Calling these layoffs a one-time exercise, OYO’s chief said that the company is letting go of around 1800-2400 of its 12,000 employees. The news comes after the layoffs were confirmed by OYO’s founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal in a letter to his employees. However, the number of employees losing their jobs wasn’t confirmed in the letter.
Along with the reports of layoffs, numerous media reports also claimed that OYO’s latest move was driven by the deadlines set by the company’s largest stakeholder SoftBank in a bid to turn OYO profitable before IPO in 2022-2023.
Dispensing the reports of SoftBank setting any deadlines for OYO, Rohit Kapoor, said, I want to dispel the notion that SoftBank is directing us to do x or y or z. Of course, as any other shareholder, they have certain expectations. And Ritesh and the management team work along those. And they are not the only shareholders. This business is first and foremost run by the management team. And like any other normal company, there is a dialogue with all stakeholders on targets for the business for the year or future years. We have no such deadlines. In businesses you have targets not deadlines.”
He further added, “At a portfolio level, there is no major restructuring where we are taking any decisions to close down any vertical completely. That’s not happening.”
While addressing the concerns of the outgoing employees, outplacement agencies will be offering 100% support to the impacted workforce. These employees will also be provided help for 90 days of reaching out and counselling will be offered for a period of time.
A number of other measures like leave encashment, variable pay for the cycle worked, and gratuity paid as ex gratia has been provided to support the outgoing employees financially through reasonable packages.
Furthermore, talking about the troubled relationship with the hotel owners, he said, “Personally, building a strong and healthy relationship with partners is my top priority. Partner management, partner support and partner success are core to who we are. Absolutely core. If there is some angst because of financial issues, reconciliation or emotional connect, we are fully committed as the South Asia leadership to make a big change in that. It is a big agenda for us.”