Ritesh Agarwal; The Second Youngest Billionaire

Ritesh Agarwal. The man behind OYO is one of the youngest entrepreneurs in India today. I am sure everybody has heard of OYO Rooms.

They are practically everywhere these days. With a net worth of about $ 1 billion dollars, Ritesh Agarwal has managed to make his own place in today’s highly competitive world.

So, how did he manage to become the household name that he is today? And how did he become the world’s second-youngest billionaire? Let us take a quick look.

Early Days

OYO, Ritesh Agarwal
Image Credits- Google Play

Born in Cuttack, Odisha, Ritesh Agrawal came from an ordinary middle-class family. But he had started displaying his entrepreneur skills at the young age of 13 years when he started selling SIM cards.

Growing up, Ritesh Agarwal developed a keen interest in software as a lot of his time was spent playing around with computers and trying to find opportunities, make mistakes and learn new stuff. He even went ahead to get his older brother’s books on programming.

He finished his schooling from Cuttack and moved to Delhi for college. However, like many young entrepreneurs, he dropped out of college.

OYO was a dream Ritesh Agarwal had from a very young age. He travelled across India and realised the problems budget hotels face. The idea that started with a simple website soon became a huge chain of hotels and homes that we know today.

The Break, Thiel Fellowship

Image Credits- Bloomberg

At the age of 19 years, Ritesh Agarwal came up Oravel Stays. It was a budget accommodation portal which was used to book hotels. And this was the beginning. This is what got him the infamous Thiel Fellowship in the year 2013.

For those of you who are not aware of what the Thiel fellowship is, the fellowship was created by PayPal founder Peter Thiel. It is intended for students and young entrepreneurs below the age of23 and offers them a total of $100,000 over two years.

It is an incredible feat getting selected and not to mention being one of the winners. This is because Thiel Fellowship as it has an acceptance that is lower than 0.1%.

And this finally made Ritesh Agarwal’s dreams come true. His company was launched as OYO Rooms in 2013. In about 5 years, the company was valued at $ 5 million. And Ritesh Agarwal became the second-youngest self-made billionaire in the world.

The Takeaway

OYO Rooms have become one of the most successful start-ups in the last decade; not just in India but all over the globe. But, Ritesh Agarwal’s success was not a walk in the park. But he passed all the hurdles that came his way so that his unconventional idea could work.

If you think he is just an entrepreneur who got lucky, think again. While still under 21, he wrote a book, ‘Indian Engineering Colleges: A Complete Encyclopaedia of Top 100 Engineering Colleges’. The book soon became a bestseller.

Ritesh Agarwal is a textbook case of how one does not need a standardised education in order to become successful. Although, don’t take that inspiration in the wrong way and just stop studying altogether.

The one thing you need to learn from Ritesh Agarwal is how to never give up and always work hard for your dreams.

With that note, I am going to leave you guys to find your own way. Good luck!

In the mood for another inspiring tale? Check out our article on Kunal Shah; The Behind Freecharge.

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