Business realignment at OYO chops another 300 jobs

Business realignment at OYO chops another 300 jobs
Photo Credit: VCCircle
9 Dec, 2020

SoftBank-backed hotel aggregator OYO, a little over a week ago, laid off about 300 members from its workforce as it realigned its business functions to accommodate technology-led operations, a person directly familiar with the matter told TechCircle on Tuesday.

While OYO offered a statement on the matter, it declined requests of specific queries such as the exact number of workforce cuts.

“We have done no significant restructuring at this point in time. There are some localised actions basis change in business models and our move towards product and technology to serve our partners and customers keeping in mind the current business realities,” an OYO spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

The company also declined to share the total workforce count, citing company policy. In a recent fireside chat with OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal and OYO executive Rohit Kapoor, board member Troy Alstead thanked 2,000 members for attending the employee-only session.

Read: Furloughed OYO employees protest, seek additional compensation on social media

A report in MoneyControl, which first reported the layoffs, said that OYO had around 10,000 employees in the country, and that the number has come down to less than 2,500.

The company, since peak Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, is on a drive to shift to a complete revenue-sharing model with partner hotels, away from capital-heavy hotel transformations model.

The hotel transformation model, which was the backbone of the original OYO idea, was intended towards maintaining quality across OYO’s value chain. It also boasted a minimum guarantee to property owners -- an issue that has continued to affect OYO’s legal expenditure across Indian courts.

In the recent fireside chat, Agarwal had said that the company, including its joint ventures and businesses, holds nearly a billion dollars in cash runway -- a claim that was disputed by a TechCircle source.

Kapoor, in the event, had added that OYO Life, the company’s fully managed housing rental unit, had changed to complete revenue share and partner operated business, in 2020.