OYO rooms has been one of the most successful start-ups in India being the country’s largest budget hotel chain. OYO has over 23,000 hotels, 8,50,000 rooms and 46,000 vacation homes across the globe. In the Oyo model, hotels are not owned, instead Oyo ties up with certain hotels and acquires a few rooms to be given to people who want to avail the services of OYO. It focuses on standardizing the hotels in the non-branded hospitality sector. Oyo rooms has been one of the most successful ventures as it has managed to solve the issue of affordability, cleanliness as well as availability of budget hotels across all Tier-I and Tier-II cities in the country.
Well, it is all the brainchild of the man with the OYO vision, Ritesh Agarwal, a successful entrepreneur is just 26 years old and has had several accolades to his credit. Born to a humble family in Cuttack, his journey of becoming one of the most successful entrepreneurs wasn’t a walk in the park. In fact, in the era of start-ups, he had to face several difficulties in trying to make his unconventional idea work.
Ritesh Agarwal gained enough success by understanding business needs and building something that people want. It’s not always easy to get a start up funded.
Here’s some more you should know about the man behind OYO rooms:
1. Ritesh Agarwal is a college drop-out
To pursue his passion of becoming an entrepreneur, he enrolled into Indian School of Business & Finance, Delhi however he did leave college mid-way to start his own company. He was hesitant about his decision but he took some tough choices to accomplish his dreams.
2. Before OYO, there was Oravel
Ritesh Agarwal has been a wayfarer himself and travelled across the country before launching OYO and during such travels he discovered the problem with budget hotels. Thus at the mere age of 17, he launched Oravel travels, which he modelled after Airbnb. However, it later branched out to become OYO rooms. He had discovered that the problem with budget hotels was bigger than just availability, so, to counter other issues, he launched OYO.
3. The sole resident Asian to have won a Thiel fellowship
The year he launched Oravel travels, he was nominated for the Thiel fellowship. The fellowship is designed by Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal and provided a college drop-out, less than 22 years of age, a sum of $100,000 to pursue a start-up dream. Needless to say, he has been the only Indian to receive it.
4. He has certain accolades to his credit
Ritesh Agarwal who is merely 26 years old, has certain awards and credentials to his name, some of which are:
– Forbes “30 under 30” in the consumer tech sector – Top 50 entrepreneurs in 2013 by TATA First Dot powered by NEN awards – TiE-Lumis Entrepreneurial Excellence award in 2014 – Business World young entrepreneur award
5. Apart from an entrepreneur, he is an author, a coder and a great orator
At a young age, his book- A complete Encyclopaedia of top 100 engineering colleges, was published and soon became a best seller. Agarwal started coding at the tender age of 8 and at the age of 16, he got a chance to be one of the 240 students who were a part of an Asian camp held at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. He was the youngest speaker in the panel of Think EDU panel,2014 and is a constant at VCCircle events.
6. World’s Youngest Self Made Billionare after Kylie Jenner
Oyo rooms raised $1 billion in September 2018, even a year after that in July 2019 Ritesh Agarwal bought $2 billion in shares in the company, which tripled his shares. In the year 2020, Agarwal’s net worth is around INR 7253 crore which is $1.1 billion dollars as per the Hurun Rich List 2020 making him the world’s youngest self made billionaire after the famous Kylie Jenner.
What do you think about Ritesh Agarwal's success story?
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