Three years ago, he started off with a single Gurgaon hotel.
It had 14 rooms, and OYO took over 11 of those. It is today India’s largest
branded network of budget hotels – the startup calls it largest “across all
categories” – with 5,500 properties in over 170 cities. It’s like Uber for
budget hotel rooms. Dropout. That’s often the first thing people say about Ritesh.
Perhaps his parents should have seen it coming when he sold SIM cards at 13.
But he’s now a 23-year-old startup millionaire.
At 18, Ritesh was looking to replicate an Airbnb-like
business. Along with a co-founder who later departed, he launched Oravel Stays
in 2012, which aggregated budget hotels and put them online. By that time, many
travel agents were also getting online.
After disrupting the budget category, Ritesh Agarwal’s
hospitality start-up OYO is now opening keys to a more premium stay with OYO
Townhouse. Targetted at Millennials the trendy looking OYO Townhouse which will
have hyper-local addresses is re-engineering the concept of hospitality.
Targetted at ‘millennial-minded’ customers, Townhouse will offer Netflix in the
rooms, smart multi-purpose spaces, and a bundle of other interesting offerings
including creative menus.
When Speaking Minds was founded in 2007 in New Zealand, little did we envisage that this would grow into an international brand with offices in India and London in less than a decade. We set up the business to share what we had learnt, from the privileges we have had in our jobs – of access to knowledge.
Bringing India to the rest of the world was our driving force.
The dna of our business is genuinely about sharing knowledge with the
world, from thought leaders and experts who are notable achievers in
their field. Raga D'silva quit her highly successful corporate career in
New Zealand in 2007, to set up a dream business of connecting
knowledge, insights, motivation from exceptional talent with the
corporate world, globally.