OYO Rooms is a chain of affordable lodging that was started by Indian businessman Ritesh Agarwal and is present in more than 800 cities worldwide. On November 16, 1993, he was born in the small town of Rayagada in the Indian state of Odisha.
Ritesh had a keen interest in entrepreneurship and business. At the age of 17, he founded his first business, a software startup called Oravel Stays that let travellers reserve cheap lodging. He had to put the plan on hold because it fizzled out. But he continued in his efforts and kept looking for fresh business opportunities.
While shoestring-budgeting his way around India in 2013, Ritesh became aware of a large void in the budget hotel sector. He discovered that many low-cost lodgings lacked basic facilities, were outdated and had variable quality standards. This served as an inspiration for him to create OYO Rooms, a low-cost hotel aggregator that sought to offer travellers consistent and affordable accommodation.
OYO Rooms initially began by Ritesh as a website that advertised inexpensive hotel rooms in Gurgaon, a part of New Delhi. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and within a year, he expanded the company to additional Indian towns. OYO Rooms obtained its initial $25 million in outside capital from Lightspeed Ventures and Sequoia Capital in 2015. The company was able to scale its operations and broaden its reach thanks to this funding.
OYO Rooms expanded quickly under Ritesh’s direction, and in just five years, it had grown to become one of the biggest hotel chains in India, with more than 18,000 properties and 450,000 rooms. Additionally, the business widened its activities to include China, Malaysia, Nepal, and the United Kingdom. OYO Rooms, was one of the most valuable startups in India in 2018, with a valuation of $5 billion.
It was difficult for Ritesh to be successful with OYO Rooms. He had to contend with several difficulties, including intense rivalry from established players in the hotel sector, logistical difficulties, and legal problems. He continued to innovate and adjust to the shifting market conditions, nevertheless, and he stayed committed to his objective. To diversify the company’s revenue sources and serve various market segments, he launched other goods and services such as OYO Home, OYO Townhouse, and OYO Bazaar.
It has been well recognised and respected how Ritesh has grown his business with OYO Rooms. The Business World Young Entrepreneur Award, the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia Award, and the Economic Times Entrepreneur of the Year Award are just a few of the accolades he has received. In addition, he has appeared on the esteemed Forbes 30 under 30 list.
In conclusion, new entrepreneurs all across the world are inspired by Ritesh Agarwal’s success with OYO Rooms. He is one of the most prosperous businesspeople in India thanks to his capacity to spot market gaps, innovate, and grow his company swiftly.