Oyo Rooms is the hottest new hotel booking app in the country. It has taken the hotel booking industry by storm and the men behind it are enjoying the sunny days, even though it’s the monsoon season in India. We caught up with Anurag Gaggar, Vice President, Product management, Oyo Room to pick his brains. We threw some tough ones at him and he did fairly well. Here is what he had to tell us.
1) What was the thought behind creating the OYO Rooms app?
Many of our customers prefer using smartphones over a desktop/laptop; while for some, it is their only gateway to the internet. Hence, we thought of developing a smartphone app that could redefine guest experience by taking out the hassle of pre-bookings and enabling last-minute bookings. Smartphones are location-aware, always-on and offer a much more interactive and personalized experience. Imagine being able to book the nearest OYO in just 3 taps and in less than 5 seconds – with our app, we allow building such powerful and beautiful interactions.
2) Can you tell our readers what does this app actually do, any over-the-top features?
Our app allows you to search and book any OYO hotel in over 30 cities of India within seconds. The search and booking experience is super fast – aided by the fact that we have standardized, quality-checked offering on the ground that eliminates the need to do a lot of research before booking a hotel. We offer the first-of-its-kind room service experience where you can order for tea/coffee or call room service from within your mobile app. You can book a cab to the hotel, see nearby restaurants and get personalized offers – all of this blended into a beautiful and functional interface.
3) How well has the Indian audience responded to it and the hotel owners?
We have received a tremendous response to the app with over 2,50,000 downloads till date, with excellent feedback and a sizeable number of bookings now coming from the apps. We frequently show up as a featured app on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Many of our hotel owners have also downloaded our app and love how technology is driving more business for them. For the hotel owners, who are not present all the time at their hotels, gives them great satisfaction to see a sold out tag on their hotel in the app, as they realize how partnering with OYO has helped their business.
4) How much discount does one get while booking with your app?
We keep running different promotions from time to time and keep informing our customers through in-app notifications and other modes. For the readers of Gadget Bridge, we have a special promo code OYOGB50 that gives a 50% discount (max Rs. 1000) on your first booking through the OYO Rooms app. This offer is valid for bookings and check-ins done before August 31, 2015.
5) How many hotels and properties has OYO rooms been able to tap in India?
OYO Rooms is India’s largest branded network of hotels with more than 700 hotels and 10,000 rooms in more than 30 cities across the country.
6) Any plans to go overseas?
At the moment, our focus is to let every traveler in India have the OYO experience. We aim to have 4,000 hotels and 50,000 rooms across 50 cities by the end of this year. However, in future we would love to offer the OYO experience to travelers from all over the world.
7) Last words, thoughts that you would like to share with our readers.
I strongly believe that technology has the potential to bring a significant transformation in the hospitality sector. Leveraging technology can promote growth, bring innovation and serve both the consumer and the business better by controlling end-to-end experience of our guests from booking through check out. At OYO, technology is at the center of our relationship with the consumer – bringing in operational efficiencies in our everyday dealings with our hotel partners as well as redefining the way the customer interacts with the brand.