OYO Hotels, which claims to be South Asia’s largest, China’s top three and world’s fastest growing chain of hotels, homes and living spaces, on Thursday announced the appointment of Sam Shih as its Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the China market. As COO, Sam will be responsible for the overall regional operations, driving consumer experience and building operating efficiencies at scale across OYO China.
Before OYO Hotels, Sam served as president of Global Consumables and CEO at Asia Pulp & Paper Co., Ltd., a giant in the pulp and paper industry. He also led the operations at Red Bull and Accor Group, France. Sam started his career and spent over two decades in PepsiCo Inc. During this time, he took senior positions such as President of Pepsi (China) Investment Co. Ltd, Vice President of Pepsi Beverage Business in China, as well as COO at Pepsi China. Along his three-decade long career path, Sam has shown stringent professionalism and maximum control in company operations, P&L management, strategic planning as well as business development.
The inclusion of Sam into OYO Hotels’ leadership team is a manifestation of the chain’s determination toward delivering quality-assured experiences to its guests. Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & Group CEO, OYO Hotels, welcomed Shi into OYO family and said, “We are really excited to welcome Sam as a Partner and COO, OYO China. We have witnessed tremendous growth during the last one year which has helped OYO 酒店 (OYO Jiudian) emerge as amongst the top 3 hotel chains in China. Sam’s incredible operating acumen coupled with strong understanding of P&L will be extremely invaluable as we forge ahead in our mission to create quality living spaces and help the small hotels deliver an exceptional customer experience which is at par with the big hotel chains. We are confident that Sam’s experience will help us set new benchmarks in the hotel industry, as well as help oversee and nurture a high-performing workforce.”
Commenting on joining OYO Hotels, Shih said, “The hospitality industry is one that attaches great importance to operations. The achievement of OYO Hotels is largely attributed to the improvement it has made to hotels’ operations, which in turn solved hotel owners’ pain points. In future, we will strive to ensure the refinement and upgrade of the company’s operation as well as that for stand-alone hotels. We aim to find a well-balanced golden triangle between cost, efficiency and service so as to fulfill the demands of both owners and consumers.”
Within a span of one year since its first hotel was opened in Shenzhen in November 2017, OYO Hotels scaled up at fleeting speed. Currently, OYO has entered 280 cities in China, operating more than 5,000 hotels with 260,000 rooms.
In September 2018, OYO Hotels received $800 million in investment by SoftBank, Lightspeed, Sequoia and Greenoaks capital out of which the hotel chain has committed $600 million to its second home market after India - China. The hotel chain is committed towards transforming the country’s hospitality by heavily investing in technology and talent.