Oyo CEO, 6 execs accused of cheating Domlur hotel

Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, OYO

The Halasuru police have issued notices to the CEO of Oyo and six others in connection with a cheating complaint filed by a hotel owner.

Betz Fernandes, the owner of Roxel Inn in Domlur, stated in his complaint that as per an agreement, hospitality services provider Oyo had to pay his hotel Rs 7 lakh per month as minimum guarantee.

However, since May 2019, Oyo has not fulfilled its promise and ignored his reminders for paying outstanding dues of Rs 35 lakh. After repeated attempts to reach the company failed, he approached the police.

Notices were issued to Oyo CEO Ritesh Agarwal; Rohit Srivastava, Head of South; Madhvendra Kumar, Head Business Development; Gourab De, Head Business Development and in charge of property; and Prateek Agarwal, Manjeet Singh and Mrinmoy Chakraborty, from finance, to appear before the investigating officer on November 7 for questioning.

Fernandes said the business went smooth in the beginning, and the terms and conditions of the agreed partnership were met diligently. But this lasted only for a few months. Gradually, things changed with tweaks in contracts that were favourable to the company and now, it has completely stopped paying the hotel.

This is the second such case in the city after V Natarajan, a retired army officer, filed a similar complaint against Agarwal and others last September. The hotel association had also approached the city police commissioner seeking a detailed inquiry against Oyo which is causing losses to hotels across the country with unfair business practices.

An Oyo spokesperson said, “We strongly refute the claims made in the complaint that has been wrongfully filed against our founder and six other office-bearers, based on false allegations and exaggeration of a regular commercial dispute.

Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India, and the vice-president of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India, said: “Hotels in the budget segment are being exploited by Oyo. Under the garb of generating more business, Oyo has been arm-twisting small and budget segment hoteliers for quite some time now.”

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