Biggest Indian chain pushes UK hotels north to launch in Scotland

Biggest Indian chain pushes UK hotels north to launch in Scotland

OYO, which claims to be the largest and fastest-growing hotel operator in India, has launched an expansion push in Scotland.

The firm set up its first UK operation in London last year and has linked up with four small hotels in Scotland with more lined up.

Oyo, which says it offers technology that some smaller hotels may not be able to access, branding and marketing and on-the-ground support ranging from spruce-up advice to end-to-end operation.

It claims that since setting up in England in October and Scotland in December, that revenue was up on the same time last year across the portfolio by March.

So far it has “partnered” with The Thrums and St Andrews Place hotel in Edinburgh and the Clydesdale in Hamilton and Redstones in Uddingston.

Further link-ups include with Charing Cross Guest House, Glasgow, and Victoria Park House Hotel, Edinburgh, with openings planned in Inverness, Aberdeen and Oban.

The firm was set up five years ago by Ritesh Agarwal, 25, and has grown across the region, claiming to be responsible for 750,000 rooms.

Jeremy Sanders, co-founder of Italian fast-food chain Coco di Mama, is the UK chief.

He said: “We are live across the UK in 30 hotels and at the end of this month we will be live in over 50 hotels.

“We have gone from a team of nothing to 110 in the UK.

“We are now 11 people in Scotland and that team is going to double in size over the next eight to 10 weeks.”

The business, which is backed by investors including Softbank, Airbnb, Sequoia and Lightspeed, said it plans to invest £40 million in the UK in 2019.

It operates over 18,000 franchised or leased hotels and about 6,000 homes as part of its chain.

Mr Sanders added: “Partnership and growth is covered by the contract [with the owner].

“Much of it is associated with us adding value to the hotel.

“We are not here to simply piggy-back on what has been done before.

“Our model is to bring incremental value to the hotel, by putting in the technology, by investing in the property by putting in our expertise, we are going to drive revPAR (revenue per available room) and only then will we see the excess benefit coming back our way.

“Every hotel we partner with gets its own revenue manager who is dedicated to optimising the revPAR of the hotel and we are having startling results.

“In March, for example, across the portfolio, 17 hotels in total, we had like-for-like revenue growth up 20 per cent on the previous year.”

He said: “”When we come along with our transformation team we put that in place and we get results.

“It has to be of a standard so that we can proudly put our name above the door.

“Having done this to thousands of hotels across Asia we know where we can add value.”

Source: Herald Scotland

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