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OYO caught the FLU

In the Jan’20 edition of our newsletter, we talked about the layoffs spree by Indian Startups led by Oyo Hotels and Homes. To give you a brief, Oyo decided to trim down its workforce by 17% from 30,000 as a part of a restructuring plan.

In Feb’20 edition of our newsletter, we unearthed how Oyo’s dependency on the international markets increased from 1% in FY’18 to 36.5% in FY’19, leaving us wondering whether in the wake of the Virus, will their optimism fall sick too?

Since our last issue (23/2/20), 206,494 more people and 140 more countries have been affected by the Pandemic. It appears that amidst the chaos, even Oyo caught the flu. On 5/3/20, Oyo reported that it is additionally laying off as much as 5,000 from its global workforce, of which 3,000 pertain to China. Additionally, it also plans temporary laying-off from its 4,000 discretionary employees in China ‘until business recovers’.

Word: It is a tough time to do business and probably the toughest for the global tourism industry, but it is only in times of such despair does a true leader arise. Innovation in the face of a healthy business environment has thus far been appreciated, but innovation in the face of a catastrophe of this magnitude will be the make or break for businesses:

At this juncture, Oyo has two ways of going forward. Either it chooses to minimize cost by trimming resource strength, per Softbank directive post-WeWork debacle, or it chooses to innovate and find new means to survive.

We ask: What could be some feasible innovations by tourism players to weather out this tough phase and keep the wheels of their business moving?

Teaser: Oyo’s Twitter Handle recently reported that its mulling over possible collaboration with the government to convert its associated hotels into temporary quarantine centers.


This article is a part of the March'20 edition of our Startup Newsletter. Here's the complete publication.

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