At 9 AM on the morning of 14 January, 2020, about 250 employees of budget hotel chain OYO shuffled into a meeting room in one of the company’s properties in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The gathering cut across the company’s many divisions, leaving those in attendance—OYOpreneurs, as the company calls them—anxious. News had been swirling thick and fast for over a month about thousands of layoffs at OYO, and those gathered feared the worst.  

“About 10-12 people came from Gurugram—the head office. This has never happened. In all my life at OYO, I’ve never had such an early meeting,” one employee told The Ken