OYO Rooms is an Indian hotel brand that owns and operates as well as aggregates standardised hotel rooms to the customer. Their goal is to change the way people stay away from home. It is India’s largest hotel network spread across 198 cities with 6500+ hotels offering standardized and hassle-free stay experiences at an unmatched price. It promises to provide the same amenities and the same awesome experience across all its rooms and offers at prices that no other player in the budget segment offers today.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER(S)
Ritesh Aggarwal is the founder and CEO of OYO Rooms. He was selected for the 20 under 20 Thiel Fellowship which makes him one of the very few Indians to have been shortlisted. He started working early in his life at the age of 13 and by 18 he was building OYO. He is as interesting as his idea. He was born in a humble family in Cuttack, Orrisa. His journey as an entrepreneur was not a very smooth one, he had to deal with failures and difficulties to be on the top. He loves to travel and while traveling he discovered that there is a problem in getting good rooms with good facilities at affordable rates. At just 17 years of age, he invented Travel travels, modeled after Airbnb, which later branched out to become OYO Rooms. Later on, he launched OYO to eradicate the problem of the availability of the budget rooms in Hotels.
The platform started as a website, Oravel Stays in 2012, which offered listing and booking f affordable accommodations. Ritesh Agarwal received $100,000 as a part of Theil Fellowship from Peter Thei. In 2013, after three months of research and staying in over hundred guest houses and hotels, Oravel Stays revamped to OYO. OYO partnered with hotels and guest houses, branded them. As of mid-January, it had 200 properties in 11 cities across India.
Lead investors include Huazhou Hotels Group, SoftBank, Greenoaks Capital.
It received about $650,000 in May 2014 from Sequoia Capital and LSVP at a pre-money valuation of $60 million.
The most advanced hospitality technology takes shape here. They introduced pioneering technology to the hospitality industry to deliver better and more efficient operations, management, service. Their app allows a user to book a room in just 3 taps, or within 5 seconds.
From a single hotel in May 2013 to over 6500+ hotels at present, it has been an exciting journey. Their aim is to become the world’s most loved hotel brand. Currently they have 40,00,000 Room nights booked, 27 Average age of employees, 6.5 Million Calls answered by their 24×7 customer care team (till December 2016).
OYO is planning to ease the process of payments. It facilitates one tap payment. It’s like checking-out of a hotel without the need of stopping to pay and adding that such valued partnerships are helping him in maximizing the consumer experience as well as making OYO services better. Even his partnerships with OLA and Zomato have helped them in a similar way in finding transport to OYO properties and making the nearest food options accessible to the customers. Both being basic needs of OYO customers that needed to be addressed. So, OYO’s strategy is simple – identifying the pain points first and intelligently (which many in the game have failed to see or perhaps ignored) and immediately addressing them by providing the customer easy on-the-go options. They also want to provide more women with a comfortable zone which gives them their privacy and space. As the demand graph for OYO Rooms goes up among customers as well as hotels, it plans to expand to 150 cities and to have 50,000 rooms in the country by the end of the year. OYO is tweaking its asset light marketplace model to add a full-stack hotelier model, and will hire 5,000 people over the next eight months too. The Gurugram-based company will do most of this hiring through the recruitment process outsourcing route. Earlier this week, the company entered into a seven-year multi-million dollar contract with leading RPO service provider People Strong.
The value of the contract is $2 million per annum, with that OYO will include hiring across functions such as sales, marketing, technology and hospitality. The company had recently launched operations in Malaysia.
OYO Rooms has completely changed the views of the travelling people. It completely fits the phrase ‘a home away from home’. They provide all the facility that people want – standard rooms, super classroom service even at very affordable rate. The reviews of people across the country validate the success of OYO.