Indian Hospitality Chain OYO Enters UK Market with $53 Million Investment

OYO has opened two townhouses in London and plans to expand to 10 cities in the United Kingdom during the next 18 months.


OYO, India’s largest hospitality company, has entered its first international market outside Asia with the launch of two townhouses in London. OYO, hailed as one of the top startups of 2018 by LinkedIn, set foot in the United Kingdom with an aim to sign up with 300 independent hotels by 2020.

The fastest growing hotel chain in India is already present in China, Malaysia and Nepal.

Through a series of tweets, OYO announced its entry in UK’s accommodation market on Sept. 19, along with sharing pictures of two townhouses situated in London.

The company plans to invest $53 million in the United Kingdom and aims to launch in 10 cities, including Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Edinburgh by 2020.

It is looking for providing customers quality living experiences at affordable prices, with a selection of over 5,000 rooms in the next 15-18 months, the company said in a statement.

The firm plans to reach out to and choose among 35,000-40,000 independent hotels of the United Kingdom, with an offer to renovate the properties, including redesigning, property management and marketing, to boost their marketing campaign and attract customers, OYO’s 24-year-old founder-CEO Ritesh Agarwal told Reuters.

He added that two OYO hotels in London’s Edgware and Ilford will be opened next month.

“By focusing on the customer and small asset owners, we tend to out compete some of our more traditional hotel chain rivals,” Agarwal was quoted as saying by the news agency.

“The UK has been the topmost international travel destination for several years and last year hosted over 19 million tourists from around the world. Driven by its booming domestic and international travel and budget hospitality needs, the UK presents a multi-billion dollar opportunity for OYO,” Agarwal said in a statement.

“We are thrilled to now be able to offer OYO’s affordable, hassle-free and quality living experiences to guests across the UK. – and to be empowering the UK independent hoteliers with the technology and operational expertise that helps them focus on customer experience and thereby generate increased, sustainable incomes.”

Announcing the launch in London, Indian High Commissioner YK Sinha said, ”OYO has established itself as a strong and popular Indian brand in South Asia and I am happy to see the company making a commitment to invest in creating beautiful living spaces in the United Kingdom.”

Entrepreneur Jeremy Sanders, the co-founder of Italian fast-food chain Coco di Mama, has joined hands with OYO to take the UK business forward as they plan to hire 100 staff in Britain and offer 5,000 hotel rooms.

“I am very excited to be leading OYO’s expansion into the UK, one of the most dynamic hospitality markets in the world,” Sanders, Head of OYO UK, said. “We want to become the trusted partner of independent hotels across the UK and, as we’ve experienced in Asia, we are confident that our bespoke technology and operational expertise brings real value to hotel owners and customers alike.”

At the time of entry, OYO will offer guests the OYO Townhouse experience. These properties will be operated under the models of manchise, lease with full inventory control, similar to other markets like India and China. These hotels will provide affordable living options for both Indian and international tourists, business travelers, and local city-dwellers.

OYO, founded in 2013, has seen a rocketed success rate over the years.

As many as 7,000 new hotel rooms can open their doors in London this year, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) report. It forecast year-on-year London occupancy growth of 0.2 percent in 2018, taking occupancy up two percentage points to 83 percent.

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