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Oravel Stays Pvt. Ltd, which operates the OYO Hotels and Homes business, said it has appointed Ankit Gupta as chief executive officer of franchise and frontier business – India.

As a part of his expanded responsibilities, Gupta will be leading OYO’s flagship hotels & homes business as well as other verticals. He has been involved significantly in the strengthening of the Indian business over the last two years. He will continue reporting to Rohit Kapoor, CEO of OYO India & South-East Asia.  

The appointment comes at a time when OYO is ramping up its initial public offering plans.   

Gupta has over 16 years of experience, including as a tenured partner in McKinsey.   

 “My journey at OYO has been incredibly enriching and full of learnings, enabled by the distinctive talent across levels within the company. Our focus on leveraging products and technology in improving business outcomes, and our focus on core growth markets has helped us emerge even stronger from the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic," Gupta said.   

 “I have immense conviction in OYO’s mission to deliver a distinctive customer experience while ensuring that we help our patrons increase their revenues and business experience. As we move forward, I am excited to take on this larger leadership role and create a robust foundation for future growth," he added.  

The appointments comes at a time when OYO is facing continuous roadblocks towards its IPO goals.   

On October 11, Zostel Hostels and ZO Rooms wrote to Indian market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), urging it to reject the draft prospectus filed by hospitality unicorn Oravel Stays and suspend the latter’s IPO.  

Citing the reason for its request, Zostel said Oyo’s "IPO is non-maintainable as Oravel’s capital structure is not final".   

Earlier in March, an arbitral tribunal ruled in favour of Zostel calling the term sheet which promised ZO Rooms’ shareholders 7% of hospitality unicorn Oyo as a binding document.   

Followed by Zostel, the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI) became the latest entity to write to market watchdog Sebi where it urged it to suspend OYO's upcoming IPO.  

The hospitality body, which counts more than 50,000 hotels as members, alleged that Oyo has failed to make relevant disclosures around its ongoing investigation by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), as well as failed to disclose the consequences of pending litigations against its subsidiaries.   

As a part of its draft prospectus filed with SEBI earlier this month, Oyo said it will undertake a primary capital raise of around 7,000 crore and stake sales by investors worth 1,430 crore. SoftBank Group is expected to sell shares worth 1,328.53 crore, while Grab, which invested $100 million in Oyo in 2018, is selling approximately 51.6 crore worth of shares, as a part of the listing process.   

Since its launch in 2013 by CEO Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo has grown rapidly, competing with U.S. home rental company Airbnb and homegrown chains such as Fab Hotels and Treebo.  

It runs operations in 35 countries, including India, Europe, and Indonesia, and counts Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners among its other investors. 

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