After adding properties, OYO now invests in quality service
After quickly adding rooms and hotels on to its platform, OYO is now focusing on providing quality service such as WiFi.business Updated: Dec 22, 2016 11:18 IST
After quickly adding rooms and hotels on to its platform, OYO is now focusing on providing quality service such as WiFi.
“This business will be highly profitable, and that is why we are doubly investing in quality (service),” said Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of OYO.
The firm that has 60,000 listed rooms across 7,000 properties is also delisting some properties to boost growth. In the past one and-half-years, it has delisted over 1,000 properties, and added new ones that offer better value. This has increased hotel growth by 300% to 500%.
“By the end of 2017, all our properties will be standarised,” Agarwal said.
He has figured out that the customers biggest woe was “service”. In OYO’s case that is more important as 61% of its booking is made only 24 hours in advance. And 40% people book rooms once they are in the same city (sometimes on arrival).
That is why OYO is starting a concierge service called OYO Captain. The Captain is like an area manager, who will be present in the city, meet customers and build a personal relationship. Already OYO has the Captain on call in 40 cities across 1,800 properties.
And through concierge service, Agarwal said, “50% of the service issues can be solved”. It is also going to train its over 60,000 employees in housekeeping at its academy.
OYO’s competitor Stayzilla also offers concierge service .
Agarwal often gets offended when anyone calls OYO a startup. “The idea of startups in India is to give discounts to get customers,” Agarwal said, adding he will never provide heavy discounts to sell rooms.
OYO has also started “guaranteed early check-in” for business travellers (that makes for 80% of OYO’s business). It allows travellers to check in at 6am or earlier than the usual check-in time for an additional 10% to 15% cost.
In 2016, OYO’s revenue peaked, and so did its net commission, but Agarwal claimed the losses were also at an all-time low. He didn’t give any numbers.
To OYO’s advantage, it doesn’t have large international competitors.
But Agarwal is not complacent. He knows the customer is discerning and will value good service.