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BENGALURU : IPO-bound hospitality unicorn Oyo Hotels and Homes (Oyo) on Thursday announced the appointment of former State Bank of India (SBI) chairman, Rajnish Kumar as strategic group adviser.

In his role, Kumar will advise Oyo’s management on short-term and long-term strategy, regulatory and stakeholder engagement, and enhancing the brand of the company globally.

Earlier this year, New Delhi-based merchant payments and financial services provider BharatPe had also roped in Kumar, as the chairman of its board.

“We are delighted to welcome Mr Rajnish Kumar as a Strategic Group Advisor at OYO. As we look to empower our hotel and home partners, or Patrons, as we call them, through technology, and enable our global network of customers to book and stay in affordable and trusted accommodations; we are fortunate to have Mr. Kumar steer us on our mission. Technology innovations are exciting for both Mr. Kumar and us at OYO. His experience of digitization and technology led initiatives for the customers is critical for us," said Ritesh Agarwal, founder and chairman, OYO.

Previously, Kumar held the position of chairman of SBI for a three-year term starting October 2017. He also served as the managing director of the national banking group, and the managing director of compliance and risk at SBI. During his long stint at the public-sector bank, Kumar also headed SBI Capital Markets Limited, SBI’s merchant banking arm.

He is currently part of the boards of HSBC Asia Pacific, L&T infotech, Hero Motocorp and BharatPe.

“Ritesh, a first-generation entrepreneur, and his team, have created a unique technology platform to make Oyo a household name in the travel sector. I have always been excited about the startups which are bringing a revolutionary change in the Indian economy. Looking forward to working closely with Ritesh and his team in creating value for all stakeholders," said Kumar in a statement.

In October this year, Oravel Stays Pvt Ltd, which operates hospitality unicorn Oyo Hotels and Homes, filed for a 8,430 crore ($1.1 billion) initial public offering (IPO).

The issue consisted of a primary capital raise of around 7,000 crore with other investors selling 1,430 crore worth of shares.

One of Oyo’s key backers Softbank Group is selling 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, Mint reported earlier.

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