“Goa may be the new Thailand, ” says Ritesh Agarwal as OYO pivots to a new strategy — ‘driving, and not flying, destinations’
OYOfounder Ritesh Agarwalsaid that the company is focusing on new kinds of travel, at the India Today e-conclave.
- With people not ready to fly anytime soon, OYO wants to capitalise on the tourism spots that people can drive to as a weekend getaway.
- OYO’s wish to be the number one hotel chain in the world is now a delayed ambition. Agarwal said that OYO now has ‘measured business aspirations’.
Indian hospitality unicorn OYO is probably one of the worst hit
View all Offers
View all Offers
- 18% OFF
Redmi Note 10S (Shadow Black, 6GB RAM, 64GB Storage) - Super Amoled Display | 64 MP Quad Camera₹ 13999₹ 16999Buy On
- 29% OFF
Samsung Galaxy M32 5G (Sky Blue, 6GB RAM, 128GB Storage)₹ 16999₹ 23990Buy On
- 28% OFF
OPPO A31 (Mystery Black, 6GB RAM, 128GB Storage) with No Cost EMI/Additional Exchange Offers₹ 11490₹ 15990Buy On
- 13% OFF
Redmi 9 Prime (Mint Green, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage)- Full HD+ Display & AI Quad Camera₹ 10499₹ 11999Buy On
- 16% OFF
Oppo A16 (Pearl Blue, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage) with No Cost EMI/Additional Exchange Offers₹ 13490₹ 16990Buy On
And now, the 27-year-old founder of OYO Ritesh Agarwal knows he has no other choice but to change his strategy. “The coronavirus has impacted 1-2 quarters of our growth trajectory. We are now focusing on new kinds of travel, weekend travel which requires driving rather than flying," he said in the recently held India Today conclave.
Agarwal said that within the travel industry, aviation is impacted the most. With people not ready to fly anytime soon, OYO wants to capitalise on the tourism spots that people can drive to as a weekend getaway. "Coorg will be the new Switzerland, Goa will be the new Thailand. If we predict these trends correctly, while market size may shrink, we will have a good opportunity to use our model,” he said.
AdvertisementOYO now has ‘measured business aspirations’
Right before the coronavirus pandemic, OYO was in recovery mode from a number of issues – rising complaints from hoteliers about delayed payments, disgruntled customers and more. In January 2020, OYO laid off thousands of employees and announced that it was now focussed on profitability.
But then came coronavirus.
In the beginning of April 2020, founder Ritesh Agarwal announced that the coronavirus pandemic has hit their business by a much bigger margin than what he had imagined. Earlier Agarwal had estimated a 15-20% drop in revenues and occupancy over Covid-19. However, the company’s revenues dropped by over 50%-60% globally.
“Our immediate response was to try and cut the controllable costs like marketing, capital expenditures and so on. At the end when we realised that that was not enough, we had the view we would stay away from any kind of layoffs but unfortunately we had to announce some furloughs,” he said.
But that also means OYO’s wish to be the number one hotel chain in the world is now a delayed ambition. Agarwal said that OYO now has ‘measured business aspirations’. “At this point of time, it’s very hard to predict your growth plan. We are reviewing and evolving our business plan as times go. But in the long term, we remain confident about creating a large scale business. We will focus on some of the key strategic markets – India, South East Asia, China, Europe and the US,” he said.
Don’t hold your breath — Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw says coronavirus vaccines from India may be ready for clinical trials in 9 months
EXCLUSIVE: OYO sends employees in India on leave without pay for 4 months and announces pay cuts for many
Popular on BI
- A CryptoPunk NFT bought for $74 resurfaced after four years and just sold for $2 million
- Best DIY wallpapers to revamp your house
- India's largest car maker loses nearly two thirds of its profit to chip shortage
- New Range Rover: Check out expected price in India, features and other details
- Softbank will make $250 million by selling a fifth of its stake in Policybazaar