OYO Rooms, to be valued at $2 Billion, could be the next entry in the Unicorn Club. Started in 2012 the success story of Gurugram based OYO rooms almost seems like a fairy tale. Founded by Ritesh Agarwal,24, a tall, thin, scruffy looking guy who would be lost in crowd is an inspiration to every budding entrepreneur. Earlier this June the online hotel aggregator, which reportedly has a network of over 1,00,000 rooms in India, has already started establishing its presence in London & China. Let’s unwind the story of OYO Rooms! Your budget-friendly holiday home.
The Maestro and the Orchestra
Ritesh Agarwal hails from a well-off business family from Bissam, Cuttack. At the age of 8, he started coding and thus began his love for software programming. At the age of 16, when he was in Kota to join IIT, Ritesh travelled extensively and stayed in odd Bread & Breakfast (B&B) places and by the time he was 18, he dropped out of college to kick-start his entrepreneurial dream. It’s been an exceptional journey for Ritesh, from being a college drop out at 18 to a Millionaire at 24.
In 2012, Ritesh Agarwal started with Oravel Stays! replicating the model of Airbnb i.e. providing short and midterm rental B&B joints, serviced apartments and private rooms. But the Company failed to pick up and garner any movement; so ultimately in 2013 the existing business model was tweaked to make way for “OYO Rooms”.