In 2012, an 18-year old college dropout Ritesh Agarwal from Odisha opened a website called ‘Oravel Stays’. The purpose of this website was to provide hotel booking and hotel information at low cost. After his intensive research about the market, Agarwal started to understand better. After spending three months in over 100 small and big hotels and guesthouses, his new organization, OYO Rooms, started in 2013.
In 2013, OYO came to a kind of agreement with hotel owners. OYO arranged everything in accordance with their choice. After that, the hotel name was included on the website. If any tourist booked a room using their website, OYO would get 25% of commission. This way Agarwal’s OYO Rooms kept going.
In the year 2015, OYO received some big amount of fund. Investors like the soft bank group also invested. In 2017, OYO started its new website called OYO Home. Bookings were arranged if any tourists wanted to rent a house for a short period. This started at the most important tourist centers of India such as Goa, Shimla, Pondicherry, Udaipur, Kerala, etc. In April of this year, they started their service internationally in Dubai. On last November, OYO collected about 100 million dollars fund. In which 80 million dollars come from SoftBank vision fund. After collection their new fund, they started to expand their business further.
OYO started its activities in China last November. More than 1,80,000 rooms of different hotels in 265cities of the country are now under control. In 180cities of India, they have 1,43,000 rooms. They have Expanded their activities in Malaysia, Nepal, and the United Kingdom. Currently, there are 3,30,000 rooms in 500 cities of the world are now under OYO. In an interview by India’s press Agarwal said, “If we launch 50 thousand rooms every month, then by 2023, 25 lakh rooms will be under our control. Moreover, it will be more than double the size of the world’s largest hotel chain.”
OYO Rooms, who became famous in a short time, also collected a few criticisms in the meantime. Jordan Taylor, a United States citizen, was a victim of sexual harassment by an employee of a hotel under OYO last September. Many of the media in India are denounced about this issue. There are also allegations of removal of other competitors in the market by predatory pricing, against the company. Besides, there are allegations of offering lucrative jobs through email to the senior and middle-level officials of the competing organization.