TURNING A DREAM iNTO REALITY
RITESH AGARWAL FOUNDER, OYO
Acollege drop out at 17, entrepreneur at 19 and a billionaire at 24, Ritesh Agarwal’s journey so far is nothing short of a fairy tale. He started Oyo Rooms in 2013 with the aim of providing safe, clean and affordable hotel rooms to people. Five years down the line, Oyo has become a member of the coveted unicorn club, India’s second most valued start-up after Paytm. With an enviable list of investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital and Greenoaks Capital, and most recently Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund investing $1 billion in Oyo, its valuation currently stands at a little less than $5 billion.
Agarwal’s entrepreneurial story has been fascinating. He dropped out of college because a structured and arbitrary fashion of learning wasn’t really his cup of tea. While he did enrol himself in the University of London’s International Programme by the Indian School of Business and Finance, Delhi for the sake of his parents, Agarwal learnt much more by attending entrepreneurship events and by travelling across the country to research and strengthen his business idea.
What started from a single hotel in Gurugram has today expanded to 8,500 properties. Oyo has also launched in China, where it aims to become the largest hotel chain. Subsequently, it has plans to enter the UK and other European countries, as well. Agarwal is also eyeing the Japan market, with plans to enter it ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games. By 2023, the 24-year-old Agarwal aims to turn his venture into the world’s largest hotel chain. Agarwal’s is an inspiring story of turning one’s dream into a reality.