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Hemant Chavan was working as a development executive in New York City when the pandemic set in, and before long, he sensed opportunity.

Like many commercial real estate professionals in the last two years, Chavan, a development director at luxury residential developer Gemdale, was dealing with Zoom fatigue, saw a hunger for pandemic-era shoppers to get out and travel and experience real life after years of limited interactions. The Indian American businessman also saw the pandemic accelerating so much technology around him — virtual building tours, rental leasing, construction management software.