Ritesh Agarwal Biography and rise of Oyo Room 2020

Ritesh Agarwal Biography
Ritesh Agarwal Biography

Ritesh Agarwal Biography

Ritesh Agarwal is one of the most popular Young Indian entrepreneur, billionaire and the founder of OYO Rooms. Ritesh had quite a journey over the years.

Ritesh had established the company when he wasn’t even 20 years old. Today, OYO is racing at a very high speed and declared as one of the world’s biggest hotel chains. While he has not even attained 25 years of age, Ritesh Agarwal, the CEO of OYO Room has seen it all – popularity, business success, and financial prosperity. He created a hotel booking software that would assure room for anyone at their favorite hotel at competitive prices.

Ritesh – Age and Family

Ritesh Agarwal was born in a middle-class Marwari family who resides in the state of Orissa. Ritesh Agarwal was born and upbringing had been in Bisam in Cuttack, Orissa. His date of birth is 16th November 1993 which makes his age to be 27 years. He has completed his schooling from his own state. Talking about his family background, his family is from a business background. However, prior to he has become a multi-millionaire, their financial condition was not good. However, his family always supported and motivated him to become what he is today and always trusted him with every decision that he used to make. He is well known as Ritesh Agarwal Oravel founder as the first organization which he created was called Oravel which later transformed into OYO Rooms. His nationality is Indian.

Ritesh Agarwal Life Story

At the early age of 18 years, Ritesh Agarwal was hailing from Odisha’s Rayagada district and was the one who launched Oravel, which is a website designed to enable listing and booking of budget and safe accommodation. Ritesh has also a dream of appearing for an engineering exam, Ritesh Agarwal today heads among one of the most valuable start-ups by a person who never studied beyond school.

For the survival, he also sold sim cards but he was afraid that if he’s well-off family would have known about what he’s doing then they would have ended his entrepreneurial dreams and might call him back home to Odisha if they have heard of his struggles.

In Kota (Rajasthan), where he was ostensibly preparing for his IIT entrance exams, Ritesh said that he couldn’t wait every weekend to slip out to Delhi and meet those doing their own thing.

He was 19-year-old where he had traveled for months staying at budget hotels, attended customer calls every day and immersed himself in every possible experience to learn about budget hotel customers and their expectations. That was the startup learning for him to initiate something of his own which helped him pivot Oravel to Oyo

At the early age of 17, Ritesh initiated his entrepreneurial journey. In the year 2012, Oravel Stays Pvt.Ltd. was first launched after he dropped out of his college which was his first startup. The company Oravel was firstly designed for the customers in order to enjoy the platform for executing the listing and booking of the budget and safest accommodation. As he was an avid traveler, he soon realized that there is also a lacking budget in hospitality sector predictability. After that, in 2013, he transformed Oravel into OYO Rooms with an objective of serving affordable and standardized accommodation.

According to CB Insights for The New York Times research, OYO Rooms is his next start-up unicorn company with an objective to satisfy the customer needs within a budget. Ritesh Agarwal was shortlisted for the “20 under 20” Thiel Fellowship in 2013 from Peter Thiel. The Thiel Fellowship is a two-year program wherein fellows receive an amount of $100,000 and started mentorship from the foundation’s network.

Oyo Rooms and  Ritesh Agarwal Success Story

Ritesh Agarwal was born in a business family in Odisha and started his schooling from the sacred high school in Odisha. He enjoyed his school days but his ways were rather unconventional from those of other kids. His fun element was to screwing with the computer and trying to make mistakes so that he could learn new stuff. Due to this, he has a keen interest in software. This started with the idol friend, moved on to know more about it and then curiosity went on increasing to quinces thirst to no more. He brought his elder brother’s books to learn to program. Some of the fundamental languages like Pascal, basic which he was taught in the school itself and the rest of all, he managed to learn from Google. He started coding when he was 8 years old, so the software had been his first love. When he reached 10th grade, he had made up his mind that he wanted to take coding for a leaving.

Later in 2011, Ritesh went to Delhi with the strong determination of starting up something of his own and at the same time, he also prepared for SAT I’m ordered to move to the US for further studies. But fortunately or unfortunately he couldn’t clear the SAT exam and decided only to read about entrepreneurs, startup, business, and specially AIRBNB. He joined the University of London course at Indian business school. But after 3 days of joining, he couldn’t control his curiosity towards starting his adventure. So he took leave of some days to work on the project and finally, he never went back. He always felt that the budget in India didn’t even meet the very fundamental needs of a budget traveler. And capitalizing of this opportunity, to overcome this problem he started his first venture in 2012 and called it Oravel stays

In a matter of no time, Ritesh also saved funding of 30 lakhs from venture nursery and accelerators business which brought together a bunch of story investors towards nature startups with sufficient money in his pockets. He also initiated working on his newfound interest and at the same time, he also represented his plan at the Thief Fellowship, which is a global convict for students, under the age of 22. He managed to be one of the top 10 ventures and received some of $100,000 from Peter Thiel, who is the co-founder of PayPal and an early investor of Facebook. He started working even more regularly, But to his hard-luck, the business modern doesn’t seem to be raising up and as much as he tried to fix things. Things were just not falling into place. 

But unfortunately, it didn’t work and Manish had to quit the company. Ritesh realized that one of the biggest things at the time of traveling was to search out a good, affordable and standardized hotel to stay in. He got praised again to make an online social community in order to bring information about all good places together at one platform. Ritesh started about the new business model and in 2013 he retransformed Oravel as Oyo Rooms. The name Oyo abbreviates “on your own”, nothing but an idea to build India’s largest chain of efficient, budget and standardized budget rooms. Later in 2014, the company raised Rs. 4 Crore from Lightspeed Venture Partners and DNG computer partners.  Now, Oyo Rooms are one of the largest ventures in India and also spread out of India.

Other Achievements of Ritesh Agarwal

In his achievements, there is also a book called “Kaleidoscope” which has been written by him, which consists of around 25 award-winning short stories. It has been selected amongst several other stories nominated in an online contest which was being organized by SpringTide. Despite that, he loves traveling and going for long drives and exploring new places to unwind himself and very fond of playing basketball while he was not working.


Today at the young age of 24, Ritesh Agarwal is one of the biggest businessmen in India. He has been rewarded with many national and international awards. Some of them are as follows:-

  • Forbes “30 under 30” in the consumer tech sector
  • Awarded the TiE-Lumis Entrepreneurial Excellence Award (2014)
  • The first resident Asian to win ’20 Under 20’ Thiel Fellowship (2013)
  • Named one of the Top 50 Entrepreneurs by TATA First Dot Awards (2013)
  • Finalist of Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards-India
  • Well known as ‘8th Hottest Teenage Start-Up Founders in the World’ by Business Insider (2013).
  • World’s Youngest CEO at 17(recognized at 16).
Ritesh Agarwal success Biography
Ritesh Agarwal success Biography

Some Lesson Known Facts About Ritesh Agarwal

  • Firstly, Ritesh used to sell out the SIM cards when he was at the age of 13.
  • After that, he had enrolled himself for the University of London’s International Programme which was provided by the Indian School of Business and Finance. He never really felt connected to the course and he started attending a number of entrepreneurship events.
  • Ritesh, at the age of 17, when most of the children don’t even decide what to do in life, dropped out of the college in order to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
  • Then came ‘OYO Rooms’ in existence in January 2013. It’s an Indian hotel brand that owns, operates and aggregates standardized and budget hotel rooms in order to serve people. The business operates in Malaysia as well as in Nepal.
  • In 2013, he was shortlisted for ‘Thiel Fellowship,’ a 2-year program which was initiated by PayPal founder Peter Theil. Students are being trained and educated by some of the revolutionary entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, etc. During that period, he was also paid a fellowship of $100,00. He was the first Asian who got Thiel, the fellowship.


  • OYO Rooms was started in just one city of India, his firm, as of April 2017, and now has around 70,000 rooms in 7,000 hotels spread across 200 towns of India.

How Ritesh Agarwal started Oyo?

At an early age of 17, he invented Travel travels, modeled after Airbnb, which later branched out and named as OYO Rooms. Later on, he launched OYO in order to eradicate the problem of the availability of the budget rooms in Hotels. Ritesh Agarwal has served the society in more than one ways.

What is the story behind Oyo’s rooms?

Ritesh Agarwal is the youngest 21-year-old founder of hotel listings startup OYO Rooms in New Delhi. Three years ago, Agarwal founded Oravel, which is a clone of peer-to-peer lodging website Airbnb. He then received a Thiel Fellowship and that paid him $100,000 over two years in order to create a new startup.

What is the full form of Oyo?

OYO Rooms abbreviates for On Your Own Rooms. It is one of India’s largest hotel network which is spread all over the 199 cities. It is mainly headquartered at Gurugram located in Haryana. Its main objective is to become the world’s most loved hotel brand. OYO has more than 6500 hotels which offer a standardized and comfortable stay at an unmatched and affordable price.

Is Oyo legal for unmarried couples?

It is obviously legal for unmarried couples if you book a hotel with Oyo. Police can, however, make a raid in the hotel for checking of fighting, crime and tracing illegal activities. But, that doesn’t mean you are doing the wrong things. If you are both consenting adults and as per your choice, then you can stay in an Oyo couples room.

Why is it called Oyo?

Whenever you book an OYO Room, you will always get the hotel name, but you will not get the room number. The reason behind this, rooms are booked on the basis of first come first serve. It means that On Your Own Rooms. OYO Rooms is actually based and executed as a chain of room.


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