Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian billionaire entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of OYO Rooms. He became the world’s second-youngest billionaire in 2020. Agarwal is also a recipient of the Business World Young Entrepreneur Award.
Ritesh used to sell SIM cards when he was just 13. Though he had enrolled himself for the University of London’s International Programme provided by the Indian School of Business and Finance, he never really felt connected to the course and rather attended a number of entrepreneurship events. Ritesh, at 17, when most of the children don’t even know what to do, dropped out of college 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 hotel rooms. The firm operates in Malaysia as well as Nepal.
In 2013, he was nominated for ‘Thiel Fellowship,’ a 2-year program initiated by PayPal founder Peter Theil. Students are trained by some of the revolutionary entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, etc. He was also paid a fellowship of $100,00 during that period. He was the first Asian to have received Thiel fellowship. Started in just one city of India, his firm, as of April 2017, has around 70,000 rooms in 7,000 hotels across 200 towns of India.
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