As we enter 2020

As we enter 2020

Earlier this month, I wrote to all OYOpreneurs about OYO’s plans and priorities for 2020. Given the interest it generated globally, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of this more widely.


As we enter 2020, our leadership team and I spent time reflecting on the business, end of the year 2019, our progress so far, and the several opportunities that are still in front of us. As a young, 6-year-old company, OYO has actively evolved as an organization. Together, we have built OYO into one of the world’s leading hotel chains, serving millions of guests across the world including in India, China, US, Europe, SEA, ME, Japan, LatAm and more. As a result, we have not only increased our y-o-y revenues 3X but also strengthened our governance structure and management team in a way that is befitting of a fast-growing global organization. We are proud of the hard work, dedication and passion of every OYOpreneur who has helped us achieve our goals so far.


But, of course, a journey like this is never easy, and 2019 was also a year of learning for us. Putting our learnings into action, we have already started making changes via our 2020 strategy to optimize the business for sustainable long-term growth. We are planning to focus more on building capabilities for serving our property owners and guests, and are rationalizing investments in our new early-stage businesses. We are also going after ‘accretive growth’ this year – using network and deal science to ensure we grow sustainably, for the long term.


Our 2020 priorities are as follows:

  1. Sustainable Growth:
    • Balance the speed of our growth with our operational capabilities
    • Build a network plan that drives accretive growth for OYO, for our partners and for our customers
    • Focus on core businesses and rationalize growth avenues
    • Focus on profitable locations and avoid growth that dilutes our margins
    • Further reduce operating costs by deploying technology across our systems and processes
  2. Operational and Customer Excellence:
    • Drive uniform adoption of our proprietary tech products across different geographies. This also makes our guests’, asset partners’ and our lives easier and efficient
    • Leverage our Global Capabilities Team for each core function to accelerate technology development, to reduce duplication of effort, and to dramatically shorten the learning curve of every OYO market
  3. Culture and Governance:
    • Enable OYOpreneurs with the right tools to drive productivity and governance
    • Continue to build a culture of transparency, meritocracy and high engagement to drive belief in our product and in our capabilities
    • Deliver our value propositions while building trust as the underlying pillar that brings us closer to our asset partners and customers


I fully trust our leadership team’s ability to execute on the above priorities. I am confident of this because OYO has never lost a single senior leader. In fact, we added 5 new leaders in key leadership roles in 2019. Earlier in December, we had also announced the addition of Aditya Ghosh to our Board of Directors, who will play an active role there.


Over the past few days, and as you may already know, we have been reorganizing our teams across businesses, functions and geographies in line with our new priorities. As we drive tech-enabled synergy, remove duplication of effort across businesses and geographies, and finalize our network plan for 2020, we realize that, unfortunately, we are having to say goodbye to some of our valued and trusted friends and colleagues at OYO. I am thankful for their service and sincerely regret the impact this is causing. We have, however, ensured that we are actively engaging with our impacted colleagues, and they receive as much assistance and support as possible through this transition, which includes ex-gratia package, support with outplacement, amongst others. This is the least we can do.


Our partners and CEOs will co-lead this and any restructuring will be done, keeping in mind the wellbeing of all OYOpreneurs – both during and after their tenure. As difficult as some of these decisions have been to make, especially when it comes to changes to our staffing model, we have reasons to believe that this is the right thing to do for the business and for the 25,000+ OYOpreneurs who remain with the company. We are mostly through, and will complete this restructuring shortly, as we prepare for a strong and sustainable growth in 2020, and beyond.


As we move forward in our journey, we will do so by staying focused on our core values of building trust, being respectful and being resilient at all times.


I hope my note helps you understand our priorities and our direction for 2020 better. Thanks for reading!

Meet the author / Ritesh Agarwal

Ritesh Agarwal is the founder and CEO of OYO Hotels & Homes. Travelling across India at the age of 17, Ritesh stayed in more than 100 bed and breakfasts, guest houses, and hotels to realize there was a massive dearth of affordable and good-quality hotels in the budget hotel category. He believed that everyone deserves a beautifully designed, chic and comfortable living space. And everyone deserves a better life. That’s how OYO was launched in May 2013. OYO today is the world’s leading chain of hotels, homes, and spaces.