Over the last three months or so, the company has been grappling with a series of protests by hotel owners, who have been alleging that the hospitality giant has not paid their dues. The latest protests have taken place in Patna. While the company claims the protests are motivated, the news that caused an uproar and prompted Oyo to act was the electrocution of a 15-year-old at one of its branded hotels.
Over the last few months, the company faced protests from hotel and asset owners all over the country. The company has seen protests erupt in places, including Bengaluru, Pune, Jaipur, Shimla, Manali, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Bareilly, Vizag, Gangtok and Delhi, among others.
The latest incident happened in Patna where hotel owners got into a major tiff with Oyo employees, asking for unpaid dues. Oyo launched in Patna in August 2015 and has expanded its footprint to 100 plus hotels and 1,800 rooms in the city. Overall, Bihar has 350 hotels and 5,200 rooms.
The company said that the allegations against it are baseless and motivated. “Majority of the protesters are not associated with Oyo hotels. The company has an over 99 per cent retention rate and seen no disruption in operations or bookings in over 90 per cent of Oyo hotels in Patna,” said a spokesperson.
The company further said that it has been paying all dues on time. “As an organisation, we have always cleared payments well on time and as per contractual agreement. We have been engaging with our asset owners on a one-to-one basis, and to address concerns, if any. In case of any discrepancies with respect to certain calculations and amounts accrued, the issue is separately discussed and evaluated between Oyo Partner Support representatives and the Oyo hotel owner. This in no way affects any other payments that are accruing to either parties,” the company said.
However, hotel owners claim that they have time and again complained to Oyo about deep discounting and late payment of dues. “On a daily basis, the room tariffs keep on going down. There are times when a room rent is down by almost 80 per cent. Payments are held back and we have to go on fighting to get our dues. After my contract ends, I will independently run my hotel,” said a hotel chain owner in Delhi, who has four properties in New Delhi and Gurgaon.
Safety audit after death
Priyanshu Kumar, a resident of Dehradun and a national-level shooter who had travelled to Delhi to participate in a competition, was accidentally killed when he was electrocuted by an appliance that was in the room he was in. While investigations are on, the company said it is going to go for a safety audit.
“The concerned property is closed and sealed till further notice. To ensure a thorough and unbiased investigation into the matter, personnel working in and associated with this property have been placed under suspension. As a first step and a precautionary measure, we are going to initiate electrical audits. The aim is to identify the root cause of the incident and also ensure that we take all possible steps to ensure the safety of our guests and employees across all the properties under Oyo,” said the spokesperson.
- Not getting paid dues on time
- Deep discounting affecting business
- Asset owners have no control over hotel operations
- The owners complain most hotels running in severe losses, while Oyo keeps taking money from investors