Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success Stories – Ritesh Agarwal – OYO ROOMS founder

Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success Stories – Ritesh Agarwal – OYO ROOMS founder

Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success Stories – Ritesh Agarwal – OYO ROOMS founder

The entrepreneurial success story of OYO is indeed quite inspirational. The 23-year-old Ritesh Agarwal is the founder and CEO of one of India’s most extensive budget hotel chains – OYO. Ritesh’s entrepreneurial journey began in 2013, with the goal of designing a unique solution for the budget-driven traveler across India.

Inspiration behind OYO

The technology bug bit Ritesh at a young age when he started coding at the age of 10. True to Mark Twain’s advice, he realized that college education shouldn’t really come in the way of his learning, so he set out on his entrepreneurial adventure as a college dropout. Another major passion that Ritesh enjoyed since childhood was traveling. His journeys across India made him realize that there was a serious need for decent stay facilities for the budget traveler in India.

Many affordable hotels did not even provide a promise of delivering the basic facilities, and technology features such as wi-fi were unthinkable. Ritesh was quick to convert this problem statement into an entrepreneurial opportunity. He combined his thirst for travel and his obsession with technology to solve the problem, but first, he had to understand the basics of entrepreneurship. So he soon became the first Indian to become a Thiel fellow, and this opportunity gave him a funding of $100,000 along with the unique opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about entrepreneurship.

Ritesh’s first entrepreneurial initiative

His first brush with entrepreneurship was Oravel Stays, which was a solution that could help people locate and book budget stays. This well-collated directory of budgeted accommodation was intended to simplify the traveler’s search for pocket-friendly places. But he soon realized that this solution did not really “solve” the pain point that he set out to resolve.

He then set out to travel across the country, staring at almost 100 hotels to determine the depth and magnitude of the problem he had set out to solve. He found that one of the major problems in the hospitality industry was unpredictability and non-standard services. This pain point was what Ritesh decided to solve through OYO.

The concept of OYO

Ritesh came up with the concept of pocket-friendly and budget add-on rooms in hotels for travelers – the OYO room. These rooms have all the standard facilities coming at a super-friendly price across about 500 hotels. And the best part was that OYO doesn’t own any of these hotels! They just tie up with various hotels and take over a few rooms that will be converted into OYO rooms.

 This unique concept grabbed the attention of the industry and the rest is history.

We can learn many lessons from this inspiring entrepreneurial success story:

  1. The sharp eye to determine a distinct pain area
  2. The value of knowledge in your focus area
  3. The power of gaining the required expertise and experience
  4. The willingness to stake everything on hand to get what you want
  5. The ability to take a step back and restart even when you are faced with failure
  6. The determination to face any consequences in your journey toward your goal

 Read more about this inspiring success story at

Your Sarathy will be back with more such entrepreneurial success stories soon!

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