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OYO CEO's Eyes Clearly Set on the Future: Spearhead the Hotel Sector by 2023 Ritesh Agarwal is determined to make the hotel chain the largest in the sector by 2023, his vision is not too far owing to the recent successful developments OYO has been a part of

By Bhavya Kaushal

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The meteoric rise of Oyo is phenomenal but it seems there is no stopping for the hotel chain. The franchise model has already made an advent into Asia-Pacific and is now aiming to go all out in its global endeavours as well.

A Meteoric Rise

Oyo started out as a start-up in 2013 and today its growth in such a short span of time is nothing short of a wonder. It is not just known to trailblaze the Indian start-up ecosystem but also its expansion has been monstrous. Today, the numbers have grown to 330,000 rooms in 500 cities globally. In India, it is currently operating in 180 cities with 143,000 rooms. In China, the expansion is over 265 cities with 180,000 rooms. Ironically, the bandwidth in China is much more than that of operations on the home soil. It is nevertheless, the evolution and development of this Indian unicorn that has attracted global news channels and papers to take note of.

Recently it is raised a funding of $1 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital and other investors to invest in expansion activities in China and other countries. Ritesh Agarwal, the founder and the brain behind this wonder is a 24-year-old college dropout. His past or his academic qualifications doesn't matter because his eyes are clearly set on the future, "By 2023, we will be the world's largest hotel chain," he said in an interview to PTI.

Eyes that are Clearly Set on the Future

The plan for the future to accomplish his vision is all set. Agarwal also shared, "Our belief is that if we just keep opening 50,000 keys a month, then by 2023 we would have opened roughly 2.5 million more rooms, which will be at least 2 times of what the world's largest hotel chain is today."

Recently, Oyo appointed Aditya Ghosh, former president of IndiGo, as the head of operations for South Asia and India. It is also functioning in Indonesia and Malaysia in South East Asia.

"Dubai is a market where we are investing aggressively as well. When I say Dubai, I mean the broader UAE region which is Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and so on," he said. "From our perspective, these three markets help us open the South East Asian, the Middle Eastern and the European markets and we will open more markets once we go deep enough in our core countries," said Agarwal.

The elaborative action plan will be carried out with a focal point in three key areas -- capital expenditure in assets for the renovation of properties, training and staffing facilities and bringing in a solid management team to operate these asset areas really well. "These are 3 big areas of investments," he said.

Feed the Need

India is a developing economy. It needs refurbishing, development and work in almost every area from infrastructure to healthcare and education. Oyo has brought a new dimension to the arena of hotel management.

But it is the massive growth over the years of this firm that has given it the scope to expand its operations further. Agarwal is aware of this when he says, "Three years back India's standalone growth was 1.6 times, last year the growth was 2.3 times. This year we are trending roughly 3 times and we are going to project a little bit higher than 3 times for the coming fiscal years, so we are growing faster on a bigger base because of the network effect," further adding the occupancy is 65 per cent.
For Indians, looking for rooms that provide clean and comfortable spaces has been an exhausting exercise. It is this need of Indians that Oyo has very comfortable fed and thus its success is not surprising.

Bhavya Kaushal

Former Features Writer

I am a work-in-progress writer and human being. An English graduate from Delhi University, writing is my passion and currently, I was Entrepreneur India's start-up reporter. I love covering start-ups and weaving their stories into unforgettable tales with the power of ink! 
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