Gurugram-based hospitality chain OYO Hotels & Rooms is ploughing $100 million (Rs 693 crore at current exchange rate) into OYO Jiudian, its Chinese operations, as part of a short-term investment plan.
In a statement, the company said that the investment is part of a larger $600 million investment commitment towards OYO Jiudian.
SoftBank-backed OYO, which entered into China in 2017, claimed that it has expanded its presence to 337 cities and 500,000 rooms, managed by 10,000 full-time employees, besides generating over 200,000 jobs.
It also claimed to have surpassed the scale of traditional and established hotel brands such as Home Inn and Hanting in China. It had earlier announced a strategic partnership with China’s Alipay.
The company also announced that it has appointed Zhu Lei the chief revenue officer of its Chinese operations
“As we move into the next phase of growth…our focus will continue to be on hiring and retaining top talent while at the same time optimising operational efficiency across all departments,” said Sam Shih, operations chief, OYO Jiudian.
As part of his job responsibilities, Lei would be responsible for driving occupancy rates across the OYO properties in the country, besides overseeing offline sales and OTA (online travel agencies) channel portfolios.
OYO had recently inked a strategic partnership with China’s largest online travel services firm Ctrip (now Trip.com) to collaborate across multiple areas of business including customer acquisition and branding.
The announcement by OYO also comes in the midst of purported layoffs across OYO Jiudian’s development and operation teams.
Multiple Chinese tech publications including Pandaily, 36KR, Jiemian, QQ Finance, Jiemian and Yicai Global have reported that OYO is looking to let go and halve its 2,000-3,000-member development team besides its operations team, whose total headcount is unknown.
However, a spokesperson from OYO, in response to queries from TechCircle, dismissed the reports as incorrect.
“In the last few months, we have hired over 1,500 people and will have over 10,000 full-time employees on the role. The presumption of any letting go is wrong, where regular monthly performance reviews are being twisted and reported out of context. Especially since we just announced an investment of $100 million in China today…” the spokesperson added.