Ritesh Agarwal is the name who doesn’t need any introduction. Almost every traveller who travels throughout India must be familiar with OYO rooms. OYO rooms is a startup who offers budget accommodation and has solved the issues of affordability, cleanliness, and availability at almost every indian cities. Ritesh is the person behind OYO rooms.
Today OYO rooms valued at around $400 million. Recently OYO room has received $90 million from its largest shareholder SoftBank corporations. Its shareholders are Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partner among others.
He belongs to a very humble family in Cuttack. His journey from a dropout to a millionaire is unique in the sense that it seems like a fairy-tale. His journey demands a mention at every place.
OYO rooms which he named his startup stands for O-On Y-Your O-Own rooms. It is now really like on your own room every time you steps out from your home.
From the very beginning Ritesh was clear about becoming an entrepreneur. He enrolled into Indian School of Business and Finance Delhi. During his college days instead of attending classes he used to attend business seminars and events of the same kind. He then left the college but at the same time he was hesitant to inform family about his decision.
In the meanwhile he travelled throughout the country and noticed the problem with budget hotels. At the age of 17 he launched his startup “Oravel Travels”.
In the same year Ritesh was nominated for the Thiel fellowship provided by the founder of PayPal. The founder of PayPal provided a sum of $100,000 to pursue his startup dream. Even Ritesh now accept this as the best thing that could happened to him.
The Oravel Travels later became OYO rooms. Actually he discovered that the problem with budget hotel is not just availability but something more. To tackle these issues he launched OYO rooms.
He started OYO rooms with a single Gurgaon( now Gurugram) hotel having 14 rooms in 2013. Out of total 14 rooms OYO took 11.
OYO rooms today is India’s largest network of budget hotels. OYO rooms has over 5,500 properties in over 170 cities. OYO is offering around 65,000 rooms through their partner.
This January the startup launched in Malaysia thus stepping into Southeast Asia. But he also says that he is not in hurry to expand his footprint. Although OYO is planning to acquire its rival Zo Rooms.
Apart from being an entrepreneur Ritesh is a Coder, Author and a good Orator. His book a complete encyclopedia of engineering was among the best sellers. He started coding at the age of 8 and at the age of 16 he got a chance to be a part of Asian camp held at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. He even sold sim card at the age of 13 for survival.
The only thing which i can highlight to everyone is about his vision and aim as it was very clear to him from the very beginning. He was never in confusion about his future. He took some tough choices to accomplish it as well.