The company’s domestic flight booking volumes are currently at 15-20% of pre-Covid-19 levels and hotel bookings are at 10-12%. There has also been a gradual improvement in bus bookings, Magow said.
“Reaching pre-Covid-19 levels will take a few more quarters. This fiscal year is going to be slow and steady,” Magow said. “We have seen marginal improvement week on week.”
Bookings so far are mainly for essential travel and some small and medium business travel, he said.
Following “a few weeks of business coming back,” the company decided to reverse the salary cuts of employees up to senior manager levels.
“We are restoring salaries of employees. We are also looking at announcing it all the way up till the senior vice president level effective August 1 or September 1. This will cover the entire workforce minus the leadership team of the group,” Magow said.
The Gurgaon-based company has about 3,200 employees. Magow said the company has rolled out restricted stock units as part of its stock option scheme to all managers.
“It was a pretty broad-based allocation. We have an annual long-term incentive plan and it was part of that annual grant but we were generous this time around. It was well received,” he added.
Magow said about 2,000 hotels have expressed interest in the audits, targeted mainly at standalone hotels.
“It is not easy for independant properties to find a credible agency which can do audits for hygiene and safety protocols. A lot of chains have their own independent protocols. It is a very economical programme for roughly around Rs 2000 per audit. Partners see the value because this will be on top of consumers’ mind. Some chains have also signed up but a large part of this is around independant properties.”
The company is also launching myPartner, a platform that will provide offline travel agents technology and access to the travel inventory available through the MakeMyTrip platform.
Referring to cancellations, refund requests and complaints from consumers, Magow said the company has disbursed about Rs 250 crore worth of refunds over the past 3-4 months.
“There are clearly some hardships and there is no denying that in many cases it has taken more time, but it is also true that a lot of refunds have also been processed. It will take more time for the entire backlog to be cleared as we keep getting it from airlines,” he said.
Airlines have been under stress, he said, and to be fair to partners, they have been receptive and as they find the opportunities, they have been clearing the refunds.
MakeMyTrip laid off about 350 employees in early June, a decision that Magow said was strategic and had been pending since last year after it switched from running its own retail centres to expand through franchises.
“We had already signed up and implemented about 150 franchise centres. So, it was more about changing the economic model from fixed costs to variable costs, from our point of view, and the bulk of rightsizing happened there,” Magow said.