He has built the country’s most efficient, affordable and profitable airline and now he will build the world’s top budget hospitality firm. Aditya Ghosh, former president of Indigo Airlines, has joined five-and-half-year old hospitality start-up OYO Hotels as its chief executive officer (CEO) in charge of India and South Asia.
Ghosh, 43, quit Indigo in April 2018 after a decade-long stint during which the airline went on to become the largest and most profitable player in the domestic aviation industry. Reporting to the 25-year old Ritesh Agarwal, who founded OYO in 2013, Ghosh will oversee and grow OYO’s business in South Asia, which will include, India, Nepal, and the other upcoming markets in the region. “He will focus on continuing to drive growth while delivering high-quality customer experience and sustained yields for asset owners,” SoftBank-funded OYO said in a statement. Agarwal, who has been the CEO all along, will now become the Group CEO at OYO Hotels. Ghosh joins OYO from December 2018.
“With Aditya taking on this mantle for one of our home markets, India and the broader South Asia region, we are confident that he will be able to help OYO Hotels set new benchmarks in the hospitality industry, and nurture a high performing workforce. His business acumen, his problem-solving capabilities, and his customer-centric approach to innovation that helped him build an influential brand that is loved by all makes him an excellent choice for OYO Hotels,” Agarwal said. OYO raised $1 billion in September 2018 which valued the start-up at $5 billion, making it the most valuable hospitality firm in the country.
Besides India, where OYO has a network of 5,500 leased and franchised hotels totalling 143,000 rooms, the start-up operates in China, Nepal, UAE, UK, Indonesia and Malaysia. China, a year-old market for OYO, has already become its biggest turf with a network of 173,000 rooms in 265 cities. It is already ranked among the top ten players in the Chinese market. OYO globally works with 12,000 hotels with a network of 330,000 rooms. Agarwal wants to build OYO into the world's top hospitality company by the number of rooms.
Unlike most start-ups that have seen a churn at the C-Suite level, OYO has managed to retain most of its top executives. Ghosh is a lawyer by training and had practiced law at the corporate law firm, J Sagar Associates and then as the General Counsel at InterGlobe Enterprises, which owns Indigo. Ghosh said he is excited about OYO’s ‘single-minded focus’ to ‘deliver value to customers and asset owners’.