OYO has undergone a senior management reshuffle [Credit: OYO]

OYO undergoes senior management reshuffle ahead of IPO

India: SoftBank-backed hospitality chain OYO has undergone a major overhaul of its senior management team led by founder and CEO, Ritesh Agarwal, ahead of the company’s proposed initial public offering [IPO].

One of the headline moves in the reshuffle sees OYO global chief operating officer [COO] Abhinav Sinha take up the combined role of chief product and technology officer, according to sources, with OYO merging its product and engineering functions as a rumoured cost-cutting measure.

Sinha will assume the role from current CTO Ankit Mathuria, who is scheduled to depart OYO this June.

Other significant changes and additional roles in OYO’s senior management team include:

  • Chief business development officer Anuj Tejpal has been named as global chief merchant officer and will also lead India’s merchant teams.
  • Chief financial officer [CFO] Abhishek Gupta is now expected to work closely with OYO’s largest institutional investors.
  • Shreerang Godbole, who was recently promoted to the role of chief service officer, has been given an additional position in leading OYO’s data science division. He will also head up the ‘Super OYO’ initiative.
  • OYO International CEO Gautam Swaroop will manage allied businesses at OYO, such as Weddingz.
  • Mandar Vaidya, CEO of OYO Europe and OYO Vacation Homes, will take up an additional role in leading the company’s premium hotel asset portfolio. This includes ‘5 by OYO’ in Jaipur, ‘4 by OYO’ in Zirakpur, and ‘3 by OYO’ in Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
  • Chief strategy officer Maninder Gulati will move into a mentorship role and continue to work closely with the OYO leadership team for upcoming key business projects.

The reshuffle is taking place as OYO prepares to refile its draft red herring prospectus with the Securities Exchange Board of India [Sebi], ahead of the chain’s planned IPO later this year. While no time estimation has been disclosed for the IPO to take place, OYO is reportedly expecting to receive approval from Sebi by the start of the second quarter of this year.

At the end of December, Sebi asked OYO’s parent company [Oravel Stays Ltd] to refile the draft prospectus, updating all the relevant sections such as risk factors, key performing indicators, outstanding litigations and its valuation basis.

Valued most recently at $9 billion, OYO submitted fresh financial documents in September, 12 months after the company first filed to go public in 2021 with a draft red herring prospectus for a $1.1 billion IPO. Last year, the startup received regulatory approval to submit additional documents in order to go public.

In December, however, OYO revealed that it would lay off around 600 employees across its product and engineering teams, affecting close to ten per cent of the company’s 3700-strong employee base worldwide.

Despite planning to shut down some projects and merge teams, OYO has been busy hiring new staff in its sales and relationship management teams to improve relationships with consumers and partners. The chain is also recruiting more employees to help grow the number of vacation homes and hotels on its platform.

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