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BW Businessworld

Crisis Doesn’t Knock On The Door Before Landing Up: Ritesh Agarwal

Ritesh Agarwal highlighted methods in which companies should move on and continue working. He outlined three major aspects: ‘being honest, communicating and doing everything possible so as to show respect.’

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In a webinar with BW Businessworld, Ritesh Agarwal, CEO of Oyo Rooms; discussed the implications of the coronavirus on various sectors, along with placing emphasis on his entrepreneurial journey, and how the future of entrepreneurship may change in light of recent events. 

Initiating something new and novel is always hard, however, the Covid-19 has made it harder for people to find the strength and confidence to venture out. This pandemic has helped place everything in perspective, however one cannot remain blind to how the lamp has dimmed in few industries. 

Ritesh Agarwal highlighted methods in which companies should move on and continue working. He outlined three major aspects: ‘being honest, communicating and doing everything possible so as to show respect.’

Agarwal not only looked back at his journey with nostalgia but also discussed his primary response to the virus. He mentioned how he heard of it for the first time in January 2020, and at that point, all he knew was that the shape of the country was bad. Once he realised it was a global pandemic, his response was ‘worry’, post which he ‘called people to check on them. Then he started prepping for dealing with the crisis, by considering three central stakeholders: Consumers, Partners and the Community’. 

The concept of growth and having a secure sounding board was also stressed upon. He reiterated several times that he feels lucky that he managed to have a board ready for this company before the pandemic, as he is of the view that 'over time companies should be board decisions', because it helps provide a sense of family hood along with giving sound advice. 

His advice to small hoteliers was broken down into four segments: ‘investing in hygiene and safety, requesting a one-time resolution, using technology along with improving cost, and lastly ensuring the safety of the staff with respect to PPE requirements’.  

Agarwal stressed that tough times teach you a lot. Having the confidence that at some point you will “bounce back”, is vital, as that pushes one to do even better. In addition to that, he feels that “tough times bring you closer to everyone, they teach you to be thankful, and eventually acquire a sense of pride”.

When looking into the future, he remains optimistic of the future, and his message to entrepreneurs is: “don’t get scared of the sectors heavily impacted”, as at one point the graph will go up. 



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