OYO makes top-level appointments to expand overseas business

OYO makes top-level appointments to expand overseas business
(From left) Sam Shih, Andrew Verbitsky and Jeremy Sanders
10 Jan, 2019

Budget hospitality chain OYO has strengthened its top deck by making a slew of international appointments to expand across different regions, a company statement said.

The company has appointed Andrew Verbitsky as the head of its Europe operations, Sam Shih as its chief operating officer for China, Jeremy Sanders as the UK head and Tan Ming Luk as the country head for Malaysia.

Verbitsky has had stints at Airbnb and Delivery Hero across Europe and Asia. He will help OYO, run by Gurugam-based Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd, in its international expansion plans. 

Sanders will be responsible for establishing the hotel chain in the UK. Luk, who was the  Malaysia head of Chinese dockless bike sharing platform Ofo, will lead strategy development for Ola in the region.

In China, OYO had recently appointed Wilson Li as chief finance officer, Jia Zhou as chief technology officer and Tony Liang as chief human resource officer.

China COO Sam Shih will report directly to Ritesh Agarwal, founder and group CEO at OYO, The Economic Times reported.

Prior to joining OYO, Shih was president of Global Consumables and chief executive at Asia Pulp & Paper Co. He also led the operations at Red Bull and Accor Group in France.

OYO's recent appointments come two months after the company named Aditya Ghosh, the former president of budget carrier IndiGo, as chief executive officer to head its operations in India and South Asia. 

The Indian company has ventured into several overseas markets over the past couple of years and has also received the backing of its investors in this endeavour. In September last year, OYO said it would raise $1 billion from investors led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp and that it would use the money to expand in China.

Last month, the company secured $100 million from Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab. SoftBank is also an investor in Grab.

In October, OYO ventured into the home rental segment by launching a new vertical called OYO Living, which offers shared accommodation to professionals and students. 

OYO also made a slew of acquisitions last year. It acquired Mumbai-based Weddingz.in, an online marketplace for wedding venues and vendors; Internet of Things technology company AblePlus Solutions Pvt. Ltd and a service apartment company Novascotia Boutique Homes.