OYO Rooms, also known as OYO Hotels & Homes, is an Indian hospitality chain of leased and franchised hotels, homes and living spaces. Founded in 2013, OYO initially consisted mainly of budget hotels. The chain has been putting our region on its radar. HN spoke with Mohannd Bazerbashi, business development head at OYO to highlight the chain’s plans.
Tell us more about the concept of OYO
Let’s start with the brand name OYO which is the shortcut of “On Your Own”. The message is simple, yet the value is tremendous. We believe the best companies in the world were created to solve pain points, in the hospitality industry globally OYO has identified the pain points for the guests and for the hotels/properties owners. For guests’ experience, the major pain is predictability, and by this we mean that a guest will always face the element of surprise about whether they will receive the service or product as expected against the amount they paid or will pay. For hotel owners, the major pain is to achieve the highest revenue which will ensure securing a healthy PnL to sustain their business. Taking in consideration these pain points for Guests and Hotels Owners there is a huge gap and this is what OYO successfully fills and solves globally by adopting the technology and driving the value for all parties over one platform.
How do you describe your operation in Saudi Arabia and how do you stand out?
The Saudi hospitality market is a fertile and a promising market. The direction of the government through Vision 2030, aims to develop the tourism sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Having said this, OYO plays a critical role in lifting up and developing the hospitality infrastructure by partnering with hotel owners and transferring the international OYO standard into their hotels without obliterating their identity. The business goal is shifting the personal diligence they used to do and applying the OYO brand. This is what distinguishes OYO and it achieves the desired goals. OYO drives wide confidence for guests through their existing experiences across the world, this will translate in the Saudi market as well.
Who are your partners?
We call all the properties/hotels owners a potential partner unless they tie up with another brand, there is a process to onboarding a partner with OYO, which makes sure to comply with OYO standard as well.
Who are your clients?
OYO has different segmented guests, as we provide the accommodation services to the governmental and corporate sectors, we also serve individual guests who are looking for a great and easy experience across the countries and cities.
What is your business’ investment budget?
The element that distinguishes OYO is that we focus on the essential business requirements and thus we compress the required budget to start within the standards of OYO, as we know the market requirements and what is the thing that attracts guests if we improve it. Therefore, we always adopt a conservative budget strategy that revolves around developing Just the guests needs.
Who is your main competitor and how do you differ from Booking.com and other OTAs?
I believe in the Saudi market there is no competitor presenting our business model, perhaps internationally. OYO is not an OTA channel or platform that list properties or only aggregate them, it is a Hotel Brand chain that involves and supports the hotel business by ensuring the standard quality to the guests and driving the value to their partners.
Are you planning on expanding your business in the region and where?
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all sectors and this matter has delayed some expansion plans, but it is still within the scope. At the level of Middle Eastern countries, we are looking forward to entering new countries such as Egypt and Turkey during next year.