Ritesh Agarwal (OYO Founder) Age, Wife, Family, Biography

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Age: 30 Years
Hometown: Cuttack, Odisha
Wife: Geetansha Sood

Ritesh Agarwal

Famous ForBeing the founder of the OYO Rooms
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)5' 9" (175 cm)
Eye ColourDark Brown
Hair ColourBlack
Awards • First Resident Asian to win ’20 Under 20′ Thiel Fellowship (2013)

• Top 50 Entrepreneurs by TATA First Dot Award (2013)
A photo of Ritesh Agarwal with TATA First Dot Award
• TiE – Lumis Entrepreneurial Excellence Award (2014)

• Business World Young Entrepreneur Award

• Business World Young Entrepreneur Award (2015)

• Digital Champion of the Year at Brand Excellence Award (2015)

• Star Youth Achiever Award at 8th Youth Marketing & Social Media Forum (2016)

• NDTV Dream Chaser of the Year Award (2016)

• Asian Centre’s New Age Entrepreneur Award (2017)

• Gaurav Samman Award by The Government of Haryana (2017)

• GQ India - 50 Most Influential Young Leaders (2016,2017)

• Real Innovation Award by London Business School - If you don’t succeed at first category (2017)

• Startup of The Year Award from The Economic Times (2018)
Ritesh receiving the Startup of the Year Award in 2018
• StartAP Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2018)

• Forbes India Tycoons of Tomorrow Award (2018)

• Dataquest IT Person of the Year Award (2018)

• CNBC’s Young Turk of the Year Award (2019)

• The Open Republic Achievers Award - Business New Age category (2019)

• BTVi National Award for Marketing Excellence: Young Achiever of the year (2019)

• BTVi National Award for Marketing Excellence - CEO of the year category (2019)

• ASEAN-India Excellence and Achievement Award (2019)

• The Millennial Maverick Award (2020)

• Jay Chiat Award - Grand Prix (2022)
Personal Life
Date of Birth16 November 1993 (Tuesday)
Age (as of 2023)30 Years
BirthplaceBissam Cuttack, Rayagada, Orissa (now Odisha), India
Zodiac signScorpio
HometownCuttack, Odisha, India
School• Sacred Heart school, Rayagada, Odisha
• St. Johns Senior Secondary School
College/UniversityIndian School of Business and Finance, New Delhi
Educational QualificationCollege dropout
Food HabitVegetarian
HobbiesCycling, Travelling, Reading books, Watching documentaries
ControversiesFined for Anti-competitive Behaviour
In 2022, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined OYO Rs. 168.88 crore ($20 million) for not following the competitiveness guidelines laid down by the Government of India. The issue arose when the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) lodged a complaint with the CCI alleging the online travel booking platform MakeMyTrip (MMT) giving a preferential treatment to OYO over other such platforms, leading to their de-enlistment from the site. MMT was also fined $27 million. OYO, however, denied the allegations. [1]Reuters

Allegations of Fraud
In 2020, a Chandigarh-based businessman named Vikas Gupta lodged an FIR against Ritesh Agarwal and Sandeep Lodha, the CEO of OYO In his complaint, Gupta claimed that before the COVID-19 pandemic, Agarwal struck a deal with him to run his wedding business. However, after the government issued guidelines during the pandemic, banning public gathering, the business began incurring loses. Reportedly, Agarwal, to prevent losses, asked Gupta to re-submit the documents that he had already submitted, violating the agreement within 15 days; whereas, as per the government's guidelines a 30-day notice is to be given. [2]Times Now

fined in The USA
In 2020, OYO was fined for $202,500 by the California Department of Business Oversight for expanding its presence in the US without proper authorisation. Many hotel owners in different parts of the country accused OYO of signing a contract with them, to take over their hotels' functioning, without informing them that OYO had not received a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the government. [3]Forbes

Complaint Lodged for Cheating A Bengaluru-based Businessman
In September 2019, Bengaluru Police booked Ritesh and two of his representatives for cheating and criminal breach of trust following a businessman's complaint. In his complaint, Natarajan V R S, an ex-serviceman, stated that he runs the Rajguru Shelter Hotels in BEML Layout in Whitefield. He entered into an agreement with Ritesh Agarwal in June 2017, where Oyo would give them reservations and take 20% of the share and give him 80%, but Agarwal and his representatives had taken 80% of the share instead of 20%. He accused Ritesh and his representatives of cheating him of more than Rs. 1 Crore. The Whitefield Police booked Ritesh and his representatives under IPC Section 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating).

Indulgence in Fraudulent Activities
In November 2019, a hotelier named Betz Fernandez, owner of Roxel Inn in Bengaluru, filed an FIR against Agarwal for not clearing the dues worth Rs. 35 lakh. OYO, in its official statement, said that they would file a counter FIR against Betz. [4]Mint

Cheating The Co-founders of Oravel Travels
Ritesh has often been accused of using tactics against the founders of the Oravel Travels. Many, who have worked with him, claim that he cannot code and lies about it. Kunal Pandya of NCrypted Technologies (a Gujarat-based technology firm) said that he had licensed his vacation rental portal 'BistroStays' to Ritesh in return for some shares, which Ritesh never fulfilled.
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Affairs/GirlfriendsGeetansha Sood (businesswoman)
Ritesh with Geetansha Sood
Marriage Date7 March 2023
Geetansha and Ritesh's marriage photo
Wife/SpouseGeetansha Sood (businesswoman)
Ritesh Agarwal's photo with Geetansha
ChildrenSon- Aryan Agarwal (born on 7 December 2023)
ParentsFather- Ramesh Agarwal (died in 2023; businessman)
Ritesh with his father
PM Modi with his Ritesh's mother
SiblingsBrother- Aashish Agarwal (elder; businessman)
FoodIdli, Benne Dosa, Paratha
DessertChhena Poda, Rasgulla, Cake, Pastry
CuisineSouth Indian, Odia
FilmMunna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003), 3 Idiots (2009)
BooksZero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel (2014), The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz (2014), No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Erin Meyer and Reed Hastings (2020)
DocumentaryThe Men Who Built America (2012)
Style Quotient
Car Collection• Mercedes-Benz S-Class S 350d (worth Rs. 1.4 crores)
• Audi A4 (worth Rs. 45 lakhs)
• Land Rover Range Rover Sport (worth Rs. 1 crore)
• Mercedes-Benz E-Class E 200 (worth Rs. 64 lakhs)
• Toyota Fortuner (worth Rs. 36 lakhs)
• BMW X5 (worth Rs. 1.1 crore)
• Maruti Suzuki Brezza (worth Rs. 15 lakh)
Money Factor
Salary/Income (approx.)Salary- Rs. 10 Crore
Income- Rs. 100 Crores per annum
Net Worth (approx.)Rs. 16,000 crores ($2.1 billion)
Social Media
YouTubeRitesh Agarwal
LinkedInRitesh Agarwal

OYO Rooms founder Ritesh Agarwal

Some Lesser Known Facts About Ritesh Agarwal

  • Ritesh was born into a business-class Marwari family in Cuttack, Odisha.
  • He has 3 siblings and is the youngest among them.
  • He later shifted to Titilagarh, Odisha, where his family ran a small grocery store.
  • At the age of 8, he began learning coding.
  • He developed the habit of reading at a very young age. He used to read the books of his elder brother’s curriculum.
  • As a child he used to get Rs. 300 as pocket money.
  • Ritesh used to sell SIM cards when he was just 13.
  • After completing his schooling, he went to Kota in Rajasthan to prepare for the entrance exam of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). He attended tuitions at Bansal Classes there. He, however, was not able to clear the entrance.
  • Though he had enrolled himself at the University of London’s International Programme provided by the Indian School of Business and Finance, he never really felt connected to the course and rather attended several entrepreneurship events.
  • At the age of 16, the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) selected him to participate in the Asian Science Camp in which pre-college students from different parts of Asia discussed several scientific research factors aimed at the betterment of the society.

    Ritesh with Noble Laureate Richard Earnst at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)

    Ritesh with Noble Laureate Richard Earnst at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)

  • Ritesh, at the age of 17, dropped out of college to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
  • In 2011, Ritesh published a book titled Indian Engineering Colleges: A Complete Encyclopedia Of Top 100 Engineering Colleges. The book went on to become one of the best sellers in India.

    Indian Engineering Colleges A Complete Encyclopedia Of Top 100 Engineering Colleges' cover photo

    Indian Engineering Colleges A Complete Encyclopedia Of Top 100 Engineering Colleges’ cover photo

  • Ritesh then established Worth Growth Partners; thus, becoming the youngest entrepreneur in India. He founded the company to help multinational companies increase their growth and business in India.
  • He then started Oravel Travels, a website dedicated to assisting hotel businesses in managing reservations, payments, and invoices. This business module was inspired by a San Francisco-based company named Airbnb.

    Ankush Agarwal's profile on Oravel Travels

    Ankush Agarwal’s profile on Oravel Travels

  • In 2012, he was able to secure funding of $40,000 (approximately Rs. 30 lakhs) for Oravel Travels from VentureNursery, an angel-backed start-up accelerator.
  • OYO Rooms was established in January 2013. It’s an Indian hotel brand that owns, operates and aggregates standardized hotel rooms. The firm operates in Malaysia as well as in Nepal.

    Ritesh Agarwal with a manager of the OYO Rooms during the early days of his startup career

    Ritesh Agarwal with a manager of the OYO Rooms during the early days of his startup career

  • He got the idea to start the company after he experienced a bitter experience at a hotel, where there was no cleanliness and good-quality room service.
  • As per sources, Oravel Travels did not do well in the Indian market as it did not meet the expectations of the users. This led to the company incurring heavy losses as a result of which Ritesh Agarwal was left with a very little amount of money.
  • After making some changes in the functioning policy of Oravel Travels, Agarwal submitted the business model to the Thiel Fellowship seeking a grant to upscale his business.
  • In 2013, he was the first Asian to receive the Thiel Fellowship, a two-year program initiated by PayPal founder Peter Thiel. The program offers training from famous Silicon Valley entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Agarwal received a $100,000 fellowship during that period.

    A photo of Ritesh Agarwal taken while he was attending the Thiel Fellowship Program in Los Angeles

    A photo of Ritesh Agarwal taken while he was attending the Thiel Fellowship Program in Los Angeles

  • In May 2013, he renamed Oravel Travels to OYO (On Your Own) Rooms.

    A photo of Ritesh Agarwal taken with the OYO Rooms signboard

    A photo of Ritesh Agarwal taken with the OYO Rooms signboard

  • He worked on Data Science through OYO and acquired Qlik Pass in 2016.
  • In the same year, he was mentioned in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 – Asia – Consumer Technology and 30 Under 30 – Consumer Technology lists.
  • In September 2018, OYO received a funding of $1 billion.
  • To expand its foothold in the southern regions of India, OYO purchased Chennai-based Novascotia Boutique Homes for about $1 million (about Rs 6.71 crore) in the same year.
  • He also holds the positions of director and designated partner in various companies such as Raaga Partners Llp, Redsprig Innovation Partners Llp, and Dayzero Holdings Private Limited.
  • OYO entered the Indian wedding industry in 2018 with the acquisition of Weddingz, a Mumbai-based company.

    Logo of OYO Weddingz

    Logo of OYO Weddingz

  • In February 2019, OYO filed a Registrar of Companies (RoC) for $100 million. The company also raised funding of $100 million from Didi Chuxing Technology Company, a Beijing-based vehicle-for-hire company.
  • In April 2019, OYO initiated an OPEN Program, which was aimed at helping new businesses in the Hospitality sector.
  • The company purchased Europe’s largest vacation rental company @Leisure Group for approximately €369 million in May 2019. The company also purchased Europe-based Direct Booker for USD 5.5 million, which had serviced over 20 lakh customers and listed more than 3,200 homes in Europe.
  • To expand its presence in the American gambling industry, OYO, for $135 million, purchased a part of the renowned Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, in August of the same year. The casino was later renamed to Oyo Hotel & Casino. OYO reportedly spent $2 million on its renovation as well.

    A photo of Oyo Hotel & Casino

    A photo of Oyo Hotel & Casino

  • In the same year, his company became the third-largest global brand in the hospitality sector.
  • In 2019, OYO and Airbnb entered a strategic partnership under which Airbnb allowed the company to list its properties on Airbnb’s official website.
  • To start dealing in providing co-working spaces in India, OYO acquired Innov8, a Gurugram-based coworking startup, in 2019 for Rs. 220 crores. The company was later renamed OYO Workspaces.

    OYO officials at the launch of OYO Workspaces

    OYO officials at the launch of OYO Workspaces

  • In the same year, OYO signed a contract with Yahoo Japan as well as with a Japan-based SoftBank Group Corp.
  • Ritesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Saudi government’s Ministry of Hajj And Umrah in 2019 to provide affordable accommodations to the pilgrims visiting Mecca Madina.

    Ritesh Agarwal signing an MOU with the Minister of Hajj And Umrah of the Saudi Arabian government

    Ritesh Agarwal signing an MOU with the Minister of Hajj And Umrah of the Saudi Arabian government

  • In 2020, Ritesh’s net worth exceeded $1.1 billion following which he became the world’s second-youngest, self-made billionaire.
  • He once claimed that he regretted not completing graduation.
  • A governing body for the tourism sector named the Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT) was established by OYO in June 2021. It was established with the assistance of companies like Yatra, Airbnb, and EaseMyTrip.
  • Geetansha Sood and Ritesh Agarwal dated each other for ten years before their marriage in 2023,
  • His father passed away on 10 March 2023 after falling from the 20th floor of a high-rise apartment in Gurugram, Haryana.
  • Ritesh Agarwal appeared as a judge in the business reality television series Shark Tank India in 2023. The series aired on Sony Entertainment Television (SET) and SonyLIV.

    Ritesh Agarwal (centre) with other judges of the show 'Shark Tank India'

    Ritesh Agarwal (centre) with other judges of the show ‘Shark Tank India’

  • As of 2024, OYO Rooms is the largest hospitality management chain in the world with a valuation of approximately $12 billion.
  • OYO has a presence in various countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Nepal, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    Ritesh Agarwal posing for a photo with Saudi Arabia's Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb

    Ritesh Agarwal posing for a photo with Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb

  • Ritesh Agarwal does not drink alcohol.
  • In an episode of Shark Tank India, Agarwal claimed that he has never consumed coffee. He said this while offering an investment in a coffee company that had appeared on the show.
  • Ritesh Agarwal is multi-lingual and can speak many languages including Odia, Marwari, English, and Hindi.
  • He owns a private jet worth Rs. 20 million.
  • He is an avid dog lover.

    Ritesh Agarwal posing for a photo with a dog on his lap during his trip to Himachal Pradesh

    Ritesh Agarwal posing for a photo with a dog on his lap during his trip to Himachal Pradesh