Ritesh Agarwal Success Story - From College Dropout to a millionaire at 22 - Story of OYO Founder-5-getinstartup

Ritesh Agarwal Success Story: From College Dropout to a millionaire at 22 – Story of OYO Founder

“You must be willing to stretch out of your comfort zone. Take risks, and be emotional about your venture and the stakeholder involved”.

These words aptly describe the life journey of 27-year-old billionaire Ritesh Agarwal, founder, and CEO of OYO. OYO Hotel Network, a young Indian startup is one of the world’s largest hotel chains comprising more than 43,000 hotels with over 1 million rooms. Let’s explore the article Ritesh Agarwal Success StoryFrom College Dropout to a millionaire at 22 – Story of OYO Founder and how he took OYO to the pinnacle of the hotel industry.

Early Life of Ritesh Agarwal

Born on 16 November 1993 in Bissamcuttack, a small town in Odisha prominently known for Naxalite presence. Bissamcuttack is a town where people make no more than $10 a day. Ritesh grew up poor, but he was very different from other children of his age. At the age of 8, he learned programming on his own, and by this time he was able to code.

Ritesh Agarwal Success Story - From College Dropout to a millionaire at 22 - Story of OYO Founder-4-getinstartup

To quench his thirst for programming, he used to borrow his elder brother’s books and spent a large chunk of his time on Google, learning stuff related to programming. By this time, Google became his best friend. Ritesh left for Kota in 2009 to prepare for the IIT-JEE entrance exam. He got enrolled in Bansal Tutorials. Very quickly, Ritesh figured that Kota was a place where one could learn coding. Over time his interest in programming took a back-seat. He even wrote a book there titled “Indian Engineering Colleges: A Complete Encyclopedia of Top 100 Engineering Colleges”. The book became an instant hit on Flipkart. And in no time it was all sold out. Even his coaching classes purchased this book with the picture of Ritesh on the cover of the book.

Ritesh completed his schooling at St. Johns Senior Secondary School and moved to Delhi in 2011 for college. He got himself admitted to the University of London’s International Programme, provided by the Indian School of Business and Finance. He never felt any sort of connection to the course and within three days of joining the course, he took a day’s leave to plan out his venture and funnily never returned back!

Ritesh Agarwal Success Story has been filled with adventures, struggles, and a dream to accomplish something in life.

Ritesh Agarwal Success Story

Soon, Ritesh started traveling a lot and experienced that top-notch hotels with ultra-modern amenities were out of the budget, and the hotels within the budget of a common traveler offered little to no facilities. Seizing the opportunity for a new market revolution, Ritesh quickly started his first venture in 2012- Oravel Stays! It combined bed and breakfast stays across India. This was just the start of Ritesh Agarwal success story.


It was meant for short and mid-term stays for bed and breakfast along with providing private rooms and quality serviced apartments. In no time, it was successful in securing 30 Lakhs funding from Venture Necessary, a firm that brought together investors to nurture start-ups. In the meantime, Ritesh presented his idea at the Thiel Fellowship – about an international contest for students under 20. He was one of the top ten winners to receive a sum of $100,000 for two years. Also, industry guidance and resources were provided to drop out of college. Then, Create and run a startup were provided by Peter Thiel– Paypal Co-Founder and Facebook investor.

Ritesh Agarwal Success Story - From College Dropout to a millionaire at 22 - Story of OYO Founder-1-getinstartup

While traveling, Ritesh quickly realized that the biggest pain was to find a good, affordable and available hotel as most of us have at various points in life ended up at crappy places due to little or no knowledge of the hotels around. This motivated him to tweak his business model at that time, and in 2013 he relaunched Oravel Stays as OYO ROOMS.

OYO started with the aim to create the largest chain of efficient, young, standardized rooms with the intention that it will live up to the basic standards and high expectations for prices like never before. To make sure that the hotels provide a good quality customer experience, OYO Rooms reached out to prospective hotels or a hotel owner could also approach them in this regard. OYO’s team would regularly visit the place, audit the hotel to understand what changes would be required to standardize it as per OYO’s standards.

Ritesh highly emphasized creating a feedback mechanism for the customers regarding their experience of stay. Ritesh created a system in which cluster managers were appointed for every six hotels. These cluster managers visited the hotels under them on a regular basis and determined their quality on a list of 160 parameters. If any room in any hotel was found compromising on any of these parameters, immediately the hotel room was blacklisted and was made unavailable for the people. The special emphasis on customer experience was highly appreciated. Eventually, it led to customer retentivity.

Ritesh Agarwal Success Story - From College Dropout to a millionaire at 22 - Story of OYO Founder-3-getinstartup

Ritesh Agarwal Success Story is one of the inspirational stories of all time. Gradually, OYO picked up in the industry and started tasting success by acquiring one after another hotel across the country, and eventually from India, it spread to China and other parts of the world. By 2014, the company was clocking gross bookings of more than 1 Crore per month. By 2017, Ritesh had raised a fortune of 1 billion dollars.

Recent Years (2017 onwards)

By September 2018, OYO Rooms raised $1 billion, and a year after that in July 2019 Ritesh bought $2 billion shares in the company, which is tripling his shares overall.

According to Hurun Rich List 2020, Ritesh’s estimated net worth is around INR 7253 crore which is $1.1 billion making him the world’s youngest self-made billionaire after Kylie Jenner.

Amidst the ongoing COVID pandemic, OYO took a number of humanitarian initiatives. The list is a long one but some of those are mentioned below-:

Ritesh Agarwal Success Story - From College Dropout to a millionaire at 22 - Story of OYO Founder-2-getinstartup
  • Offering free stays to medical personnel fighting COVID free stays in OYO Townhouse.
  • OYO tied up with 24+ state Ministries, 50+ hospitals offering its properties for pay-per-use quarantines and self-isolation facilities at very affordable prices to help the country in the fight against COVID.
  • OYO undertook a lot of measures to support its asset owners, who were incurring a lot of losses due to lockdown.

By 30 December 2020, approximately 73,000 repatriated Indians completed their institutional quarantine at OYO’s across India. Merely 27 now, Ritesh has quite a lot of achievements which is an inspiration for today’s youth-:

  • Forbes “30 under 30” in the consumer tech sector.
  • Top 50 entrepreneurs in 2013 by TATA First Dot powered by NEN awards.
  • TiE-Lumis Entrepreneurial Excellence Award in 2014.
  • Business World young entrepreneur award.

This is the simple Ritesh Agarwal Success Story – Story of OYO Founder journey of a man from selling SIM cards to being the youngest self-made billionaire after Kylie Jenner. To sum up, the entire Ritesh Agarwal Success Story that there are no words better than this.

“Start Small, Nail it and then make it Big.”

For more articles like this, then go visit the links given below.

  1. Tilak Mehta | World’s Youngest Entrepreneur
  2. Age Is Just A Number – The First Youngest Woman Entrepreneur Of India – Success Story of Sreelakshmi Suresh

6 Thoughts to “Ritesh Agarwal Success Story: From College Dropout to a millionaire at 22 – Story of OYO Founder”

  1. Jatin Parashar

    👍 Nice!

  2. Deepanshi

    Wooww great work🔥

  3. Gurasees Singh

    Nice work👌🔥

  4. Harpreet Kaur

    Great work🔥

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