Oyo aims to be largest hospitality brand worldwide: CEO Aditya Ghosh
Aditya Ghosh of Oyo shares his challenges and vision for India’s fastest-growing hotel brand
They’ve been making headlines worldwide with their meteoric rise of late, even cracking tough markets like China.
In a recent interview with the Economic Times, Aditya Ghosh, CEO, India & South Asia at Oyo Hotels & Homes shared his vision for the company’s future.
We find out how he plans to make Oyo available to millions of travellers and which challenges he has encountered along the way.
Success beyond the comfort zone
After working with Indigo, India’s leading budget airline, for 12 years and opening up air travel to a whole new customer segment, Ghosh took a six-month sabbatical.
While he spent part of this time on his numerous hobbies, including photography, sports and reading, he also connected with entrepreneurs, start-ups and established businesses as an advisor or mentor.
This showed him, he needed to get back in the game. However, he did not want to continue where he left off. This meant not taking another airline job but challenging himself to enter a new industry. Oyo, a new-age, tech-driven hospitality start-up would prove the perfect fit.
Captivated by Oyo’s spirit
When Ghosh first met Oyo’s founder Ritesh Aggarwal, the two immediately hit it off. “The first day we met, we were talking for five hours and it continued till midnight,” Ghosh remembers. He also liked the team at Oyo and felt right at home among the talented people Aggarwal had surrounded himself with.
Another aspect which made Oyo attractive to Ghosh was the growth outlook: “I have had an opportunity to help build an airline like Indigo. But due to regulations in India, we couldn’t go overseas. At Oyo, I saw an opportunity to create a global brand.”
Exceptional growth and its challenges
Since he joined Oyo in November 2018, Ghosh has experienced impressive growth at his new company. Since January 2019 it has grown by 50%, hired 3,000 new staff grown to over 500 cities in India.
Such rapid growth in a single market brings its share of challenges too. Since Oyo’s goal is to make quality accommodation available at more affordable prices than some of its legacy competitors, the young company has been rocking the boat in India’s hospitality sector. Ghosh points to other successful businesses who started off the same way and sparked resistance.
“Over the last 15 years, we have seen these protests impact many legacy industries — travel agents, legacy airlines, telecom, auto and many consumer companies. Indigo, Reliance Jio, Bajaj Auto — with each of these companies we heard the same arguments we are hearing today from legacy players. But newer businesses came and made things better. It will be grossly unfair that just because you have gotten away with inefficient business so far, you expect me to protect you,” he explains.
A bright outlook
Apart from taking over India, Oyo has also left its mark internationally. After expanding to the UK, the UAE and Indonesia in 2019, the Philippines, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Japan and the US followed in 2019. New markets are sure to follow shortly.
Ghosh is positive the company will keep growing: “Quality living at an affordable price is a secular demand in hotel business globally today. We have a very unique play between consumer, technology and real estate, with our hotels, co-living and homes. We are poised to become one of the largest hospitality brands in the world.”
Let’s take a look at some of the projects currently underway in India:
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