It is extremely important to build something that 100 people absolutely love rather than make something that 1000 people would just, kind of like.” -Says Ritesh Agarwal. He was just another boy, born in a middle-class family, hailing from a small town in Cuttack, Orissa.

He too was constrained to be an engineer, so his family sent him to Kota(A coaching destination for IIT-JEE). He was imposed with the things he didn’t like. Somehow, He passed intermediate and got into Indian School Of Business and Finance, Delhi. He used to dream with his eyes open and was extremely influenced by the top-notch entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
He was a travel enthusiast, during his school and college days he used to travel a lot, whenever he found time to. During a journey, He faced a problem that it’s really gruelling to find the budget hotel to occupy himself in. He worked a lot on the same problem and come up with a solution and a took a stepping stone known as ‘Oravel Stays’. The main aim of setting up this foundation was to suggest customers the best budget priced rooms and hearing about customer reviews for the same. He was just 17 years old that time and wasn’t aware of that it could lead him to his successful entrepreneurial journey.

Later, Ritesh Agarwal was selected for the “20 under 20” Thiel Fellowship in 2013. The Thiel Fellowship is a two-year program wherein fellows receive $100,000 and mentorship from the foundation’s network of tech entrepreneurs, investors and scientists.

Thereafter, the Oravel Stays was transformed to Oyo Rooms Pvt. Limited. The basic chore of settling up the company was to provide a pathway between the customers and the hotels while taking care of affordability, comfort and quality stay.

Today, Oyo Rooms is the largest hotel chain in India, which has tied up with more than five thousand hotels across fifty different cities.

Everything explained above seems so fascinating, but it has got a dark side too. Everybody talks about the success, but nobody goes through the struggle he has faced. Same thing happened with Ritesh, He dropped out of his college in the first year, just to leverage his company. He faced a lot of criticism from family, friends and a lot of people whom he crossed his path with. But one thing mattered, he didn’t give up through the hardest of the times.

By the age of 21, he was listed amongst the Forbes ’30 under 30’ in the consumer tech sector. He was listed amongst top 50 entrepreneurs in 2013 by TATA.

Some people may call it a luck, some may hard work, but he was the combinatory existence of both. He made a remarkable change in people’s life by spreading its impact. His ability to take criticism as the positive outlook brought him this far.

When we talk about preference, Mr.Ritesh had an ample amount of it lies deep inside.
Ritesh Agarwal says, “Initial days were tough, not only investors but also convincing people around you to trust your brand was a challenge especially because I was extremely young. At one point in time, I actually went broke when I was in Delhi and my family would tell me to come back home and that was never an option for me though there were nights when I used to sleep on stairwells.

There are a bunch of things that we could learn from his life so as to ensure our spirit and hence to make positive changes in our life by taking the right set of actions.

  • Never Give up
  • Listen to everybody’s opinion but follow what your intuition says.
  • Try new things every day.
  • Don’t be afraid of uncertainty.
  • Make it happen before it’s too late.


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