforce heavily but “we never realise that overnight, we may have to cut back on those very same people”.

Indian companies should have enough “reserves in the tank” to fight the deep-pocketed global players crowding the market, Deep Kalra, founder and group executive chairman, MakeMyTrip, said on Wednesday.

Kalra said that unlike some established economies like Europe that have implemented stringent rules around monopolistic business practices and privacy, India is yet to concretise laws in that space and they are still “evolving”.
“….there is no denying the fact that India is an open economy. We have a regime where everyone’s here, everyone’s invited or not but everyone’s here. For a market (digital) which today is not that large.

That’s the scary part. I think it is going to be very hard for the local players who do not have the resources. Do not think that you can battle some of the large players coming in and if they get into your market, by just holding on to your old customers..no,” Kalra said at the 15th India Digital Summit.

Kalra said money plays a huge role as it enables players to be in the game for the long haul. “We have all now seen so many battles in India which are getting a little saner right now… but with discounting and for that, you need not $100 million… you get into the billions of dollars,” Kalra said.

Although there are significant challenges, Kalra believes that Indian companies have a lot of potential and it is quite evident from the fact that local start-ups alone garnered nearly $10 billion in funding from investors in a pandemic year.

Kalra is hopeful that this decade will belong to India. “Fundamentally, there is a lot of capital available internationally and they are looking for good companies. I think India will be the beneficiary. We will probably in this decade not go from $2,000 to $6,000 per capita but my estimate would probably end at closer to $4,000 to $5,000 per capita which is huge,” Kalra said.

To be better equipped to deal with a crisis as huge as Covid-19 in the future, Kalra advised businesses to scale up with variable costs and not fixed costs. MakeMyTrip that had to let go of about 10% of its workforce has started thinking “really hard” about every new recruitment. Kalra said during good times, companies start expanding their workforce heavily but “we never realise that overnight, we may have to cut back on those very same people”.

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