In a conversation with ET, Aditya Ghosh, CEO, India & South Asia, Oyo Hotels & Homes, said that the country’s fastest growing hospitality giant is all set to be one of the largest company (hospitality sector) in the world.
Sharing his nine months experience with Oyo, Ghosh said, “I came to Oyo for two reasons. One, I wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone completely. Two, I wanted to create a story out of India, build a global company with global presence. Both have come true. That keeps me buzzing and alive. At Indigo, I was there from day zero and had 10-12 years to get used to. At Oyo, I had to do that within weeks. I had to demonstrate that I will be fighting in the trenches with them and be open to challenges. Every day, I learn so many new things. It’s a lucky place to be in. This has been an extremely fulfilling opportunity.”
Comparing his last role as president at Indigo, Aditya Ghosh expressed that he wants Oyo to manage its business just like Indigo did; cut costs, standardise quality and become accessible to millions.
He further added by saying that Oyo was trying to solve a really hard problem and growing at an exponential pace. This isn’t just about creating fantastic business. Oyo wants to quickly make living spaces much more accessible and affordable, he said.
Keeping customers at the centre, it is throwing two important resources intelligent mind and technology to achieve it. A broken market, a large number of consumers and technology Oyo is about the interplay of all these, he added.
The SoftBank backed hospitality chain Oyo was started by Ritesh Agarwal in 2013. The startup was started from a single hotel to over 8500 hotels at present. It is the fastest growing network of hotels, offline and online.
Emphasizing on the methods to deal with the competitors of Oyo, Ghosh further said that Oyo was not a platform business. It was not an aggregator. They take ownership of their customer experience. Currently, franchisees are 75 per cent while they own 25 per cent of the properties. However, in the future, that ratio would change.
Furthermore, sharing some insights about the growing hospitality industry and surge in Oyo’s influence over it, he stated, “There was a need to set out our priorities at Hotels & Homes. Safety and security are critical. We have done many things such as introducing an SOS button on our app to improve safety. We are growing rapidly. At Oyo Hotels & Homes, we will add 3,000 employees in India alone this year. As we get deeper into tier-2 and tier-3 cities, we have to focus on how we use tech to get to our customers and serve their needs well. This is a supply-constrained market. Since January, we have grown at 50%. Being a market leader, we have a responsibility to play a larger role in CSR and it is part of my office. One of the initiatives we undertook was water problem in Shimla. Early this year we decided to create rainwater harvesting at all our hotels in Shimla. We have already managed to make some impact.”
He concluded by saying that Oyo’s franchisees struggle with operational excellence, funding, etc. Th company has rolled out a partner-engagement programme to deal with some of those issues. They were focusing on more product supply, a more consistent customer experience and using technology to grow faster.
Also, the company was focusing on its India team. One of the priorities was to also grow talent for the world. He was constantly looking at company’s supply, technology and people and make sure whether they have the right organisational structure to take them forward.