Our focus is to make an IPO-ready company, says OYO chief Ritesh Agarwal

Topics OYO Rooms | United States | China

“In December, across the world, we believe that a majority of the reversals will be over,” said Agarwal during the chat.
The focus of OYO’s management, according to founder and Chief Executive Ritesh Agarwal, is to make a well-designed, IPO-ready company, available to shareholders and board members to allow them to take the right decision.

In a fireside chat with Troy Alstead, a member of the company’s board, and Rohit Kapoor, CEO for India & South Asia at OYO, Agarwal said his company continued to hold a health cash reserve of close to $1 billion for operations.

“At the end of the day, what is the right time to go out is frankly a decision for the board to make. From the management side, we'll make sure that we build a company that is ready to go public,” he said. “We will look at various things like the market situation, opportunities outside and so on, and the board will consider and then potentially advise on the timeline,” he added during the conversation, a transcript of which has been reviewed by Business Standard.

The SoftBank-backed company with a presence in countries like the US, China and Japan, apart from India, was hit hard by the pandemic as the hospitality sector slumped. But it has now been able to touch 85 per cent of the gross margin dollars of its pre-Covid levels. “We are still not at the best place, a lot more work has to be done. But I'm confident that we are in the right direction,” said Agarwal. In India, the business is seeing 30 per cent month-on-month growth since August.  

Going forward, the company will continue to focus on two core businesses – its hotels and holiday homes. After the pandemic, Oyo has been seeing a surge in people choosing holiday homes and small hotels a lot more than large hotels, especially in Europe. The company currently manages close to 400,000 rooms as part of its vacation homes business.  

OYO, which had announced pay cuts in April and let go thousands of employees after the Covid-19 outbreak globally, has said it will restore all salaries by December-end. “In December, across the world, we believe that a majority of the reversals will be over,” said Agarwal during the chat.

Agarwal added that the company's board and management were fully committed to ensuring long-term wealth creation for OYOpreneurs, which was beyond compensation.

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