New Delhi: Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates budget hotel chain Oyo Rooms, on Thursday appointed IndiGo’s former president and chief executive officer (CEO) Aditya Ghosh to lead its operations in India and South Asia. Ghosh, who spent more than a decade heading India’s largest airline IndiGo (InterGlobe Aviation Ltd) and resigned in July this year, will report to Ritesh Agarwal, founder and Group CEO at Oyo Hotels and Homes, the company said.

Ghosh, who has a corporate law background, is one of the most sought after top executives in India’s corporate ecosystem. His stint at Oyo, which will begin on 1 December, is in line with the strategy at Oyo, which has over the years carefully built a strong base of c-suite executives, including chief human resources officer Dinesh Ramamurthi, strategy officer Maninder Gulati, chief operating head Abhinav Sinha, growth head Kavirut, and chief of business development Anuj Tejpal.

“As we grow our business, we feel it is essential to continue to invest in building one of the most influential leadership teams and bringing in professionals with an entrepreneurial mindset and from diverse backgrounds, that can help lead the next wave of growth at Oyo Hotels," said Agarwal.

“His (Aditya’s) business acumen, his problem-solving capabilities, and his customer-centric approach to innovation that helped him build an influential brand that is loved by all, makes him an excellent choice for Oyo Hotels.

“Above all, his ability to deliver growth with large-scale impact, whether it is to develop an inclusive culture or in giving back to society, makes him a great addition to the leadership team," Agarwal added.

Ghosh, who has more than 21 years of work experience, has been tasked with “riding the next wave of growth" at the five-year old company with operations in seven countries. He, however, will focus on India and Nepal, as well as upcoming markets for Oyo.

Ghosh’s appointment comes at a time when the hotel company is expanding its international operations in Japan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and entering new segments, including student housing and long-term rental accommodation services. It is currently present in India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, the UK, and Nepal.

ALSO READ | Oyo’s overseas expansion runs into a Chinese wall

The SoftBank Group Corp.-backed company is now valued at a little less than $5 billion, a fivefold jump last year’s $900 million valuation. Oyo is backed by investors including Green Oak Capital, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Hero Enterprise and China Lodging Group.

“I have witnessed its (Oyo’s) growth journey from being the startup of the year to one of best places to work for, to its recent entry into the unicorn club, and understand what it takes to achieve all this. Having built a company grounds up, and driven its growth and expansion, I know that very few organizations have managed a global reach..." said Ghosh.

“Even fewer can build strong operational capabilities backed by technology that help sustain this growth momentum, and that’s what made Oyo Hotels an attractive opportunity for me," he said.

Oyo, which has seen a turnaround in its business in the last one year, saw 3X revenue in FY18, according to the company. It currently operates 1,43,000 rooms in India.

The company’s $1 billion funding from SoftBank Vision Fund has waned investor appetite for budget hotel start-ups, including Matrix-backed Treebo Hotels and Fab Hotels, that have initiated early talks for a merger, Mint reported on 17 October.

Close