OYO denies China layoffs rumour, confirms hiring 1,500 people

Hospitality unicorn OYO has denied media reports on Oyo China layoffs. In a press note shared with YourStory, it states that it has, in fact, invested $100 million in China today.

OYO Hotels and Homes, the Gurugram-based hospitality unicorn, has denied media reports that suggest the layoffs of more than 1,000 of its China staff. In a press statement with YourStory, an OYO spokesperson said:

“This is absolutely incorrect, facts are being twisted and misrepresented. In the last few months, we have hired over 1,500 people and will have over 10,000 full-time employees on the roll. The presumption of any letting go is wrong, where regular monthly performance reviews are being twisted and reported out of context. Especially since we just announced an investment of $100 million in China today, towards talent, customer experience, and quality & system improvements. We have also created jobs for over 200,000 people in China and will continue to be a leading job creator in China for years to come."

The reports began when China's publication Jiemian reported that OYO China is downsizing. According, to the reports, OYO China confirmed the reports and said that the company "will never compromise with dishonest behaviour and doesn't tolerate continual failure to meet targets".

Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and Group CEO, China

According to a source, the statement issued earlier in the day was in no way a confirmation on this news. On the condition of anonymity, the source added,

"The general presumption that we have confirmed that we are letting go of people is absolutely wrong. We have only confirmed that we have hired close to 1,500 people, resulting in an overall headcount of 10,000 and created over 200,000 jobs for young Chinese people. It also said that we will hire more as we go and that we have a strong focus on quality, performance, and compliance."

The source, however, added that OYO, on a regular basis, conducts performance evaluations to identify and reward good performers, aligned with the company's larger mission. They added, "These are also moments when we see miscreants jumping into action to drive such narratives."

"Like any large company with a significant sales force for such functions, we make the performance decisions for specific cohorts that impact a small number in the organisation, with alignment with the broader teams. Incorrectly positioning such business as usual decisions as ‘a large scale lay off’ is absolutely incorrect, baseless, and misleading," said the source.

The OYO team also shared a press note that said that it is looking to allocate $100 million from the $600 million invested in the market towards customer experience, and quality and system improvements with infrastructure and service.

The statement added, "We further look to focus on the improvement of customer service, technology, and talent along with continued appreciation of high-performing talent. We have also created a strong distribution network through partnerships with Fliggy, Ctrip, amongst others."

Commenting on the development, Sam Shih, COO, OYO China said,

“OYO Jiudian (Hotels) has been growing at a rapid pace and we are humbled by the support that we are receiving from thousands of employees, asset owners and the 300,000+ travellers who are resting their heads on OYO Jiudian pillows each night. This phenomenal growth is also the result of concerted efforts of our business partners, and leaders."

He added, "As we move into the next phase of growth at OYO Jiudian, our focus will continue to be on hiring and retaining top talent while at the same time optimising operational efficiency across all departments. OYOpreneurs, as our employees are fondly called, embody distributed leadership by taking ownership and accountability for their projects and daily activities while maintaining the highest standards of customer experience, quality and compliance.”


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