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4 Ways that Helped India's Oyo Rooms to Scale Beyond Southeast Asia After its successful expansion in China and Indonesia, the Softbank-backed company is now going all out in the United Kingdom

By Komal Nathani

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India's hospitality chain Oyo Rooms is expanding its brand across the world. After its successful expansion in China and Indonesia, the Softbank-backed company is now going all out in the UK to garner large amount of customers from London.

According to a reputed research organization Entrackr, the company had plans from before to expand operations in Europe, and London is the first market in the respective region. This is the sixth overseas market for Ritesh Agarwal-led Company. Besides, UK, China and Dubai, Oyo has operations in Malaysia, Thailand and Nepal.

At the Entrepreneur 2018 Conference, Founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal gave an insightful presentation on the topic "How I Did It". Agarwal also spoke about his setbacks, his hunches as an entrepreneur and a lot more about his beautiful journey of taking the brand global.

Here are a few takeaways from his remarkable speech:

  • Invest in Competencies and Not Marketing at First

While speaking about the brand's journey in Nepal and other countries like China, Agarwal spoke at length about how investing in competencies helped company to grow in foreign countries and not particularly marketing. Instead of spending an abundance of money in TV commercials, Oyo Rooms spent money in outdoor advertising and invested in other infrastructural needs to satisfy end consumers, emphasized Agarwal in his speech at the show.

  • Use of Data Science to Track Consumer Needs

Harnessing technology in the right manner, Oyo Rooms claims to have the best consumer understanding globally. Agarwal interestingly pointed out how the use of data science is helping the company to understand the consumer needs and their satisfaction levels from their services. The company has a team of data scientists who track everything with their specialized software ORBIS from consumer needs to the best locations of hotels. Like Netflix predicts which region of people like watching what, Oyo today can predict that for each interior design how much increase in occupancy it can have.

  • Perseverance is the Key

Recounting his experiences at Oyo as an entrepreneur, Agarwal spoke about his firm belief in perseverance. He said, "Being persistent for anything will help you be there where you would want to." He emphasized on the saying that at the end of the day there will always be light at the end of tunnel. The 26-year old Agarwal also spoke about how our own experiences are the biggest learning for ourselves as it was for him to learn things beyond the conventional methods in his journey of entrepreneurship. "Your experiences always gives you better perspective about what do you want to do, so think carefully," he said.

  • Take the Conviction Call if You Realize It's Not Working Out

"An entrepreneur knows at his heart whether his business is going to be big or not," said Agarwal while talking about his setbacks with his first venture Oravel before Oyo Rooms. He said in this situation one should I always take the conviction call and do something to improve the product or identify the lag in the product. When Agarwal realized in the mid of his journey with Oravel that this is not making any difference in the market and to the consumers, he took a holiday of two months and spent days in hotels and resorts thinking what could be done. It was then when he realized that worldwide there is probably no company that is improving the lives of small asset owners. That was the origination of Oyo Rooms.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!


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