Oyo clocked best two weeks since pandemic, IPO coming, says CEO Ritesh Agarwal


Mumbai: Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO, Oyo Hotels & Homes, said the company has clocked two of its biggest weeks since the start of the pandemic, signalling a return to normancly for the travel and hospitality sector.

Speaking at the Times Network India Economic Conclave 2022, on Thursday in Mumbai, Agarwal said with Covid-19 receding, people were back to travelling in a big way.

“We’ve had two straight weeks which are the biggest weeks we have had since the onset of the pandemic. Just in India, we clocked 800,000 bookings this last one week (April 11 to 17),” he said at a discussion on India’s startup boom, titled Democratising Entrepreneurship, at the conclave.

The hospitality industry was one of the worst-hit sectors during the pandemic. After retreating from several global markets, 90% of IPO-bound Oyo’s hotels or ‘storefronts’ are now in India, Southeast Asia and Europe. Last year,
Oyo filed for a $1.2-billion IPO with the country’s capital markets regulator to go public. On February 10, ET reported that the SoftBank-backed company was planning to
substantially reduce the size of its IPO in view of adverse secondary market conditions and a crash in stock prices of new-age tech startups, according to people aware of the matter.

“It’s coming, that’s all I will say,” Agarwal said when asked about the company’s IPO plans.

“There is a sense of increasing optimism towards saying that we will rebuild. This time when we will build it bigger… and we’ll build it to be more sustainable,” he said. “I think tourism in my view is going to come back with a vengeance. I think the next eight months are going to be very busy,” he added.

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Oyo’s total income
fell nearly 70% to Rs 4,157 crore in FY21 amid to the pandemic but it also made progress on reducing its losses. Its loss for the same period narrowed to Rs 3,943 crore from Rs 13,122 crore a year ago.

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