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Amid OYO’s mass layoffs, founder Ritesh Agarwal explains firings; FULL TEXT of letter to staff

Source | www.financialexpress.com | Sandeep Soni

OYO has fired around 600 of its 12,000 China employees and 1,200 India employees following which Agarwal on Monday shared an email to employees to explain the rationale behind the layoff without disclosing the actual number.

Arguably the only real innovation from India and not inspiration or copy of startup ideas from the Western world, OYO’s size and scale has remained unmatched by its competitors. Moreover, its founder Ritesh Agarwal has been the poster boy of Indian startup ecosystem and darling of world’s biggest startup backer — SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son. However, the backlash from hotels for alleged unfair business practices by OYO in the past few months and now thousands of employee layoffs in India and China has put its breakneck growth in a different spotlight.

OYO has fired around 600 of its 12,000 China employees and 1,200 India employees, Bloomberg reported recently, following which Agarwal on Monday shared an email to employees to explain the rationale behind the layoff without disclosing the actual number. The impact has been due to the new strategic objectives for 2020 due to which “we will reorganize more teams across businesses and functions,” said Agarwal in the letter, a copy of which was accessed by Financial Express Online from sources. Hence “we are asking some of our impacted colleagues to move to a new career outside of OYO,” Agarwal said as he put in perspective the 2020 agenda to steer towards profitability — something Son has also been stressing on after his star bets — WeWork, Uber, etc surprised him with their unexpected IPO performances. OYO is currently the second most-valued startup at $10-billion valuation following Paytm’s $16 billion with Son being the common heavyweight investor.

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