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BW Businessworld

Come Out Stronger

Reflecting back on the last three months, Agarwal reminds that this has been one of the toughest times for anyone in the hospitality sector.

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It is our responsibility to see our businesses through this crisis and technology will play a key role in this, asserts Ritesh Agarwal, CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes

The hospitality sector globally, and also in india, has been among the worst impacted in the covid period.

New age companies such as OYO saw one of the largest downsizing in the sector, and also a curb of international plans. Given that travel itself will slowdown, even in the near future, the times ahead reiterate an unprecedented change for the industry.

In the backdrop where there is widespread concern around existential issues for some companies, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of OYO Hotels & Homes, asserts that he feels “pride in his colleagues” for their optimism, as they battle it out to bring OYO back to a “great position” during this crisis. He says, “I have always been proud of them, now more so.”

Reflecting back on the last three months, Agarwal reminds that this has been one of the toughest times for anyone in the hospitality sector. He says, “The crisis nearly makes it impossible to be excited or to be bullish about anything. But it is our responsibility to not only see our businesses and our people through but also to come back to where we were. We are doing our best to achieve this goal. I am confident that we will come out stronger on the other side.”

Agarwal is of the opinion that in this race to beat the odds, technology will continue to be a major ally for all companies. “Technology is critical at this time especially for every business and all sectors. When put to work, it will help us is strengthening our offer, while being cost efficient, which is going to be a major ask in days to come,” he states.

He also points out that the stimulus package from the government, especially for the provisions pertaining to the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) in the country is a big relief. “This sector has big players and a large number of small and mid- sized players. The large players still have the balance sheet and resources to fall back on during the crisis. The smaller players however are bereft of this. If the small hotels survive the crisis with the help of the MSME package, a big change will be created.”

For small hotel owners, there are four things that Agarwal advises to undertake. Firstly, create something fascinating. “Please don’t spend more resources, which do not have real consumer premise, rather invest in hygiene,” he says. Secondly, know the environment. “Though your banks might say that your cheques are due by 10-12 months, there is nothing to worry. The one-time resolution for now is to have the one-time discussions,” he urges.

Thirdly, use technology to not only improve costs but to overall strengthen yourself and your positioning. “The fourth one, and this is most critical one, ensure that your staff has safety and personal protective equipment because if they are safe then the guests can be safe,” Agarwal reiterates. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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technology OYO Hotels

Ritesh Agarwal

The author is the founder & CEO of OYO

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