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‘We offer MICE facilities in over 500 hotels in our network’

Thursday, December 28, 2017, 14:36 Hrs  [IST]

Q When did OYO as a hotel company start looking at MICE as a travel segment and what kind of opportunities you see in this segment?
OYO is India’s largest hospitality company with presence in over 230 cities in India, Malaysia and Nepal. After standardising the guest experience in over 8000 of our partner hotels, we have also identified an untapped potential for MICE opportunities in the value segment. In the recent past, a lot of small and medium-sized companies have pushed up a demand for MICE facilities at more affordable price-points.

Our recent venture into MICE is in-line with the brand promise of delivering high-quality and affordable experiences. OYO’s scale and diversity of network give us an edge over other players. The company offers a variety of venues across India- OYO Flagship to Townhouse hotels –that can cater to a spectrum of events- from business meetings, birthday parties, wedding functions, anniversary parties, to even stand-up comedy shows and promotional events. For the first time in the hospitality industry, customers have access to venues at branded hotels that come at an affordable price with the promise of standardised and delightful service. This is a unique proposition in the MICE category fully owned by OYO.

Q Considering OYO properties are small inventory hotels, how would you be able to tap this segment which generally comprise large groups?
We have a diverse set of hotels as a part of our network ranging from small, mid to large scale. For example, we recently onboarded a 140-room property in Tirupati. Over 500 hotels in our network support MICE operations in 70 cities and we have both the structural and service capabilities to ensure a hassle-free experience for our guests.

MICE is a flourishing business segment driven by young business travellers and companies. This is where OYO becomes relevant- with its expanded presence across the country and wide array of services at affordable prices. We’ve been operating in the hospitality space since the past four years and built capabilities which we utilise in exploring new opportunities such as MICE and successfully running them both in terms of service and as a business.

Q What are OYO’s competitive advantages in the MICE market? What challenges are you encountering at the moment to maintain revenues from MICE?
OYO enjoys a unique positioning in the MICE market by offering value-based experiences with high-quality service. These attributes are conducive to the requirements of mid-size companies who are seeking quality and cost-effective alternatives.

We provide a high degree of flexibility and personalisation in terms of services and facilities to match our guests’ requirements including multiple accommodation formats to cater to diverse expectations. OYO Townhouse appeal to young corporate guests through an innovative minimalistic elegance and an array of elegantly-furnished meeting rooms with a utilitarian yet aesthetic feel - clean, crisp and progressive. It is a one-stop destination offering various facilities ranging from contemporary rooms to exquisite food options- all at one place. We have also brought in supply in the form of second homes lying locked across India. These apartment units come with their own additional space, such as a patio, recreational hall, swimming pool, parking yards, etc., which also appeal to corporate travellers on an off-site or a team event. Thus, we are able to create a unique value proposition in this category.

We have received great response from the market, having launched this new vertical in June 2017 and having grown 20x in this period. We look forward to maintaining a robust growth.

Q How many properties in your network in India do you feel are ideal to service the MICE clients? What kind of value-added facilities would be available for MICE in these properties?
Currently, we offer MICE facilities in over 500 hotels in our network, covering all metros and other major cities. These properties are customised and equipped with all facilities such as conference, meeting, boardrooms which can be used for both business and recreational activities. They can accommodate small to large groups of people providing proximity, comfort and ease all at one place.

Unlike other event venues that just provide the space and catering, we are equipped to take care of all the event requirements including decoration, DJ, photographer and other artists. For corporate clients, we offer a single interface for their multi-city training and conference requirements. Currently, multi-city training requirements are either catered to in Metros (which involve employees travelling from smaller cities to metros) or are routed through several travel agents which is quite cumbersome. At OYO, we have conference venues across 70+ cities, offering standardised training and conference experience. Corporates save on the travel cost and get a single partner with the guarantee of a standardised conference experience.

Q What is your marketing strategy to reach out to this segment?
Our on-ground teams in these 70 cities have been working tirelessly and in close proximity with their corporate clients as they are the biggest source of demand for this particular channel. We’ve also witnessed a heavy demand for these facilities for social events including birthdays, anniversaries, pre- and post-wedding function which we target through the online channels.

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