NEW DELHI — Nitin Thakur has joined hospitality startup Oyo as head of communications, after more than 12 years with Indian conglomerate Max Group.

Thakur joins Oyo's global leadership team, and oversees internal and external communications for the company, which works with existing hotels and guesthouses to offer accommodation in 80 countries around the world.

He leaves Max Group after joining the company in 2008 and leading brand and communications since 2014. Oyo declined to comment on Thakur's specific reporting line at the company. 

“At Oyo, we are firm believers in communicating proactively and transparently," said chief growth officer Kavikrut. "Since Oyo's early days, our communication strategy across the press, social media, and new emerging mediums has been a key lever in establishing Oyo as a brand that is recognized and trusted by partners and guests alike. I am excited to welcome Nitin to the leadership team and partner with him to further our communications strategy."

Thakur will be responsible for driving Oyo's reputation and delivering the company's mission of empowering entrepreneurs of small and independent hotels and homes by providing technology that increases earnings and eases operations. Backed by SoftBank, Oyo is currently valued at more than US$9bn, despite being hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Thakur arrives at Oyo following the departure of communications VP Prasidha Menon earlier this year. Menon now leads brand, marketing and communications for Optum at UnitedHealth Group.

“Today, OYO is synonymous with building technology for small and independent hotels and homes," said Thakur. "The company has been truly innovative across the industries it operates in and has emerged as one of the few globally local brands from India. I am truly excited to take on this mandate and work with passionate, mission-oriented individuals for continuing the momentum of Oyo’s recovery and communicating its fabulous journey to the world."