INTERNATIONAL REPORT—With global growth in focus, OYO Hotels & Homes has named Raj Kamal as COO of the brand’s vacation homes business in the U.K. and Europe. In addition, Rishabh Gupta has been named head of the hotel company’s U.K. business. Gupta will succeed Jeremy Sanders, who is leaving OYO to spend more time with his family.
OYO Vacation Homes offers private homes in distinctive locations, which are fully managed by OYO. The business comprises multiple brands, including OYO Homes, Belvilla, Dancenter, Danland, and the Germany-based Traum-Ferienwohnungen. OYO Vacation Homes offers international, domestic travelers and city dwellers access to more than 125,000 homes around the world. It manages more than 35,000 homes and services 90,000 homes through its digital services business, in over 50 countries. OYO Vacation Homes is also present in Asia and North America.
“In 2019, OYO Vacation Homes opened its doors in Europe with the promise of delivering great choice and the quintessential OYO experience to guests from across the world traveling to Europe,” said Maninder Gulati, chief strategy officer, OYO Hotels & Homes. “In a short period of time, we are making good on our promise of delivering world-class value to homeowners—guests from the world over create everlasting memories at these homes and we have delivered 25-30% more booking value over and above the existing value.
“In the last three months, we have onboarded 400 exceptional professionals to our team and widened our customer reach by working closely with 50 of the top distribution partners, including all major global OTAs,” Gulati continued. “We have also added more than 1,500 new homes across popular holiday destinations such as Italy, Spain, Croatia, France and Denmark. Our diverse talent, who we call OYOpreneurs, will continue to be the force behind this momentum, delivering a high-quality experience to guests and increased yield for asset owners.”
Kamal brings 25-plus years of experience across financial services, investments, strategy and consulting domains. Prior to OYO, he was global head of investments at PayU, the payments & fintech arm of Naspers Limited. Prior to this, Kamal was a partner with McKinsey & Company for over 12 years and, as the head of the Payments practice for APAC, he served banks, insurers, payments companies and asset managers across Asia-Pacific.
“I am excited about working alongside someone with the pedigree and gravitas of Raj,” said Tobias Wann, CEO, OYO Vacation Homes. “His deep industry knowledge, financial expertise, and business acumen will help us build a mission-driven organization with razor-sharp focus on quality, service excellence and delivering a value-driven experience for our homeowners. Raj’s appointment marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in OYO’s journey.”
Under Gupta’s leadership, OYO has emerged as Indonesia’s largest hotel chain with more than 2,000 hotels and almost 50,000 rooms under management across 100 cities. He has built a team of 1,100-plus who continue to drive growth in Indonesia as he takes on the U.K. role. Gupta brings over a decade of experience leading consumer and technology companies across Asia with a strong focus on operational efficiency and sustainable growth, including at Airbnb, Deloitte and WPP.
Sanders will be passing the baton of U.K. leadership to Gupta over an agreed transition period to ensure a smooth transition.
“Under Rishabh’s leadership, we look forward to continuing OYO’s growth in the U.K. in 2020 and for the long-term,” said Gulati. “We are focused on building a new kind of tech-driven hospitality business. We want people around the world to experience high-quality, safe and hassle-free travel, whether they’re a consumer looking for an affordable place to stay, or a hotel owner looking to take the growth of their business to the next level. Our thanks goes to Jeremy, who has demonstrated the traits of a true OYOpreneur in growing the U.K. business so far, and we look forward to our next phase of growth in 2020 and beyond.”