In a country where finding budget-friendly hotels was once challenging, Ritesh Agarwal entered as a visionary entrepreneur to tackle this problem. OYO Rooms, meaning “On Your Own,” was a game-changer that revolutionised affordable accommodation options. OYO Rooms is India’s largest budget hotel chain that addresses the issues of hotel availability, cleanliness, and cost. Today, it is one of the nation’s most successful startup ventures. With a global presence, OYO offers 46,000 vacation homes, 850,000 hotel rooms, and 23,000 hotels. In this blog, we will talk about Ritesh Agarwal success story and how he achieved all this in his 20s, making him one of the world’s most accomplished businessmen.
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Ritesh Agarwal Early Life
Ritesh Agarwal was born in Odisha, India, into a Marwari family and had a modest beginning. His family ran a small shop in Rayagada, Southern Odisha. Ritesh’s journey to success started early when, at just 13, he began selling SIM cards. After completing his education at St. John’s Senior Secondary School in Rajasthan, he moved to Delhi for college in 2011. However, he decided to drop out and took a big leap by joining the Thiel Fellowship in 2013, initiated by Peter Thiel. On 7th March 2023, Ritesh Agarwal tied the knot with Geetansha Sood. Ritesh Agarwal success story is an excellent example of determination and hard work.
Ritesh Agarwal Education
Ritesh Agarwal success story shows his entrepreneurial spirit. He began learning tech and coding at the age of 8. He studied till the 10th grade at Sacred Heart School in Orissa. Though he started engineering in Kota, he found it wasn’t his passion. Ritesh joined entrepreneurship events and courses on weekends, often traveling to other cities. This made him drift away from engineering studies. Finally, in Delhi, he decided to leave regular school and concentrate on his business, paving the way for his successful entrepreneurial journey.
Entrepreneurial Journey For OYO
In 2009, Ritesh Agarwal went to Kota hoping to get into a top IIT college. But he soon realised that Kota wasn’t the right place for his coding dreams, so he gave up on that idea. With free time on his hands, he started writing a book called ‘Indian Engineering Colleges: A Complete Encyclopedia of Top 100 Engineering Colleges,’ which contributed to Ritesh Agarwal success story.
At just 16, Ritesh was chosen as one of 240 students to attend the Asian Science Camp at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai, recognising his talents.
A moment in his journey was when he became one of 20 young people under 20 to receive the Thiel Fellowship. This fellowship gave him $100,000 over two years and valuable support, allowing him to leave college and start his own business.
During his travels, Ritesh noticed that many hotels needed better hospitality. This inspired him to create a better system where people could find great rooms, food, staff, and services within their budget. In 2011, he founded Oravel Stays, which Airbnb inspired.
Ritesh Agarwal success story shows that his goal was not just to make money but also to give back to society. So, in 2013, he transformed Oravel Stays into OYO to create India’s biggest chain of affordable, reliable hotels. Ritesh Agarwal’s journey is a story of hard work and vision in the hospitality industry.
Fundings To OYO
Fundings provided to OYO play a significant role in Ritesh Agarwal success story. OYO had received $3.1 billion in funding through 22 rounds by 2022. SoftBank is a big investor, owning 45% of the company. Other backers include Sequoia Capital, Microsoft, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Interestingly, OYO’s main competitor, Airbnb invested between $150 million and $200 million in OYO. That’s a lot of money supporting OYO’s success story!
Ritesh Agarwal Net Worth
Ritesh Agarwal net worth is about $2 billion in 2023. He made most of his money from the successful OYO Rooms. This startup is a big hit worldwide. Ritesh Agarwal success story is impressive because he became one of the youngest Indian entrepreneurs to be on the Forbes Billionaire list in 2021. His business strategy opened the gate of achievements for remarkable growth in the future.
Ritesh Agarwal Awards And Achievements
Ritesh Agarwal success story led him to win several awards and achievements. Check out Ritesh Agarwal awards and achievements:
- TiE-Lumis Entrepreneurial Excellence Award (2014)
- First Asian to win the ’20 Under 20′ Thiel Fellowship (2013)
- Named in the top 50 Entrepreneurs by TATA First Dot Awards (2013)
- Finalist in the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards-India
- Recognised as one of the ‘8 Hottest Teenage Startup Founders in the World’ by Business Insider (2013)
- World’s Youngest CEO at the age of 17
Things To Learn From Ritesh Agarwal Success Story
Ritesh Agarwal success story is a true example of how ‘everything is possible’ can be achieved. We have noted down significant things to keep in mind if you want to grow like Ritesh Agarwal:
- Patience is the key – Even though Ritesh Agarwal’s entrepreneurial stint went well initially, he didn’t give up and came backafter a couple of years in 2013. It shows that losing hope in the beginning will not result in anything, but being patient is a way to go.
- Age is just a number – There’s no age for filling your aspirations with success. Ritesh Agarwal success story is an excellent example of this. He was a teenager when he came up with the idea of opening Oravel Stays. And even became the youngest CEO in India. So, age can not restrict you if your mind has big plans and the courage to do it.
- Don’t lose hope: Everything has its ups and downs. Even OYO faced major losses during COVID-19 times. But Ritesh Agarwal success story continued as he started providing aid to COVID-affected patients, which was a significant step.
Why is OYO successful?
Due to the success of this business model, OYO aggressively expanded its brand both within and outside of India. Its franchise business model generates approximately 90% of OYO’s revenue. The company primarily caters to budget-conscious travelers needing affordable accommodations, offering competitive room rates.
Who funded INR 30 lakhs to Ritesh?
His initial funding came in Rs 30 lakh from the VentureNursery accelerator, followed by a $100,000 investment from Thiel Fellowship. Subsequently, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital also provided financial support.
Who is the wife of Ritesh Agarwal?
Ritesh tied the knot with Geetansha Sood on 7th March 2023. Geetansha Sood hails from Lucknow, U.P.
Is Ritesh Agarwal a millionaire or a billionaire?
Ritesh Agarwal’s estimated net worth stood at around $2 billion (approximately Rs 16588 crore), solidifying his position as the youngest self-made billionaire globally.