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OYO, MakeMytrip, others see pay cuts, layoffs as travel industry comes to a standstill

Founders and senior leadership in many companies are taking a near to full cut in pay.
The hospitality industry has been severely affected the world over due to coronavirus, with the travel and tourism industry virtually coming to a standstill. As in the aviation industry, the hotels industry is seeing pay cuts and layoffs in order to stay afloat and tide over this period. 
OYO Hotels and Homes founder Ritesh Agarwal announced on Thursday that he would be taking a 100% pay cut for the rest of the year, and the company’s leadership has taken a voluntary pay cut between 25-50%, starting April 2020.
In a statement, the company said that its employees as well as the staff of its managed assets will continue their salaries and benefits without any interruption. 
“The current situation the world over is deeply concerning to each and every one of us. OYO is doing everything to support the world with its limited resources in this pandemic from making isolation centres to finding a safe place for first responders,” Ritesh Agarwal said.
OYO said that it has taken a series of measures to accommodate frontline medical staff, aircrew, corporates, tourists, PGs as well as foreign nationals stranded in the country. 
Similarly, travel aggregator MakeMyTrip group’s founder said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States of America that founder and Executive Chairman Deep Kalra and CEO Rajesh Magow are not taking any salaries for the rest of the year starting 2020. MakeMyTrip group comprises MakeMyTrip, Ibibo and RedBus. 
“On people costs front, both of us will take the lead and take zero salary effective April 2020, while the rest of our Leadership Team have also offered to take a reduction of approximately 50% in their compensation,” Deep and Rajesh told the company’s staffers in an email.
In the email, they said that they are reviewing operating costs as well as variable costs. 
“Being an online company, the majority of our costs are variable, however the situation demands that we take a hard look at all our fixed costs including people costs,” they said. 
For variable costs, they said that the company would be reducing advertising and sales promotions costs, among other things. “We will immediately cancel all discretionary spends such as events, trainings, etc. and also suspend brand building expenses during the following quarter,” they added. 
However, Entrackr reported that pay was being cut in senior and managerial-level positions, and staffers were informed that the pay would be reinstated when things return to normal. 
In an email to the company’s 3,450 staffers on the company’s 20th anniversary on Thursday, Deep and Rajesh told employees that the company’s 20-year milestone celebrations were deferred.
“A moment like our 20th anniversary could probably have been a great occasion to talk to you about what our next 20 years would look like. But as the world goes through this crisis, much is unknown. What we do know though is that we are one of the most resilient companies and have survived many storms before. We are armed with some of the finest talent and experienced colleagues that are rearing to roll up their sleeves and build things ground up again. We all must over invest to learn, adapt and adjust so we emerge stronger on the other side of this crisis. What we also know is that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It’s why we all have been working hard on plans – to revive, rebound and thrive again,” Deep and Rajesh said. 
On a smaller scale, Entrackr reported that FabHotels had laid off 80 people, as well as slashed pay across the board. “The entire team of about 400 employees including co-founders have taken a pay cut in the range of 15-20%,” a source told the website. 
Travel aggregator Ixigo earlier this week said that the two founders would forego their salary till business is back on track, the leadership would take a cut of 60%, and the pay of the rest of the staff would be cut between 20% and 50%. 
“We will reinstate the salaries as soon as the situation improves and we will also convert the accumulated salary deductions over the hardship period into equivalent ESOPs so that everyone benefits from future upside when the going gets better again,” said co-founder Aloke Bajpai, according to TechCrunch.
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