STARTUPS

OYO- Not just Rooms but an Experience

What is Oyo Rooms all about?
Oyo rooms is a website customized for the customer catering to different budget and amenity needs. It is the largest such website from India so far. It is a rental management website mostly catering to short term stays in hotel rooms, homes, living spaces and workplaces. It focuses on amenity-laden experiences for the customers in 3 easy steps and at budget friendly prices.
How Oyo came into existence?
In an era where everything is going digital and convenience is the need of the hour, Oyo is a company that you could call has its Advent at the right place in the right time. Back in the days if there was an emergency meeting out of town, booking a hotel was a very tedious process. First you had to find all the hotels that provided good and decent amenities and then call them to check if there was a booking available and then book but being completely unaware of if other hotels were providing better amenities for lesser prices.
Oyo came into existence so that all this information is present in one single app or website and there are discounts to add to it. Every minute detail of all the facilities and amenities are available on this app and it is a smooth and hassle free process.
It is a flagship sub-company of Oravel Stays Private Limited having their headquarters in Gurugram, Harayana, India by a young teenager who was just beginning to get his voting rights, Mr.Ritesh Agarwal.
About the Founder:
ritesh agarwal oyo
Ritesh Agarwal was born in Bissam in Cuttack, India. Very evidently, the Entrepreneurial bug has had its charm on him right from the age of 13. He was found selling SIM cards at this age. He finished his schooling from St. John’s Senior Secondary School after which he had to move to Delhi for his graduation. But did not have his heart in education and pursued the Peter Theil fellowship. He started a budget friendly accommodation website which was enrolled into the accelerator program of Peter Theil fellowship, thereby winning it and receiving the grant of $100,000. That is when OYO Rooms officially came into existence. All this was after staying in about 100 rooms all around the country trying out th different probabilities.
Investment and Valuation
The Grant received from the Peter Theil fellowship award was definitely the first big investment that came as a blessing for the successful set up of OYO Rooms. It was an Accelerator program by Venture Nursery. But very recently OYO Rooms was the latest company to come under the coveted group of Unicorns making it the second biggest player in the Indian market After PayTM,
The major Investments that were raised were mostly from SoftBank, Sequoia, Venture Partners and Greenoaks Capital. The current estimation of the Company stands at about $1.8 Billion with a 4X growth rate and the man behind this Venture, Ritesh Agarwal’s estimation being around 2600 crores.
 
The Journey so far:
In India, most hotel owners just build a hotel for the sake of investment purpose and are not very keen on wanting to manage the operations of the facility on a daily basis. This is what Ritesh Agarwal believed was an opportunity to tap in. He realized that he could create a platform where the operations could be managed for the hotel owners. This realization dawned upon him when he was travelling around and he stayed at his friend’s place.
On the customer he saw that the customers were struggling to find clean, well-organized, budget friendly hotel rooms and Ritesh Agarwal was ready to take the plunge and bridge the gap. He saw the opportunity and did not want to regret not taking it so he just plunged into the creation of OYO rooms. Thus, he ended up creating magnanimously successful business.
Obstacles faced and overcome:
It has not been a cake walk to come this far in the Industry. Initially Ritesh Agarwal did small jobs for the Guesthouses like advising them to take their business online, etc. But he figured out that there was a gap in the standardization of the experience in the hotel Industry and he plunged in. The first major problem was that people assumed that they were a real estate company and it was difficult for them to build a team. There was a large problem in trying to hire engineers for the company because firstly, Ritesh Agarwal was young and people did not believe he was old enough to run a business and that the business was mistook for a Real Estate Business. Ritesh Agarwal was supposed to physically fly down to Bangalore and hire Engineers and convince them.
Once that was done, it was not an easy task to tie up with the hotels and maintain a contant 4 plus rating on TripAdvisor, it was an extremely cumbersome process and the maintenance aspect really took a lot of hard work. The competition did allow them to take-off a poorly performing hotel off their website. There is a constant completion from bigger OTAs live makemytrip, but Ritesh Agarwal is determined to wade of competition by focusing and building a very good customer experience. The company is studying trends of the customers from how the just wanted clean and working TV, heater contained hotel to now where they want to see more plush and very evidently the OYO rooms website is pushing the right buttons and catering to those exact customer needs.
Expansions and future plans
Oyo recently tied up with IRCTC so that it can ensure that the 400 Million plus Indian who travel through IRCTC can book through OYO. OYO is very diligently trying to expand first in the Tier-2 and Tier-3 countries like Indian and China which has millions of such properties that are available to come on the OYO platform and then extend to other Tier- 1 countries.
Impact on the society
Convenience is the biggest boon given by OYO to anyone looking for a room, hotel or a get-away. It is responsible for bringing in a standardization of experience and a discipline in the Industry. Providing jobs for millions.

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