OYO Appoints Top Level Execs To Drive International
Hospitality major OYO has appointed top executives in China, Malaysia and Europe to strengthen its international footprint.
The company appointed Andrew Verbitsky as the head for its Europe operations, Sam Shih as its chief operating officer (COO) in China, and Tan Ming Luk as its country head in Malaysia.
Sam Shih was previously serving as the president of Global Consumables and CEO at Indonesia-based paper and pulp company Asia Pulp & Paper. Shih began his career at PepsiCo and has also led operations in Red Bull and Accor Group.
Last year the company had appointed Tony Liang is the chief human resources officer, Jia Zhou as the chief technology officer and Wilson Li as the chief financial officer, to strengthen its foothold in China — OYO second biggest market.
In Europe, OYO’s operations will be headed by Andrew Verbitsky. Previously the company had appointed Jeremy Sanders to lead operations in UK.
Further, Tan Ming Luk, who has 13 years of experience in management consulting and digital businesses, will be heading OYO’s Malaysia operations with a focus on strategy development and operational improvement, the company said in a press release. Luk had earlier also served as the Malaysia country head of China-based dockless bike sharing platform OFO.
OYO’s International Growth
OYO was founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal. Its first international foray was in Malaysia in 2016. The Gurugram-based company had then expanded its international presence to China, Nepal, UK, UAE. In October 2018 the company also launched operations in Indonesia.
This week, the company also announced the launch of OYO Home in Dubai where it will rent out unoccupied houses to users. It plans to ramp up the footprint to 200 homes from its current count of 40 homes within the next six months.
OYO is backed by investors such as SoftBank Group, Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Hero Enterprise and China Lodging Group, and currently, has over 13K hotels and 3K homes under its chain.
The startup became a unicorn in 2018 at a valuation of $5 Bn (INR 35,255 Cr) after raising funding of $800Mn (INR 5,640 Cr) funding from SoftBank, $100 Mn (INR 705 Cr) from Grab and another $100 Mn (INR 705 Cr) commitment from a group of investors.
Recently, it also announced its first Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for 250 employees in a secondary share acquisition programme worth $5.7 Mn – $7.1 Mn (INR 40-50 Cr). The ESOP plan is set rollout this month.