Ritesh Agarwal: The man behind OYO Rooms
We are all aware of OYO rooms which is a very successful start-up. OYO rooms is the country’s largest budget hotel chain with about 50,000 rooms in 500 hotels all over India. Oyo doesn’t own hotels, instead, it ties up with certain hotels and acquires some rooms to be given out to people who want to avail OYO services. It focuses on standardizing the hotels in the non-branded hospitality sector. Oyo rooms is a very successful venture as it has managed to solve the issue of affordability, cleanliness and availability of budget hotels across all Tier-I and Tier-II cities in the country.
Sadly, we hardly know anything about the man behind OYO rooms. Ritesh Agarwal, a successful entrepreneur is only 23 years old and has several accolades to his credit. Born to a humble family in Cuttack, his journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur wasn’t a very smooth one. In fact, in the era of start-ups, he had to face certain difficulties in trying to battle it out to make his unconventional idea work.
More 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 but left college mid-way to start his own company. He was hesitant about his decision but from the beginning was very clear about what he wanted to do and took some tough choices to accomplish his dreams.
2. Before OYO, there was Oravel
He has travelled all over the country and during such travels, discovered the problem with budget hotels. At the age of 17, he launched Oravel travels, modelled after Airbnb, which later branched out to become OYO rooms. Soon he 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 very 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’s the only Indian to receive it.
4. He has certain accolades to his credit
Ritesh Agarwal who is merely 23 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 constant at VCCircle events.