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Ritesh Agarwal, CEO of OYO Rooms, Entrepreneur, Biography,
Entrepreneur

Ritesh Agarwal: From Dropout to Billionaire

Ritesh Agarwal, the 30-year-old billionaire from India, is the founder and CEO of OYO, the world’s most affordable hotel chain. Starting at the age of 20, he envisioned a solution for people seeking affordable hotels globally and has been on a remarkable path to success.

Ritesh Agarwal

OYO’s Impact
OYO Rooms generates about $56.6 million monthly and employs over 3,000 people across 800 cities in 80 countries. At just 25, Ritesh became the world’s second-youngest self-made billionaire.

Early Life
Growing up in Titilagarh, Odisha, Ritesh’s family ran a small shop. He attended St. John’s Senior Secondary School before moving to Delhi for college, which he left to start OYO. In 2013, he became the first Indian to join the Thiel Fellowship.

Starting OYO
Ritesh, a tech enthusiast from a young age, began coding at 10. His passion for travel exposed him to the need for affordable, quality hotels in India, offering services like AC, Wi-Fi, comfortable beds, and breakfast. Combining his love for travel and technology, he launched his entrepreneurial journey with a $100,000 investment.

First Steps
Ritesh initially launched Oravel Stays, a directory of affordable hotels, which fell short of his vision. Realizing the need for in-depth research, he traveled extensively across India, identifying key issues in the hospitality industry like non-standard services and unpredictability. This led to the creation of OYO.

The OYO Concept
“OYO” stands for “On Your Own.” Ritesh revamped his business model, offering affordable rooms with standardized facilities in over 1,000 hotels across India without owning any of them. This innovative approach made him a billionaire at 23.

OYO’s Milestones

  • 2013: Ritesh receives a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship grant.
  • 2014: Secures Series A funding.
  • 2015 (March): Raises $25 million.
  • 2015 (April): Launches OYO app, spurring rapid expansion.
  • 2015 (July): Secures $100 million Series C funding from SoftBank.
  • 2016: Achieves 1 million check-ins; expands to Malaysia.
  • 2017: Enters Nepal market.
  • 2018: Expands globally to the UK, UAE, Dubai, China, Singapore, and Indonesia; becomes a unicorn.
  • 2019: Expands to over 500 cities globally with more than 330,000 rooms.


Net Worth
As of 2024, Ritesh Agarwal’s net worth stands at ₹16,000 Crore INR (approximately $160 billion USD).

Ritesh Agarwal’s journey from a dropout to a billionaire showcases the power of vision, resilience, and innovation in transforming industries and creating global impact.

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