Visakhapatnam

Success saga of OYO hotel network

CEO of OYO Ritesh Agarwal   | Photo Credit: arranged pic

Five years after he dropped out of college, Ritesh Agarwal, 24, has transformed his start-up into India’s largest hospitality company. Despite trying to tap huge market overseas, OYO, founded by him in 2013, focuses on further consolidating its position in India.

Mr. Agarwal, who was conferred the Entrepreneur of the Year award by StartAP, a private initiative for sustainable ecosystem for start-ups, in Visakhapatnam recently told The Hindu that despite initial failures, his hunger for success has driven him to take up new challenges. He hails from Bissam Cuttack of neighbouring Odisha’s Rayagada district.

Having sent for education to Kota in Rajasthan, he experienced budget hotels in Delhi and its neighbourhood for three months and formed Oravel Stay, a start-up to promote homestay in 2012.

The $100,000 Thiel Fellowship, given to brilliant young thinkers, bagged by him and turning a sick hotel in Gurugram into a runway success were the twin factors behind the success story of OYO Rooms founded by him in 2013.

Preferred destination

Mr. Agarwal, OYO CEO, has big plans for Andhra Pradesh and wants to create more budget rooms in Tirupati.

He says the State is one of the most preferred destinations among Indians with high footfall from both leisure and business travellers and recently the AP Tourism was conferred with the best State Tourism Award. This is mainly because of multiple touch points, including pilgrimage.

Mr. Agarwal says Tirupati is one of the strongest and fastest growing pilgrim cities in OYO’s network and for this summer season.

“We saw a 20X increase in the booking volume compared to the last season. This trend clearly highlights the predominance of pilgrimage tourism among the Indian travellers.”

At OYO, he says they have been on the forefront of offering quality living spaces at an affordable cost while ensuring an end-to-end control over the experience of guests.

On his meeting with Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, he discloses that they discussed the potential investment opportunities in tourism and hospitality for boosting the sectors.

He says OYO is a full-stack hospitality company driven by both innovation and technology and they have introduced multiple technological transformations in the hospitality industry. During the meeting, he proposed the introduction of the technology in AP and received a positive response from Mr. Naidu.

“We look forward to rolling out the solution in Andra Pradesh that is already being implemented in Haryana and Rajasthan.”

OYO currently has over 75 exclusive, full-inventory hotels with 1500 plus rooms as a part of its network. This includes a strong presence in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Guntur and Nellore. The Sunrise State not only attracts business and corporate travellers but also is a hub of leisure and pilgrim travel, he says.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 7:18:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/success-saga-of-oyo-hotel-network/article24076380.ece

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