Meet OYO Rooms, a startup committed to provide amazing hotel stay experience to travellers
On a mission to change the way people stay away from home, OYO Rooms has caught the fancy of travellers in more than 173 cities of India. OYO Rooms has disrupted the hotel industry by bringing 4500+ non-branded hotels under a brand name and is offering amazing hotel stay experience to travellers at an affordable price.
OYO Rooms is India’s largest network of hotels offering standardised stay experiences at an unmatched price. Currently in 173 cities and still expanding without even a slight hint of slowing down, check out these facts about this successful startup and read through their story.
OYO Rooms: Startup Facts
Startup Vertical : Hotel Bookings.
Founder and CEO : Ritesh Agarwal
Funding Received : $125.65M (Till Feb 2016)
Headquarters : Gurgaon, Haryana, India
OYO Rooms Tagline : India’s Largest Branded Network of Hotels
Number of Hotels under OYO Rooms: 4500+
We talked about the innovation and idea present behind OYO Rooms with its young founder ‘Ritesh Agarwal’. Here’s all that he said.
About OYO Rooms
Q) Starting a marketplace platform for hotel industry is definitely a great idea. Tell us a little about OYO Rooms and your personal motivation for starting this marketplace?
At 17, I travelled extensively across India while researching a business idea. I stayed in more than 150 hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts and realized there was no set standard of service and quality at non-branded hotels. The experience of travelers could range from good to average or even unsatisfactory. They could end up landing at hotels with unhygienic rooms and washrooms, rude and unsympathetic staff or lacking comfort and security. All these factors caused trust deficiency in customers. With OYO Rooms, I wanted to standardize hotel experiences to bring predictability in the experience of customers along with affordability and accessibility.
Q) Can you give us a rundown of how it works?
Every property that wants to be a part of OYO’s network is first thoroughly audited. There is a 150-point checklist they have to adhere to for transforming into an OYO. Daily operations at these hotels are monitored by on-ground operations managers. OYO’s aim while partnering with these hotels is to ensure that our customers receive an experience that is homogenous and standardized across OYO properties. We enable our partners with industry-leading tech apps to deliver a seamless customer experience. Customer feedback is very important for us and our apps help us keep track of feedback, concerns and grievances as arise. The apps sync this with the central system – this allows us to expedite redressal and also track the performance of a property or partners.
Q) What is the value proposition you are offering to customers?
OYO Rooms promises a standardized and delightful customer experience across properties. Upon checking into an OYO Room, customers get access to free wifi, TV, complimentary breakfast, hygienic washrooms and 24-hour customer support.
We use technology to make the booking and on-stay experience seamless. Customers can book a room in less than five seconds through our app. Once they have checked-in, they can use the same app to order room service, look for nearby restaurants and even book a cab.
OYO Rooms Marketing & Branding
Q)You are present in 165 cities across India. Do you plan to launch services in new regions? If yes, what would be your strategy?
OYO Rooms has its presence in more than 165 Indian cities with 40,000 rooms in 4,000 hotels. Our expertise and leadership in a market as large as diverse as India has helped us gather valuable learnings. We recently started operations in Malaysia. We look forward to serving international markets where unbranded hotel supply continues to be fragmented and under-serviced.
Q) How did you go about getting so many hotels (basic and premium ones) on your platform?
During OYO’s initial days it was difficult to get hotels on board as the model was absolutely unique and never been tried before. As soon as the hotelier started noticing a fall in operational cost of the properties and increase in the level of occupancy, the acceptance factor came in. Hotels that are a part of the network receive invaluable access to our technology and our well-established sales and marketing channels.
Q) What are your future plans? Are you planning to integrate more features in the service?
We want to become the most trusted and loved hotel brand in the world.
Q) What is OYO Room’s biggest achievement to date? How did you go about accomplishing this?
Among our biggest achievement is making a tech-enabled solution work for a sector known for its legacy IT systems. We disrupted this sector and pioneered a new business model. We have a strong focus on innovation and commitment towards solving customer-issues related to predictability, affordability and availability. The credit for our success goes to the team, that has worked very hard in enabling and delivering these solutions to our partners and customers.
OYO Rooms Future Plans
Q) Where do you see OYO Rooms in five years?
I want us to disrupt other segments, and I also want OYO Rooms to become the de-facto option for anyone who needs a place to stay when away from home.
Q) Any advice for startups trying to make it big as a marketplace model?
I recommend that entrepreneurs research well before taking the plunge. Your idea or model should actually help customers in solving a problem that they face. Step into the customer’s shoes to understand their needs and identify the best solution. Only then will you be able to make a way into their lives, minds and hearts.