Ritesh Agarwal, a successful entrepreneur and CEO at 17 proves that age is no bar!

At 17, when thousands of kids around the country are busy trying to get 95+ percentages in their schools, this kid was struck by a light bulb! Ritesh Agarwal, Orissa born kid had an idea and he did not wanted to wait to create it and achieve success in it. Yes, he is the founder of OYO Rooms, the most convenient and comfortable hotel choice according thousands of people around the nation.


Ritesh started dreaming and living his idea not just because he had nothing to lose, but for breaking a protocol and being successful. He started off with his pilot hotel in the city Gurgaon and now he owns around 700 hotels all over the country and is the youngest entrepreneur in the country. Ritesh applied for the Thiel Fellowship which is an organisation that funds an amount of $100000  to the  people under the age 20 for their creative work that could be in science or build  a startup or a social movement. And yes, Ritesh became the first Asian resident to get a Thiel Fellow.


Leaving school, ran out of home, non-understanding parents, no place to stay, Ritesh has experienced all of these things at once. At this age he only had one motive in his mind and for this he was ready to give up his comfort and and his luxuries. Today when almost all Indian students think of completing their Engineering and then think of what they want to do in their life, Ritesh decided to take a detour and succeeded in that path. This happens when you want to get out of your comfort zone and think out of the box. Ritesh kicked off his career with “Oravel Stays” which was a bed and breakfast aggregated chains across the country. But, his aim was not to make money, but to give people the comfort, the convenience, the cleanliness and reasonable care which they look for in every hotel they stay in. Then, he transformed Oravel Stays into OYO rooms and after which the magic began in his life. Oyo is a complete standard budgeted hotel with technology enabled which every traveler wants and he did it in a smooth way. No more calling the hotel people for booking, no more searching for restaurants nearby, no more searching for network for internet connection. This is giving you everything hassle free.


He may not have finished college or may not be an IITian, but he is an ambitious, brave and unbelievable dreamer. He inspires a lot of young entrepreneurs in this country who sometimes become disheartened when they don’t get investment or their first project becomes a fail, that doing what other 90% of people are not thinking about is a big step and success will definitely meet you at the end of every vision, mission and dream.

His story is truly inspiring and to hear from his mouth will be a pleasure always. Here’s a video of an interview done by Ronnie Screwvala discussing about Entrepreneurs, his story and his more achievements to come. Steve Jobs once said “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” This is what Ritesh did may be and is not something that happens overnight, it is something that happens when you have been preparing for the future.

Watch the full video here:


Namrata Dutta

Author: Namrata Dutta


Loves to express my opinion about almost everything!

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