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BW Businessworld

Oyo Founder Ritesh Agarwal Shares His Vision To Stay Afloat In Current Situation

In a conversation Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of OYO Hotels & Homes, talks to Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief BW Businessworld, about the pandemic, the tourism and hospitality sector, and more.

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Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of OYO Hotels & Homes, feels pride in his colleagues as they thought of bringing OYO back to a great position with optimism during this crisis and are still on a mission to rise it again. He mentioned, “I was always proud of them, now the pride has gone up even more.” Due to the pandemic, the tourism and hospitality sectors were badly hit. Most people lost their jobs and many are in fear of losing them.

Dr Batra started the discussion by asking a key question as how Agarwal spent his time in the last 60 days, to which Agarwal replied saying that clearly this has been one of the toughest times for anyone in the hospitality business. He went on saying that, “There is nothing I am excited about due to the crisis, which has come, but it is our responsibility to see through this crisis and come back to where we were, and we are doing the best we can. I am confident that we will come out stronger on the other side.”

Stating some key points, he pointed out that his colleagues are putting their hearts in bringing OYO back to the successful pedestal it was earlier. “Technology is critical at this time especially for every business and all sectors,” he stated.

“Speaking about the industry impact, we can say we have big players, as well as small and mid-size players. For big players, they still have the balance sheet and resources to see through the crisis. But the small players have been hit hard. The MSME package that has come out is a big relief. I feel if the small hotels survive the crisis with this help, then a big change will be created.

In fact, it has already been created. For me, if I was a small hotel owner, there would be four things I would do. Firstly, if you are trying to create something fascinating, please don’t spend more resources, which do not have real consumer premise, rather invest in hygiene. Secondly, though your banks might say that your cheques are due by 10-12 months, there is nothing to worry. But the one-time resolution for now is to have the one-time discussions. Thirdly, use technology and improve costs. And the last one is most critical, ensure that your staff has safety and PPE equipment because if they are safe then the guests can be safe,” he said.

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