The mantra to survive in the pole position is staying relevant to the customers by knowing what it is that they really want, Aditya Ghosh the CEO (India and South Asia) of Oyo Hotels and Homes said, adding that as a market leader his company knows that there is no space for complacency and it has to earn its stripes on a daily basis.
Ghosh said at his company, a lot of data and science went into understanding what the customer wants. Very data-oriented decisions were taken for every aspect, he said. There are far more choices available to the Indian traveler than before and also the method through which they can access these services, he added. Ghosh, was speaking at the 1st Hindustan Times Tourism Conclave held in New Delhi
Speaking about Oyo, Ghosh said the company which started from Gurugram with one hotel just six years back is now the third largest hotel chain with over a million room keys. Our biggest hotel, with 700 rooms in Las Vagas, just came up with the Oyo sign just 48 hours back. “The moat in every business is whether you understand the customer and his or her needs,” he said.
“I am obsessed with what customers are telling us. A lot of times there is a mismatch between what we are offering and what the customers expect,” he said. Today there are half a million people who are resting their heads on Oyo pillows across the world, Ghosh said. He said what these people were telling us is very valuable feedback. It is of immense value to know, he added.
Asked about the future of the hospitality industry and if bots would be seen at receptions in Indian hotels in the coming times. Ghosh said hotels would be more efficient in terms of time and money. He said in future the hotel would know the needs of the customer much faster based on their social media profile.
“But to do it for tens of millions of customers…That’s the way I would like to put it,” he said.
Technology could be used to ease the experience, Ghosh said. He added that often the entry to a hotel could take upto 15 minutes when this process can be made much simpler. Technology really helps us understand customers, drives speed and make processes efficient,” he said.
“We are a highly tech driven company, but if tomorrow, sending a pigeon gives me a better result, I am all for the pigeon,” he said.
The social media piece or trolling, I listen to it, but do not get distracted. You think that if there is any nugget which can help me improve. Ghosh said that in six years, Oyo had grown from one hotel to being the third largest group in the world. “It is easier to get to the top but difficult to stay there. And for that you have to be relevant to the customer,” he said.
The biggest challenge is two fold – How to keep getting the best talent. And the second is how to get customers and stay relevant to them. As a market leader, we know that we have to earn our stripes everyday, he said.