The Wisdom of Ritesh Agarwal: A Guide to Success

Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian entrepreneur and the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Oyo Rooms. He is one of the youngest billionaires found in the country.

Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian entrepreneur and the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Oyo Rooms. He is one of the youngest billionaires found in the country. Before the age of 20 he had started venturing and he is now what he is- recipient of the Business World Young Entrepreneur Award and many more honors.


Sr. No. Particulars Responses
1 Name Ritesh Agarwal
2 Date of Birth 16 November, 1993
3 Place of Birth Bissam Cuttack, Odisha, India
4 Nationality Indian
5 Occupation Entrepreneur
6 Education Indian School of Business and Finance
7 Known for Founder and CEO of Oyo
8 Awards Thiel Fellowship, Business World Young Entrepreneur Award
9 Marital Status Unmarried
10 Net Worth $1.1 Billion


Ritesh Agarwal Personal Life


Ritesh Agarwal was born in a small town of Rayagada in Southeast Odisha. His family used to run a small shop there. From the age of 13 only he used to sell SIM cards. Since childhood he had a passion for writing and also had interests in computer programming so he used to take coding classes at the age of 10. He also once said he loves eating sweets.

 After passing out from  St. John’s Senior Secondary School, he shifted to Delhi and took admission in a Delhi College in 2011. But he dropped out of college to become an entrepreneur. He drew inspiration from other college dropouts Bill Gates and Ola founder Bhavish Agarwal. As he was a college dropout he got selected for the Thiel Fellowship which gives $100,000 to entrepreneurs below 20 years who skipped college in order to start their business. This fellowship was initiated primarily by PayPal co-founder and Facebook investor, Peter Thiel.


Ritesh Agarwal Professional Life


At a young age, Agarwal launched an online short-stay accommodation venture, Oravel Stays designed to enable listing and booking of budget hotels in the year 2012. It was later accepted by Mumbai-based startup accelerator Venture Nursery. He started his entrepreneurial journey from the age of 17 and dropped out of college only to begin his startup. Once he earned Rs 50 as a tip from a family who were impressed by his skills in babysitting.

In 2013, Ritesh founded Oyo Hotels and Homes. Being an avid traveller, he soon realised that in India, the budget hospitality sector lacked uniformity. Therefore he launched OYO Rooms headquartered at Gurugram with the main intention of offering affordable and standardized accommodation. He named his company OYO meaning ‘On Your Own’ because in his childhood he did not have things in his control like the television remote to watch his favourite shows. So this name denoted one is in control of his own. 

Now, this is one of the world’s leading hotels raising $1 billion and expanding widely from India to China, Malaysia and US. OYO has achieved global reach. In 2019, he has also raised a lot of funds from various firms like Hero Enterprise, SoftBank undertaking $2 billion stocks and shares tripling his stake. He has been featured in Hurun Rich List 2020 and is known as the second youngest self-made billionaire after Kylie Jenner.


Ritesh Agarwal Honors


  • Thiel Fellowship in 2013
  • He was mentioned among Top 50 Entrepreneurs by TATA First Dot Awards in 2013
  • Business World Young Entrepreneur Award
  • Listed under Forbes 30 under 30 list for Asia
  • Featured in Hurun Rich List 2020


Ritesh Agarwal Controversies


  • OYO was fined $200,000 by California regulators for un-authorisation. Agarwal had signed agreements with US hotel owners that their hotels will be rebranded under OYO name but later found out that OYO was not authorised.
  • The company also received a cease and desist order from Washington as they found out that OYO had made offers to many owners without proper registration.
  • A case was filed against Agarwal by a Chandigarh-based businessman for fraud and criminal conspiracy under IPC 420 120 B in September 2020.
  • Police cases were filed against OYO by hotel regulators in Bangalore and other cities accusing Agarwal of fraud cases.
  • OYO received backlash from many hotel owners for taking up more revenues through fees with disclosing it before.


Ritesh Agarwal Quotes


“Don’t worry about being successful but toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.”

“We want to convert broken, unwanted assets around the globe into better quality living spaces.”


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