Venture
The idea was sparked by a spate of requests the company has been receiving from various clients who are already using its existing services.

Wedding planners and event management firms beware; they may confront a serious competitor with certain advantages in the form of OYO Rooms. The hotel room chain has launched a new add-on Strategic Business Unit (SBU), Auto Party that will help customers with a one-stop source for a variety of services for a wedding, including the venue, catering and so on.

The idea was sparked by a spate of requests the company has been receiving from various clients who are already using its existing services. Though the requests were more for organising business events like meetings and conferences (trade calls it MICE; meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions), the top team at OYO felt why not turn this into an opportunity.

There have been independent reports on the prospects of the wedding business in India and none other than KPMG has projected that the segment can generate revenues close to $54 billion which translates into Rs 368,100 crores, a colossal sum by any reckoning. Wedding planning is already an evolved business in India with the startup section also witnessing a number of new ventures being floated and funded in this vertical. The headway OYO may enjoy is that the major component in the wedding, the banqueting space is already under its control in the form of hotel properties that it manages all over. As mentioned, it is already in the MICE business and wedding arrangements could only be another half step, with venue, decorations, catering etc. being common to all events.

OYO has identified 50 venues across several cities for the Auto Party venture and seeks to take this to 100 before the year is out. Though initially the business may be handled offline, eventually, it will get integrated with the main OYO app so that customers can carry out the entire process online. To know more about the venue, a video will be posted within the app and if the customers wish to taste the food, this will also be arranged at their respective residences by the Auto Party team.

All add-on facilities like photography, music and so on will be offered on an a la carte basis for the customers to choose from.

OYO is even ready with certain standard packages, with Rs 399 per head and Rs 699 per head tariffs for indoor and outdoor catering prices. The outdoor one will be hosted in a lawn or a garden.

It could prove to be exciting times ahead for wedding events’ organisers and the customers who can relax and not carry any tensions while making arrangements for a wedding in the family.