OYO has appointed Rakesh Prusti as its new General Counsel. He will lead and manage contract management, disputes resolution, litigations, setting up risk management and compliance framework, international legal strategy, and policy advocacy among other responsibilities at the company.
Before OYO, Rakesh worked with companies like Max Healthcare, Carrefour, NIIT Technologies, Global Vantedge (now Aegis), Cottage Industries Exposition, where he looked after legal and corporate governance strategies. Rakesh fills in the position vacated by Smriti Subramanian in October 2017 (via LinkedIn).
The development comes at a time when OYO is expanding its footprint in India as well as in international markets. The company has also faced legal challenges following allegations of data theft recently, something the new appointee might have to tackle. In February, Zostel Hospitality (ZO Rooms) had filed a case in a Gurugram court against OYO parent Oravel Stays Pvt., alleging that OYO stole a host of ZO Rooms’s data such as employees, assets, hotel properties, etc. while conducting due diligence in a process of acquisition, which eventually did not happen.ZO Rooms has alleged in its petition that OYO obtained certain confidential information, and “in fact acquired the entire business of the petitioner (ZO Rooms) and is now refusing to pay the dues owed to the petitioner”. However, on this matter, OYO has said that ZO is actually blackmailing the company and has filed the legal case as part of their ‘counterblast strategy’. And earlier, OYO filed a criminal complaint against the founders of Zostel pertaining to Criminal Breach of Trust, Cheating and Misrepresentation of data.