Gurugram-based OYO Hotels and Homes has promoted Gaurav Ajmera, head of its northern region operations, as the new chief operating officer (COO) of India and South Asia.
The hospitality chain, in an official statement, said Ajmera will be responsible for growing OYO’s business in South Asia.
Ajmera will report to Aditya Ghosh, chief executive officer (CEO) of India & South Asian operations.
”In a short span of six years, OYO Hotels & Homes has expanded its footprints to over 800 cities in 80 countries. We have a robust, resilient and diversified group of leaders who personify distributed leadership,” Ghosh said.
As per his Linkedin account, Ajmera took charge of his new responsibilities in May this year. A masters in chemical Engineering from IIT-Delhi, Ajmera had joined the company in 2015 as the northern region head.
Prior to OYO, he had served at the engineering vertical of the US-based oilfield services company Schlumberger.
The development comes in the backdrop of a recent report, which said that OYO is gearing to take the public route within the next two-three years. The company might possibly look at a valuation of $18 billion if and when it takes the listing route.
Regulatory disclosures showed that founder Ritesh Aggarwal is increasing his stake in the company through RA Hospitality Holdings, a Cayman Islands-based entity.
The stake acquisition exercise by Aggarwal could also be an attempt by OYO to clean up the capitalisation table as it gears to go public in the next couple of years.
OYO is also reportedly restructuring its business into three units — India, international and technology and brand licensing, as per recent media reports.
Last month, OYO claimed that it was the world's third-largest hotel chain as per room count at the end of June 2019.
The hospitality chain made its foray into China in June 2018 and went on to become the second-largest hotel chain in China in less than a year.
OYO entered the markets of Indonesia and Vietnam to capitalise on its momentum in the Asian market and expand its presence in south-east Asia.
The hospitality unicorn had announced in March that it planned to put in $200 million to expand its foothold in the south-east Asian market.
Earlier this month, the company was also in the regulatory radar following complaints of abuse of its dominant position. The Competition Commission of India, the country’s watchdog, ruled that OYO was not guilty of abusing its dominant position.