Ritesh Agarwal is the founder and CEO of OYO Rooms, a network of inexpensive hotels that operates in over 800 cities across 80 countries. He began his quest at the age of 19 with the goal of finding a solution for those looking for economical and excellent lodging all over the world. He dropped out of college and was chosen in 2013 for the Thiel Fellowship, a prestigious program that assists young entrepreneurs. He has received numerous awards and plaudits for his efforts, including inclusion on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Asia and Consumer Technology. He is also a frequent speaker at business events and conferences. With a net worth of $1.1 billion as of 2020, he is one of the world's youngest self-made billionaires.
Ritesh Agarwal, the creator of OYO Rooms and an Indian entrepreneur, grew up with determination and innovation. Agarwal, who was born on November 16, 1993, in Bishama Katek, a tiny village in Odisha, India, showed an early interest in entrepreneurship. He had a strong interest in technology and computers during his school years. He left home at the age of 17 to follow his aspirations and seek business chances in Delhi. Agarwal began as a budget traveler himself, facing initial hurdles and financial restraints, which motivated him to launch OYO Rooms, a hospitality firm that offers affordable and standardized accommodations.
Ritesh Agarwal graduated from St. John's Senior Secondary School in Kota, Rajasthan. He traveled to Delhi in 2011 to further his degree, but he dropped out to follow his entrepreneurial goals. In 2013, he was chosen for the Thiel Fellowship, which provided him with a $100,000 grant and mentorship from some of the world's greatest entrepreneurs.
Ritesh Agarwal began his career in 2012 with the creation of Oravel Stays, a low-cost hotel lodging service. In the same year, this startup was accepted into Venture Nursery's accelerator program and also won the 2013 Thiel fellowship program. In May 2013, the company was renamed OYO Rooms.
OYO Rooms is a franchised and leased hotel network that provides uniform facilities and services at low prices. Technology is used by the organization to handle inventory, bookings, pricing, and client feedback. OYO Rooms claims to have entertained over 50 million guests and has expanded to over 800 cities in over 80 countries.
Ritesh Agarwal has helped raise funding from a variety of investors, including SoftBank, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Airbnb. By September 2018, the company had raised $1 billion and was valued at $10 billion. Agarwal tripled his interest in the company by purchasing $2 billion in shares in July 2019.
Ritesh Agarwal has also expanded his business into new areas such as OYO Townhouse, OYO Home, OYO Life, OYO Workspaces, and so on. He has also bought other businesses, including Weddingz.in, Novascotia Boutique Homes, Innov8 Coworking, and others.
Ritesh Agarwal has been honored for his efforts and ideas on a number of national and international venues. In 2016, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Asia and Consumer Technology. In 2015, he was also given the Business World Young Entrepreneur Award. He has been invited to lecture at a number of notable universities and events, including IIT Bombay, Harvard Business School, and the TiE Global Summit.
"More than your experience in the domain, what matters is your experience with failures. If you are learning & failing early, your ability to succeed later on goes up manifold." ~ Ritesh Agarwal
"I think even if there is even a 5% chance of an idea working out in the future or creating an impact, entrepreneurs must take the plunge and risk it." ~ Ritesh Agarwal
"I have always believed that an individual is an average of the 10 people around them. Thoughts & perceptions that you create about the world are influenced by the immediate set of people you interact with, in your life. Surround yourself with people who push you to do your best." ~ Ritesh Agarwal
"Entrepreneurs should never forget to live in the “now”. Let go of what is elusive & work for what makes you happy today. Your tech should be forward-looking, your efforts should be unrelenting." ~ Ritesh Agarwal
"If you have not failed, you have not hardened yourself." ~ Ritesh Agarwal
"Building predictability on top of market place economy is how new age businesses will get built." ~ Ritesh Agarwal
Ritesh Agarwal is a role model for many young entrepreneurs who wish to follow their aspirations and hobbies. He has demonstrated that with perseverance, hard effort, and creativity, any challenge can be surmounted and a successful corporate empire built. He is also a visionary leader whose revolutionary ideas and solutions aim to alter the hospitality business.
"Before speaking at any meeting, take a deep breath & think whether your words will add value to the meeting or conversation. If not, it can be avoided." ~ Ritesh Agarwal
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