Success Story of Ritesh Agarwal | Founder of OYO
Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of OYO Rooms, a hotel chain company based in India. Agarwal founded OYO Rooms in 2013, and the company has since become one of the largest hotel chains in the world, with a presence in numerous countries around the world. Agarwal is considered one of the most successful entrepreneurs in India, and has received numerous awards and accolades for his work with OYO Rooms.
Ritesh Agarwal Background
Ritesh hails from a small district Bissam Cuttack in Odisha. The literacy rate of his town was less than 20%. His family owned a local shop in the district. He described himself as an “unusual kid” who did not have many friends. When he was just eight years old, he learned the meaning of the word “entrepreneur” from his elder sister. He regards his sister as a constant source of inspiration.
He received his early education in his hometown before going on to study engineering at the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad. After completing his degree, Agarwal worked at a number of companies in the technology and hospitality sectors before deciding to start his own business. In 2013, he founded OYO Rooms, which has since become one of the largest hotel chains in the world. Agarwal is known for his business acumen and innovative approach to the hospitality industry. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his work with OYO Rooms, and is considered one of the most successful entrepreneurs in India.
How he Started
During his school days, when fellow students used to dream about being engineers and doctors, he wanted to be an entrepreneur. He had commitment and clarity towards his dream for a long time. After his schooling, he came to Delhi for senior high school. However, he was more interested in travelling to the mountains than going to school.
Ritesh Agarwal used to do small internships to earn himself enough money to travel across Uttarakhand and other places in India. His family wasn’t aware of his escapades. Over a year, he had ended up staying in almost 100 properties which included hotels, bed and breakfasts, apartments, etc.
However, he realized that most of the affordable places that he could stay at weren’t accessible. He felt that he could solve this problem. In 2012, he started Oravel, which was India’s first marketplace for villas, service apartments, etc.
Ritesh Agarwal vision:
He continued Oravel for almost six months, wherein he encountered various other problems that his customers faced. He wanted his customers to have a better experience. From his service and wanted to solve their problems genuinely. Thus, he started working more on Oravel. During this period, he had gotten himself enrolled in a college in Delhi. But hardly ever attended classes and eventually dropped out.
At the end of 2013, Ritesh applied for Thiel Fellowship. Thiel Fellowship, created by billionaire Peter Thiel. Thiel gave $100000 to 20 people below the age of 20 years, who could drop out of college to work on their start-ups. Ritesh applied for it at the very last moment but enjoyed the application process nonetheless.
Ritesh became the first Asian resident member of the Thiel Fellowship. He built OYO Rooms under the fellowship.
By 2018, OYO Rooms had raised $1 billion, making Ritesh one of the youngest self-made billionaires of the world. OYO has expanded globally now, with thousands of hotels, vacation homes, and millions of rooms in 80+ countries.
OYO’s investors include SoftBank Group, Greenoaks Capital, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Hero Enterprise, Airbnb, and China Lodging Group.
We hope Ritesh’s journey inspired you to follow your dreams and aspirations as well.
Interesting Facts About Ritesh Agarwal
- Agarwal is one of the youngest entrepreneurs in India, having founded OYO Rooms at the age of just 21.
- In 2017, Agarwal was named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in the Consumer Technology category.
- OYO Rooms has become one of the fastest-growing hotel chains in the world, with a presence in more than 800 cities in 80 countries.
- Agarwal has received numerous awards and accolades for his work with OYO Rooms, including the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence in 2017.
- In 2018, Agarwal was named one of Fortune’s “40 Under 40,” a list of the most successful young businesspeople in the world.
- Ritesh Agarwal is a big believer in the power of technology to transform industries and make people’s lives better. He has said that he started OYO Rooms to “unlock the true potential of the hospitality industry through technology.”
- Before starting OYO Rooms, Agarwal worked at a number of companies in the technology and hospitality sectors, including Microsoft and Zostel.
- Agarwal is an avid traveler and has said that his experiences traveling around the world inspired him to start OYO Rooms.
- Agarwal is also involved in a number of philanthropic efforts, including supporting education and health initiatives in India.
- Agarwal is known for his strong work ethic and dedication to his business. He has said that he works long hours and is always looking for ways to improve and innovate.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ritesh Agarwal
Ritesh Agarwal started his career in the technology industry, working at a number of companies after completing his degree in engineering. He then became interested in the hospitality industry and started his own business in this field. In 2013, Agarwal founded OYO Rooms