Ritesh Agarwal Biography | Early Life | Education | Family | Business | Wealth
|Born:||16 November 1993|
|Net Worth:||$1.1 Billion|
“Start small, nail it, and then make it big.”
Truly successful people differ a lot from people who usually spend their life following stereotypes. The common man is easily pleased and satisfied. But some are not. Some of them can see an opportunity through the thin space of this complex world. Ritesh Agarwal is an entrepreneur who saw an opportunity – the result of that vision was OYO.
He is the man who revolutionized the hospitality industry in India and Asia. Thanks to Ritesh Agarwal, OYO is the third largest and third-largest hospitality chain in the world, making him one of the youngest billionaire CEOs in India.
Here is a small success story of an inspiring Indian entrepreneur who made it to the billion-dollar club quickly.
Who Is Ritesh Agarwal?
Ristesh Agarwal is known for the famous hotel, restaurant, and hospitality chain business he started at a very young age. He is the founder of OYO rooms (a hotel aggregator and alternate lodging platform offering affordable budget accommodation).
Agarwal clubbed affordability and availability in the lodging industry, doing a successful business out of it. The OYO network has more than 2200 rooms across 154 cities in India.
His company generates $3.5 million in revenue every month. Currently, they have more than 15000 employees. Agarwal’s start-up became a billion-dollar company making him the world’s youngest self-made billionaire after the most popular Kylie Jenner. Besides India, OYO has also expanded beyond India, reaching some parts of Asia.
Early Life & Education
Ritesh Agarwal was born in a Marwari family in Rayagada, Orissa. As a child, he used to go to the Sacred Heart School in his hometown. Like most entrepreneurs, Ritesh Agarwal had a knack for computers, coding, and software from a very early age.
When teachers or elders used to ask him about what he wanted to become in life, he used to say an entrepreneur. Agarwal heard the word Entrepreneur from his elder sister, who used to be his inspiration in life. While other kids his age wanted to be doctors, engineers, and teachers, Agarwal aimed to be an entrepreneur.
His childhood was an adventure of different learning. In 2009, Agarwal wanted to enter a top IIT college, so he left for Kota. Upon realizing Kota is not the place for learning to code, Ritesh Agarwal gave up on this dream. During his free time, Ritesh was working on a book named ‘Indian Engineering Colleges: A Complete Encyclopedia of Top 100 Engineering Colleges. This was a success.
`Agarwal was also among the 240 students to be selected for the Asian Science Camp. he was also among 20 under twenty students who were awarded the Thiel Fellowship and received $100,000. All of these were nice. But he wanted to become an entrepreneur – one who solves a problem and makes a difference.
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Agarwal wanted to pursue his dream, So he dropped out of college. As a child, Ritesh used to travel to the northern part of the country and travel around the coastal areas. While his family thought he was studying, he was traveling.
He would often work for different companies that would pay him for traveling. When Ritesh had to crash in somewhere at night, he used to email different hotel owners asking them to let him stay the night for free.
His excuse was, “I want to solve something in this sector someday.” Most of the owners would deny while some of them let him stay. During this time, Ritesh stayed in more than a hundred places and more than 200 properties in the country.
Although he was trying hard, the problem he sought did not appear, let alone the solution. But he was experiencing the poor qualities of hotels and bad hospitality across different parts of the nation. It was 2011, and he was 17; this is when he came up with the idea to start Oravel stays. Later, in 2013, Oravel Stays came to be known as OYO.
OYO, which stands for ‘On Your Own,’ is the third largest chain in the Hotels & Homes industry and resulted from Ritesh Agarwarl’s aspiration. He saw that the lodging industry could use lots of improvement. So, he ventured into this industry and made OYO.
An entrepreneurial vision is a long shot. If played correctly, it can be a big hit. OYO was a success, but it was not an easy one – and it sure did not happen overnight. The company had a rough time during the Covid outbreak.
The company started its journey in 2013. However, after 8 years, they have successfully expanded into 800 cities in the country and 80 countries worldwide. Currently, they have 17000 employees working under the company.
The OYO rooms are the largest network of budget hotel chains in India. Their operating locations include major regional metro hubs, leisure destinations, and tourism towns.
The hotels facilitate different services to the clients based on the packages they choose. Free wi-fi, breakfast, Flat screen TV, spotless white beds, drinking cups, toiletries, etc., come under their range of offerings.
OYO became a 100% leased and franchised hotel chain in 2018. In that year, Ritesh Agarwal’s company earned a revenue of $211. It was a record in comparison to the revenues of 2017, 2016, and 2015 ( $13m, $6m, and $4m). In 2019, the records of revenue went off the charts earning OYO $951 million in revenue.
Ritesh Agarwal has come out to help his country’s citizens during the covid crisis. The executive leaders at OYO decided to accept a 25% pay cut during the covid crisis. This helped them raise INR 2.5 Cr for PM care during the covid crisis.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Here are some questions about Ritesh Agarwal’s life that people usually want answers to.
Ristehs Agarwal did not crack the IIT exams. He founded OYO at the age of 19. Although he had to leave the dream of IIT, he pursued his real dream of becoming an entrepreneur. But, even before that, he was selected for the Thiel Fellowship and worked on a successful book.
Ritesh Agarwal holds a 33% stake in the OYO shares. SoftBank holds a massive 46% of the shares. The current value of the company is $9.6, with Ritesh owning the second largest share.
Ritesh Agarwal has a net worth of $1.1 billion. This data is according to Hurun Rich List 2020. Agarwal is listed in Forbes’ 30 under 30 billionaires list of Asia.
Ritesh Agarwal is a regular speaker. He would often do different interviews and speak of his experience and journey as an entrepreneur. It is truly inspirational to see a 90s kid from Orissa becoming a billionaire. Perhaps it was the explorer in him that brought the dream close to his eyes.
OYO and Ritesh Agarwal are both inspirations to much middle eastern youth pursuing their dreams. I hope your dream comes true. The world needs many stories, and you can deliver one to the world.
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