OYO has been chasing its lofty dreams of becoming the world’s largest hotel chain by 2020 for a while now. Last calendar year, the company had forayed into several countries like China, Spain, UK, Dubai, Indonesia, Malaysia among others.
Before one could grasp the fast paced expansion, the company had already turned China into its second home market with an even larger room inventory than India.
In it’s latest move to make these expansions more solid, the Ritesh Agarwal led budget hotel chain went on a top-level hiring spree, whereby it appointed new management heads for several countries.
Firstly, in China, the company has hired a top layer for the diversified functions, the latest being, Chief Operating Officer Sam Shi.
Before joining OYO for the post, Shi had been sitting at the President’s table in Asia Pulp & Paper Co. He had also worked with Red Bull, Pepsi China, and Accor Group previously.
Shi has joined the top level team in China which already had Wilson Li acting as Chief Financial Officer, Jia Zou as Chief Technology Officer, and Tony Liang as Chief Human Resource Officer. All of them being recent hires in the past 12 months.
All of these chief executives will directly report to Ritesh Agarwal as he is overseeing China operations in his personal capacity.
Apart from China, the company also appointed people heading three more divisions.
The Europe division which comprised of several cities in Spain and Portugal will now be headed by Andrew Verbitsky, while Tobias Jork had already been appointed as the CEO when the operations were launched. Verbitsky had previous stints at Airbnb and Delivery Hero.
The role of UK country head has been given to Jeremy Sanders and Tan Ming Luk will now be serving as Malaysia country head. Verbitsky, Sanders, and Luk will be reporting to Abhinav Sinha, COO of OYO hotel chain, who in turn reports to Agarwal himself.
Apart from the top-level hiring in these countries, the company has also been making developments in Dubai by way of launching a new product.
OYO runs a home management chain run by the company in India, where the company converts unutilised homes, villas, theme houses, into hotels to diversify the room inventory under the vertical of OYO Homes.
The same vertical has been launched in Dubai, under the same name, OYO Homes, and according to the company’s statement with ET, the country has been very welcoming of the chain. As of now, the company has started with 40 homes and plans to increase the number to 200 in the next 6 months.