Data is dubbed as the ‘oil’ of the 21st century. If some estimates are to be believed, about 80% of the world’s data today is still unstructured. In other words, there is vast potential in understanding data and analyzing it to drive business decisions. It also represents a great opportunity for companies to upskill their talent and build a future-ready workforce.
Keeping this in mind, OYO Hotels & Homes launched its Data Science Academy (DSA) in India in September 2020, as part of its employee upskilling initiatives. On December 23, 2020, the company celebrated the graduation of its first batch of DSA in a virtual ceremony in the presence of some distinguished guests.
The graduation ceremony was led by OYO leaders Rohit Kapoor, CEO, OYO India & South Asia; Abhishek Bansal, VP and Chief Revenue Officer, OYO Hotels & Homes; and, Geetika Hans, Head – HR, Global and Corporate Functions. Both Abhishek and Geetika have played a key role in conceptualizing, designing and bringing to life OYO’s DSA. The ceremony was attended by OYOpreneurs from around the world and the loved ones of the first batch of DSA graduates.
Through DSA, the company reiterates its commitment to build a world-class data science and advanced analytics team that will enable OYO to offer improved customer and partner experience while transforming the hospitality industry for the better. Generating much excitement among OYO’s data enthusiasts, the programme received an overwhelming response with hundreds of applications in India. After a rigorous selection process, only about 10-12% were shortlisted after clearing an aptitude test, case study submission, and panel interview.
The programme curriculum of DSA was designed in-house by the OYO Data Science team with immersive sessions in data mining, dashboarding, statistical modeling, insights generation, and owning and driving various metrics to uncover solutions hidden in data to take on business challenges. It included modules on specific tools and techniques on R, Python, SQL and Excel, where participants were part of mock and live projects with in-house data science experts and their team members.
After 60 rigorous hours of learning, assessments and projects per participant, the first batch was officially declared graduate in a virtual award ceremony hosted on December 23, 2020. The ceremony was attended by OYO global employees. Many of the graduates are already in the process of moving to data science roles while the others are likely to take up similar positions in the coming months across revenue management, conversion, excellence teams across supply, operations, transformation and other verticals.
The first batch of OYO DSA graduates who were felicitated in a virtual ceremony on Dec 23, 2020
The chief guests and guests of honor were visibly impressed with OYO’s foresight, vision for the hospitality industry and the efforts that the company is making in the field of Data Science. Virtually addressing the graduates, Honorable Minister, Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Union Minister of State for Education, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India said, “It gives me immense pleasure to be present among OYO leaders, and the graduates of OYO’s Data Science Academy. For a startup like OYO that is only 6-7 year old, OYO has truly become a leading hospitality chain, driven by technology and data sciences. OYO’s efforts in reaping the benefits of an interconnected, mobilised world and enabling tech-led interventions across products, operations, research on partner and customer decisions are noteworthy. It is definitely helping the organization march strongly in the hospitality sector. In 2020, the pandemic has resulted in the widespread adoption of technology, including data analytics, deep learning, robotics, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, among others. I believe that skilling our workforce and equipping them to meet the impending challenges will create new opportunities. I would like to congratulate all the DSA graduates and strongly believe that by imparting such skills, OYO is building world-class data science teams.”
He further stated, “India’s startups and Unicorns are flag bearers of Startup-India and our ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives. Under the leadership of our honourable Prime Minister and ‘Digital India’ mission, we have created tremendous digital infrastructure to ensure that our country takes the lead across the data related economy and AI revolution; especially in the fields of hospitality, fintech, ed-tech, med-tech etc.”
Congratulating the graduates, Dr. Neeta Verma, Director-General of National Informatics Centre said, “The launch of Digital India has resulted in an increased adoption of digital transformation at both the government and industry levels. Everyday, a huge amount of data is generated on a real-time basis with large untapped potential. The government has invested efforts to leverage this data by implementing it across national programmes – such as Aadhar, distribution of seeds, and fertilizers, disbursement of pensions, taxation schemes – GST, scholarship programmes, among others. Data analytics, data sciences and AI have immense potential for next-gen applications. I am confident that the knowledge and skills acquired by OYO’s DSA graduates will ensure very exciting times in their careers in the forthcoming years of technology and data science revolution.”
Congratulating all of OYO’s DSA graduates, Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM said, “Building in-house talent is of utmost importance today, especially in the field of data and analytics. I am truly fascinated by the usage of technology in the hospitality sector by OYO. Today, in India, the demand for digital talent like data analysts, cloud computing experts etc is 8 times higher than the available supply, whereas by 2024, this number could be 20 times higher. In this era of data, countries and companies that have the talent to convert data into insights and put it to good use to create real impact will emerge as winners. A big congratulations to all OYO DSA graduates who had the foresight to take advantage of this course. I am confident that a few years from now, you will look at this as one of the best career decisions. This is definitely a beginning and continuous learning will nurture you as a professional in the years to come.”
Congratulating the graduates, Rohit Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer, OYO India & South Asia said, “Our Data Science Academy was born from the simple need to build world-class data talent and provide holistic careers to employees to help make strong unbiased business decisions. We believe that it is important for our employees to not just drive OYO’s growth, but also get better and upskilled regularly to build a strong career for themselves in the long run. OYO’s employee learning and development Initiatives, such as the Data Science Academy, Young Turks Academy, OYO Privy League etc are not just good to have but must have programmes across industries to build leaders for the future.
On behalf of all of us present today, I would like to congratulate the first batch of graduates and also the entire team that made this programme possible in a matter of just a few months.”
The virtual ceremony ended with an important announcement. Given the successful completion of the course by OYO’s first batch, the company has opened the Data Science Academy to its global employees across geographies! This will give a chance to thousands of OYOpreneurs across the company’s markets to hone their skills and build a bright career while benefiting the global hospitality industry!