Oyo rooms After sprucing up neighbourhood hotels, OYO is firming up plans to tap unused properties across the country, including residential apartments.
The SoftBank-backed startup has approached homeowners and will help them create ‘mini hotel rooms’, which could be rented out to guests. “You can call it ‘unlocking supply’,” said founder and CEO of OYO Ritesh Agarwal. In case of OYO’s new venture, there is no caretaker. There will be an individual from OYO to help guests with the check-in and later be available for assistance. The company is running a pilot in Goa and plans to roll it out across the country.
All these properties have Wi-Fi, airconditioned rooms, flat-screen TV, pre-stocked kitchen and entertainment such as board games, said an OYO spokesperson.
There is no hotel-provided free breakfast as a fully functional kitchen is in place.
Kolhapur-based businessmen Amar Singh Dhamane and Uttam Farake, who gave their properties in Goa to OYO, said, “The OYO team took charge of managing and beautifying the interiors, something we did not have expertise in. It also takes care of maintenance.”
However, this is not the first time that OYO is planning to spin off a new business. In 2015, it had piloted Studio Stays to tap into growing segments such as students and first jobbers. It is currently not a significant part of the company’s business.
Agarwal also spoke about how OYO hotels could be used as hyperlocal kitchens. But rolling the new venture out on a national scale may not be easy for OYO. “At present, regulations around homestays and Airbnb type of accommodation are in the grey,” said an industry expert. “Although OYO may succeed in some states, in others it may run into resident welfare associations that have their own set of rules when it comes to renting out properties for commercial purposes.”
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