A teenage boy who is not only a millionaire but also the founder and CEO of OYO rooms, the fastest growing branded network of hotels both online and offline. The tall and thin boy, Ritesh Agarwal has made a mark in the society when it comes to achieving great success at a very young age in life.
Birth And Early Life
The young entrepreneur’s birthday falls on 16th November. He was born in the year 1993 and brought up in a small town of Bisam in Cuttack, Odisha. He did his schooling from his native state.
At a very young age of 13 years, Ritesh took up his first project in which he traveled to various parts of the country just to analyze how Hotel system works. His parents wanted him to excel in studies but he had an aptitude which was better than the regular textbooks required. Traveling across the different parts of the world gave him a vast experience.
A college dropout who was studying Engineering, actually never studied beyond the school is now running the most valuable startup. To make his living, he even sold SIM cards because he was scared that if his parents came to know that he was not living in good conditions they would probably call him back to Odisha.
Picture of Kota
In Kota, Rajasthan where he was preparing for his IIT entrance exam nothing amused him more than the weekend trip where he could slip out to Delhi and meet people engaged in their own business and doing stuff in their own way.
At The Age of 19 Years
Travelling excited the young entrepreneur and at the age of 19, he travelled for months and stayed for some time at budget hotels, even attended customer calls every day just to get the experience about the customers who visited the hotels and their expectations. He was actually doing the groundwork that helped him set up his own business.
Turning Point: Software Became His Love
He had a connection with computers and liked screwing around with them, finding opportunities to make mistakes so that he could learn new stuff. His keen interest in software and his hunger went on increasing and to quench his thirst he also borrowed programming books from his elder brother. Apart from some basic languages like Pascal which was taught him during the school days, he managed to learn other basic programming languages from Google itself.
Writing a Book
The book that became a huge success on Flipkart and was sold in large numbers titled “Indian Engineering Colleges: A complete Encyclopaedia of top 100 engineering colleges” was actually written by this young entrepreneur.
Formation of Oravel
In 2011, Ritesh made up his mind to shift to Delhi and start something on his own. He was also preparing for SAT to continue his studies in the United States but that never happened. An idea struck him about meeting the very basic needs of budget travelers. Therefore, he started capitalizing on the same opportunity to start his first venture in 2012 “Oravel Stays” which was an aggregate of bed and breakfast. It was actually meant to be the destination of bed and breakfast joints serviced apartments or private rooms for people looking for short and medium term rents.
30 Lakhs From Venture Nursery
Within some time, he managed to get funding of rupees 30 lakhs from Venture Nursery, which actually brought together a group of story backed investors to boost startups. With funds in his pocket, he managed to present his new ideas at Thiel Fellowship, which was a global contest intended for students under the age of 20 years. He won monetary benefit.
Oyo means on your own. Ritesh could feel and understand the plight of people who traveled to different places and just because of lack of budget they ended up staying at bad places or crappy places. He, therefore, created an online platform to get ideas and experiences of the social community about all the places they traveled on a single platform. In 2013, he relaunched Oravel as Oyo rooms.
About Oyo Rooms
Since the company is crossing gross billing of more than 1 crore per month it was all because of the idea to create India’s largest scene of standardizing, effective rooms where different services and expectations are met at fair prices like never before.
Achievements And Awards
In 2013 he was named among the top 50 entrepreneurs by TATA first dot awards. In the same year, he was named as one of the 8 hottest teenage startup founders in the world by Business Insider. In 2014, he was honored with TIE Luminous entrepreneurial excellence award. The very next year he won the Business world young Entrepreneur award.
First Indian Resident to Win the Thiel Fellowship
Ritesh became the first Indian resident to win Thiel Fellowship award which is considered as a coveted scholarship award.
Top 10 Entrepreneurs
He has been constantly hitting the list of top 10 Indian entrepreneurs in various categories and was named in the Forbes list of 30 under 30 in consumer Technology Sector just at the age of 22 years.