NEW DELHI|BENGALURU: Oyo Hotels and Homes is firing an estimated 2,400 employees, or 20% of its total workforce in India, over the course of this week, people directly familiar with the matter told ET.The layoffs, which kickstarted with an internal email by founder Ritesh Agarwal to employees on Monday, will primarily be in mid-management, business development, sales and operations roles, and in select technology teams.Take part in ETRise Top MSMEs, India’s definitive ranking for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises“The intent is to bring the headcount down by another 20% at least, and launch another resizing exercise by the end of March,” a top company executive told ET, requesting anonymity. The move comes as the SoftBank-backed hospitality chain looks to rein in costs and streamline operations.In the internal email that ET has reviewed, CEO Ritesh Agarwal said, “One of the implications of the new strategic objectives for 2020, is that, like the leadership team, we will re-organise more teams across businesses and functions. And this means that, unfortunately, some roles at Oyo will become redundant as we further drive tech-enabled synergy, enhanced efficiency and remove duplication of effort across businesses or geographies. As a result, we are asking some of our impacted colleagues to move to a new career outside of Oyo.”Agarwal did not, however, specify the exact number of staff who would be let go in the company’s home market, where its estimated staff strength is 12,000. Oyo declined to comment.


Oyo is also expected to undertake a retrenchment exercise in other geographies where it operates. Last week, news agency Bloomberg reported that it had dismissed 5% of its 12,000-strong staff in China, its second home market.“Oyo’s SilverKey business (for corporates) has almost been disbanded,” the company executive, who is not authorised to speak to the media, said.

The company could also streamline operations, moving its various hospitality brands, Oyo Home, Oyo Life and SilverKey within the same business function, the executive added.Other non-core business lines, such as wedding-focused event management company Weddingz, which have been described as a “non-performing bet” are also expected to undergo significant cuts in investments.


Additionally, Oyo has also offloaded about 25% of its unprofitable properties in India across businesses, one of the largest cleanups for the country’s largest real estate aggregator, a second senior company executive told ET, also requesting anonymity. The layoffs have come at a time when the firm is battling allegations of anticompetitive practices and bribery among others, according to a report by the New York Times.“Recently, there have been a few questionable claims in a publication and today I want you to hear about them from me. The said article described behaviour that would violate our code of conduct. We take the allegations seriously and are looking into each and every one,” Agarwal said in his email.“We, of course, continue to be subject to regular external audits and have reached a stage as a company where we are making significant investments in compliance, training, and governance that ensure operational consistency and accountability,” he added.