Employer – Freddie talks to us about life at OYO

Employer – Freddie talks to us about life at OYO

Movemeon employer spotlights are a series of articles highlighting our clients. They detail the internal company culture, employee experience and outline their ideal candidate.

Sabah, OYO’s Client Success Manager
“It was great to meet the OYO team and Freddie in person at their offices, I’m looking forward to supporting them further”

Jack, Onboarded OYO
“The energy and dynamism in their office is palpable. You can tell that everyone is incredibly excited by what they’re doing and are driven to overcome any challenges that come their way”

In your own words, please describe what OYO does and how they have grown. 

OYO is the world’s fastest-growing hotel chain, recently becoming the third-largest in the world despite only launching 6 years ago! Our 26-year-old founder is not short on vision – we want to become the largest hospitality company in the world. Originally from India, we launched the UK as the testbed for western markets late last year, before growing both hotels and homes across Europe, and now the US and South America.

What is your current role at OYO and what were you doing before? 

I am Chief of Staff to our MD in the UK, which means I take on a wide range of projects that can come out of nowhere, and might not have an obvious owner. Exciting and new challenges are coming up all the time. This could be opening a new region, acting as the Head of Operations or pulling people in from across teams to solve a priority customer problem. Prior to this, I was exploring deep technology startups as a founder and employee at Entrepreneur First.

How would you describe your experience and first impressions?

A mentor once told me that I had never experienced what it’s like to be inside a successful environment, which felt harsh at the time. In the context of startups, I now understand what they meant – the opportunities for OYO and for personal growth within the company are emerging faster than we can jump on them, which can be frantic but thrilling.

What motivated you to join the OYO, and what do you enjoy most about working there?  

I was attracted by three things. First, the ambition, pace and impact are what first drew me to startups. Second, I wanted to work with strong mentors in an environment that supported me to learn. Finally, I wanted to have an impact by building something that could make a tangible difference to consumer experiences every day.

What is OYO’s culture like and what are the values? 

We are investing in a major project to define operating principles and values that both reflect how our employees feel about OYO today, and also set aspirational standards we want to operate by. I know this is particularly important to a number of people across the business, including our UK MD and me. We’ve grown from 30 to over 300 people in around 6 months, so we’re playing catch up in terms of formal definitions.

But a few things stand out – trusting and enabling individuals to take ownership and solve problems, without the need to seek endless approvals is a large part of how we operate. I’d also highlight the importance of investing in our people and learning and development culture (departments which have consistently been hiring priorities for us).

Finally, I often hear from new employees how supported they feel by their colleagues.

Where has OYO been and where do you see it going?

We’ve come from humble beginnings and have really shown what’s possible in western markets by our performance in the UK. We recently passed 100 open hotels and we have much further to go in scale and performance. In particular, we’re making a big investment in significantly improving the health and safety compliance of the industry, which can be really hit and miss, ultimately putting guests at risk until we get involved. In other geographies, the vision has expanded to include vacation and home rentals, as well as workplaces and cloud kitchens. As I said, our founder is not short on vision!

What kind of person would suit working at OYO, and what kind of person might the environment not suit? 

We’re very supportive of personal growth and people who want to take ownership of big problems. Given the pace of growth, I think the company suits someone who wants to invest in their careers, as the weeks can be rewarding but long as a result. 

Freddie front and centre in the grey jumper “back in May when we only had 60 people!”

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Movemeon
Movemeon
Movemeon.com - The world’s leading community of consultants, alumni and commercial professionals. Also, growing hubs in France, Germany and APAC.

Founded by two ex-McKinsey Consultants, Nick Patterson & Rich Rosser.

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