Tourism is becoming an extremely rewarding and growing global industry and India is striving hard to capitalize on that market to improve its economy both directly and indirectly. It has also been expanding economic opportunities in regions that are not hubs of industrial or economic growth.
An example of this is Madhya Pradesh. Apart from being a place endowed with niche tourism attractions like wildlife, adventure, it has also ranked 7th in terms of being a business-friendly place as per a list prepared by the World Bank and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). However, one of the major problems in boosting domestic tourism in the state has been infrastructure deficit be it travelling or accommodation. But over the years, with growing Government focus on boosting tourism and increasing number of hospitality and travel brands, the tourism and travel industry has seen significant growth.
One such major player in this segment, OYO Hotels & Homes, has been creating a significant impact in terms of offering great customer experience and creating micro entrepreneurs in Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. Leveraging its innovative technology, OYO Hotels & Homes has struck a chord instantly with customers, especially the millennials in the city and there has been no stopping since then.
OYO has been a major contributor to the changing landscape of Bhopal’s hospitality sector. Before OYO set foot in Bhopal, the majority of the hoteliers were coming from different backgrounds in the city unaware of nuances of hospitality. Moreover, the sustained need for standardization of processes and the need to offer varied, unique experiences that live up to or even exceed customer expectations, were often conflicting. With OYO, there was a major transformation in the way in which the hospitality companies operated. OYO played an instrumental role in enabling asset owners with technology and know-how and working with them in improving customer experience via innovative technology. Once these hotels were onboarded, they went through a major transformation cum standardization and the hoteliers gained access to vendors, who provided them cost-effective deals. In addition to this, OYO also provided proper training to hotel owners and staff to ensure good quality of services were offered to end customers.
When a practice is small, it’s easy for a lawyer to keep track of and stay on top of a few files, and stay in communication with a few clients. For Arpit Gupta however, this was not the case as he has had an eventful career where he juggled with various roles at the same time. A lawyer by profession, a doting son who handled his father’s business when it was in crisis, a proficient businessman; and the list just scratches the surface.
Speaking about his experience with OYO, Arpit says
I started practising in the Supreme Court in 2006 which lasted for 8 years. My father was not keeping well in those days and being the only son I had to come back and take care of the business. I realised the business was getting affected and call of the hour was to pull up my socks and steer the business towards recovery. Soon by December 2015 I shifted to Indore and have been here since then.
We had our hotel listed on other portals but it was in 2016 that we got our property onboarded to OYO. The concept which OYO came within the market was so different than what any other brand was offering at that point in time. Slowly and gradually we were made to understand how the brand functioned and different services it extended to a potential hotelier. If I had to speak about those years, every hotelier’s worry was to tap the right potential in ensuring a seamless guest experience. Hence with multiple sessions, property verification, audits and walkthroughs, we shifted our entire business to OYO in 2016. I have had a great experience with them in terms of revenue and guests delight, hence I can confidently say that our relationship has been advantageous in these years. We also have the oldest sweet shop by the name Mathurawala in Indore which has been thriving as well. To sum up, I can say that OYO has been a blessing since with their controlled assistance I am able to manage my different business interests and personal life with ease.”
What has made OYO successful?
Creating and building a hospitality infrastructure is an expensive and time-consuming process. OYO has addressed this issue by revolutionizing the fragmented and legacy-driven budget hospitality space and working with small and independent asset owners to build operational capabilities and adopt innovative technology.
Sharing the success story so far, an OYO spokesperson said, “Bhopal with its rich cultural heritage draws a lot of tourists. Identifying the opportunity, we began operations in Bhopal and observed that there were a lot of hotel owners who were looking to run a sustainable business with their assets but lacked hospitality expertise. OYO stepped in to work in tandem with these asset owners and today has been able to help them build a viable business and increase footfall via OYO’s hospitality operations – maintenance, housekeeping skills, revenue management algorithms, and distribution technology.”
Additionally, OYO works closely with asset owners across geographies to help them realize business goals and point out what is working well and what could be done better. Recently the company also launched OYO Partner Engagement Network (OPEN) – a year-long initiative with 6 core promises for 9000+ asset owners in India (only for India). It further introduced an upgraded Co-OYO app for asset owners that provides complete visibility on all business & customer metrics. The app helps to enhance the quality of standalone hotels and improves occupancy from 25% to 65% on an average, increasing the yield on underutilized assets for asset owners.
Further to the above OYO also sanctions financial support for overhauling the property, while extending additional support like equipping the hotel with LED televisions, AC, Wi-Fi, CCTV, Dish TV, quality linen, etc. This will also allow creating thousands of jobs in Tier II and III cities by nurturing micro-entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector thus leading to their economic growth.
Hotel business with OYO has been a win-win situation for hoteliers and their team as they are constantly learning new things about the hotel industry with every new occurrence. Besides this, the Owner app allows them to have end-to-end control over daily functions of the hotels and in keeping a close watch on the cash generated, revenue and occupancy among other features.