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The success story of OYO Rooms and India's youngest entrepreneur- Ritesh Agarwal.



So we all know about OYO Rooms, also known as OYO Hotels and Homes, which is an Indian multinational chain of hospitality leased and franchised hotels, homes, and living spaces. But what many of us don't know about OYO is; the man behind the idea- Ritesh Agarwal


Ritesh Agarwal was born in Bisham Cuttak, Rayagada(district), Odisha. Ritesh Agarwal is the Founder and CEO of OYO Rooms. In 2020, he is known as the 2nd youngest billionaire in the world. Also, he received awards such as the Business World Young Entrepreneur award and Thiel Fellowship.

From where did he got this idea?

For the answer let us look into his past life.

Ritesh always has a keen interest in software. He started coding when he was just 8yrs old. After 10th grade, in 2009, he decided to go to Kota for IIT. In no time he figured out that Kota was anything but a place where one could learn coding. So he puts his dream of coding in the backseat and started attending classes at Bansal tutorials. In his free time, he used to chill and travel around a lot.

Ritesh also has written a book called India. Engineering Colleges: A Complete Encyclopedia of Top 100 Engineering Colleges. That book was a great success on Flipkart and sold out in a while.

 At the age of 16, he was selected to be a part of the Asian Science Camp held at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai. 

During that time; Ritesh used to travel a lot and stayed in budget hotels and PG. He also used to travel to Dehli so often to attend events and conferences to meet entrepreneurs because at that time he couldn't afford the registration cost.

In 2011, he moved to Delhi to start up something of his own and also to prepare for SAT for further studies in the U.S.

Sat never happened. And that time, he used to meet and read about entrepreneurs, start-ups, business ideas, and especially Air BnB.

When he used to travel, he had seen that the budget hotels in India didn't meet the basics of budget travelers. So in 2012, he started his first venture- Oravel Stays. It was an aggregator of beds and breakfast stays all over India. He secured his funding of 30 lakhs from VentureNursey.

He also presented his idea at Thiel Fellowship. He was listed among the top ten winners who received a sum of $100,000 and as well as guidance and other resources. 

Unfortunately, due to hard luck, the company was not able to pick the pace in the market.  

This is when Ritesh thought that the biggest problem of traveling is to find good, affordable, and most importantly available rooms. This idea motivated him to create an online platform where one can find all the information available about good, and budget places.

In 2013, after tweaking his business model, he relaunched Oravel Stays as OYO Rooms. In which OYO stands for On Your Own.

At present OYO has over 13,000 franchised and leased hotels, and over 450,000 rooms, adding 64,000 rooms every month, globally.

OYO App has been downloaded over 50 million-plus times and rated amongst the best-rated apps on the Google play store.

In 2020, the market valuation of OYO was 8 billion dollars.