India's street vendors turn to social media

Online word of mouth has given much-needed boost to food stalls reopening after strict pandemic lockdown

Mr Ravi Kant at his food stall in Noida, which sells mostly burgers, sandwiches and beverages. He saw a surge in customers after a news agency tweeted about him and his stall. ST PHOTO: DEBARSHI DASGUPTA
Mr Ravi Kant at his food stall in Noida, which sells mostly burgers, sandwiches and beverages. He saw a surge in customers after a news agency tweeted about him and his stall. ST PHOTO: DEBARSHI DASGUPTA

As someone who enjoys cooking, Mr Ravi Kant had always dreamed of opening a small cafe. He made a start last month, a debut that arose, however, from a nightmare.

The former travel company executive was laid off in March after the coronavirus pandemic abruptly closed borders, halting the arrival of foreign tourists. His monthly earnings of 65,000 rupees (S$1,200) evaporated.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2020, with the headline 'India's street vendors turn to social media'. Print Edition | Subscribe