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Hotel firm Oyo lays off 10% of India staff


INDIAN hotel giant Oyo said Tuesday it is cutting 1,000 employees, or 10 per cent of its local staff, as it battles multiple allegations including bribery and pressure from Japanese backer SoftBank to cut costs.

An Indian newspaper said 2,400 jobs would go in total and that the firm, which has expanded aggressively in Asia and the Middle East under its 26-year-old founder, had offloaded around a quarter of its unprofitable properties.

SoftBank has backed a slew of startups but problems with some of the companies it has invested in, including office-sharing firm WeWork and ride-hailing operator Uber, had led to it pressuring others to slash costs.

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A source at Oyo said it was "letting go" the 1,000 employees in India, a tenth of its total strength. Bloomberg News reported last month that it has also laid off 5 per cent of its 12,000 staff in China.

In a letter sent to employees and investors, Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal said the company was reorganising its teams, a process that would result in some jobs becoming "redundant".

"This has not been an easy decision for us. We are doing everything we can to ensure that our outgoing colleagues receive as much assistance and support as possible through this transition," he said.

Oyo has also offloaded about 25 per cent of its loss-making properties in India, the Economic Times daily quoted an unnamed senior company executive as saying.

In his letter, Mr Agarwal also addressed "questionable" claims made in recent reports, saying the behaviour described was against the company's code of conduct. A New York Times report this month said Oyo bribed government officials and resorted to unfair practices, including fraudulent listings. AFP