From Being A College Dropout To Having A Million Dollar Company! Meet The OYO CEO Ritesh Agarwal

OYO CEO Ritesh Agarwal

Remember the dialogue from Badmaash Company? Bade se bada business, paise se nahi, ek bade idea se bada hota hai.

If you have a great idea then all you need is passion to make it big.

Like, Aamir Khan said in 3 Idiots, “Excellence ke peeche bhaago, Kaamyabi jhakh maar ke peeche aayegi”


Ritesh Aggarwal is one of the youngest multi-millionaire startup founders of India who made it big in the age of 21 despite having no business background and money. All he had was a great idea and immense belief on it. Today we will discuss how a young college going boy from a middle-class family made it big in the startup world.

Writing A Bestseller

As a youngster, Ritesh wrote a book on Indian Engineering Colleges which he called as the complete encyclopedia of Top 100 Indian Engineering Colleges. The book became a bestseller and achieved a lot of appreciation.

College Dropout

In an interview he talked about his early days in Delhi when his parents thought that he was studying there. But instead his whole concentration was on his startup. He attended college for just 2 days and didn’t came there on 3rd day. When his Dad came to know about this he was upset but Ritesh managed to convince him with his amazing clarity of thoughts.


Founding OYO Rooms

Ritesh was always a fan of travelling and from his travel experience, he got aware of the problem of lack of room availability. This is when the idea of a startup hit him. He moved to Delhi and started a company named Oravel Stays with an initial investment of Rs. 60,000.

Oravel Stays compiled a list of hotels at best prices for the travellers nearby. He started Oravel Stays in 2012 and within months got the seed funding of Rs 30 lakhs from Venture Nursery.

After some time, Ritesh became the first Indian to be chosen for Thiel fellowship and was given $100,000 by Paypal co-founder and Facebook’s early investor Peter Thiel. The funding helped Ritesh making his business bigger but it didn’t give profits. The idea had its limitations which didn’t let the business get as successful as he expected.


This is when he improvised his business model, added more customer value to it and changed the name of company to OYO Rooms. His new idea was a Hit and attracted a number of investors which made OYO, one of the most successful Indian startups ever. In April 2017, OYO was reported to be targeting a valuation of 850 million dollars which means 5500 crores approx.

Titles and Awards

Ritesh Agarwal has been honoured with several prestigious Titles and Awards like-

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


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