Sheer innovation and edgy thinking by OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal has ensured that the hospitality company has blazed a trail not just through India, but several international markets too. Agarwal is living the Steve Jobs maxim, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” After his $2-billion share buyback, the young entrepreneur has taken up a non-executive director role from an executive director position in the India entity, Oravel Stays; he plans to take up a larger role in the company’s Singapore office as the brand establishes itself as a global player. OYO claims to have a strong balance sheet with over $1.5 Bn and has seen a 4.4x YOY growth in revenue in June 2019. It has raised $1.7 Bn of funding from investors such as Airbnb, SoftBank Vision Fund and several more.
What an amazing growth story for a hotelier who decided on the business model when he was just 17 while travelling across India. “I realised there was a serious lack of good value/good quality hotels in the unbranded budget accommodation category,” he says. Today, OYO works with independent hotel owners or accommodation providers to improve their financial returns whilst ensuring guests have a positive experience during their stay. OYO's transformation team helps improve the appearance, facilities and comfort of the hotels.
It is a 100% 'Made-in-India' business model and the first-of-its-kind worldwide. The numbers are breathtaking: recognised as the world’s fastest-growing hotel group, OYO is South Asia’s largest and China’s largest single hotel brand and second-largest hotel group, and the world’s 3rd largest hotel chain by room count. It has footprints in more than 800 cities across 80 countries. “We started out on the belief that everyone deserves a beautifully designed, chic and comfortable living space.
We did that by upgrading bland, generic spaces and places and designing them with next-gen chic and design moxie and offering them at hard-to-ignore prices. OYO has revolutionized the fragmented and legacydriven budget hospitality space by empowering small and independent asset owners with the operational capabilities and technology that enables them to compete with big hotel chains and achieve high occupancies and therefore yields.”