COVID-19 is bruising the entire hospitality industry worldwide, impacting occupancy and near to long term sustainability. In these uncertain and difficult times, continuing its fight against COVID-19, OYO, one of the world’s leading hotel chains today announced the onset of furloughing and temporary leaves in the US & select other markets while assuring that India remains unaffected till the lockdown period.
In a video message and letter to employees and all other stakeholders, the company’s Founder & Group CEO, Ritesh Agarwal shared that the company will be placing a certain number of OYOpreneurs on furloughs or temporary leaves. He also confirmed that keeping its promise to the government of India, OYO is committed to zero actions that impact employment status and salaries of ten thousand plus OYOpreneurs on payrolls and tens of thousands of OYO managed assets staff, during this unprecedented period of a 21-day countrywide lockdown.
While taking these necessary and tough decisions in the interest of the health of the business and its long term sustainability across markets world over, the company assured that it is not considering job cuts at any location at this time, despite the significant economic pressures.
As global occupancies continue to reduce in the hospitality industry, furlough (in markets like the US) or temporary leaves in select other markets will give the company the opportunity to do what is right for the business while ensuring that employees are safeguarded against a potential job-cut. The company’s goal is to make sure that the business sustains and leads to the recovery of the industry. Hence the need to tighten its belts. Basis careful consideration of all possible options, this decision of instituting furlough or temporary leaves for a certain number of OYOpreneurs is the best way to ensure jobs are safe while keeping costs in check. This option will enable OYO to continue supporting healthcare coverage and other associated benefits, which is important during such tough times.
The company is also hopeful that as the situation begins to improve globally, they will be able to bring as many of its employees as possible, back to full-time work at OYO.
While highlighting small yet encouraging green shoots of recovery in some markets like China, Denmark and Japan the company acknowledged that these are tough times, and the company’s revenues have dropped by 50%-60% while industry revenue for various hotel chain peers has dropped more than 75% globally.
Adhering to the guidelines laid down by the Indian government, OYO will continue its two-pronged efforts to minimise the possibility of infection and maximise social distancing and hygiene. In line with this, OYO recently joined forces with Apollo Hospitals led companies as a part of Apollo’s Project Stay I (Stay Isolated) to develop and support accommodation requirements of suspected COVID-19 patients requiring quarantine or self-isolation. The company has recently announced two initiatives namely, ‘Donate A Night’ and ‘Book A Night for self-isolation’ to support the Government of India in its efforts to break the chain, flatten the curve and maintain the necessary nationwide lockdown.
With Travel, Hospitality & Tourism sectors among the worst affected by COVID-19, the startup also recently announced that Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & Group CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes will forego 100% of his compensation for 2020, while OYOs entire executive leadership (CXOs) team takes a voluntary pay cut, starting at 25%, with many opting for an additional uncapped amount, and some going up to 50% to enable building the necessary runway for the company. OYO has also facilitated accommodation support to international tourists and engaged with multiple foreign embassies and diplomatic missions in India.