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Every successful person once took up the opportunity and made it big. In life, one has to create an opportunity or grab one. In a similar way, OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal Had a 1% chance to build a dollar startup.
Ritesh Agarwal was born in the Southern part of Odisha. He came from a rural background and also did not have any exposure to urban cities. As a young kid, Ritesh used to do his hands dirty by starting to sell products.
Yes, a 12-year-old boy used to sell SIM cards. He was curious to learn about businesses. Also, he was one among the very few kids who learned about the internet. Ritesh used to book railway tickets for their neighbors as well. At one point in time, he used to do it as a business. Where he was earning a rupee more to make the bookings.
Then Ritesh after finishing his 10th grade decided to move out from his town. So, he joined in St. Johns Senior Secondary School, Kota, Rajasthan. Their parents always guided him to work hard, study, and focus on academics.
But Ritesh Agarwal was completely just the opposite. He wanted to build a business and did not like to go in a herd. So, he then finally went to Kota for higher studies. However, he was not the nerdy kind of student instead he used to travel a lot to other places.
Even in their college, attendance was not the main criterion to attend the exam. So, Ritesh used to take great advantage and started traveling to different places.
Ritesh and his love of Hotel stays
On the weekend, he used to travel to the northern part of India. So, he used to go by train or bus, and also Ritesh loved to travel to the hilly regions.
During his travel, Ritesh used to stay in the hotels or in guest houses. There he noticed that many of the hotel services are not up to the mark. Even one has to tolerate all the bad experiences because of the affordability of the price point.
There is no other option for the traveler to get a good experience in the hotel. So, the only option was to book the 5-star hotels. However, a middle-class family could not afford such a hefty price.
Ritesh Agarwal thought that many travelers would come to visit new places with expectations. But the entry point i.e. hotel stays makes the traveler’s comfort level low.
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Ritesh Agarwal Startup Idea
He was a man with a business mindset. So, he could not stop thinking about solving the problem of standardization of the hotel.
As Ritesh used to travel a lot every weekend, he collected the phone numbers of many guest house and hotel owners.
So, Ritesht Agarwal started contacting the owner via emails about his startup idea. He used to explain his business model where he takes control over the hotel’s experience like
- Premium Quality of the hotel room
- Hygiene of the Restroom
- Standardization of the bedsheets, pillows, and 24*7 wifi and TV facility
Then he will make sure the occupancy level of the hotel is above 80 to 90%. Finally, he will charge a commission on every booking.
However, most of the owners did not respond to this email. As these owners did not understand the business model or did not trust this 19-year-old guy.
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Ritesh Agarwal had a 1% chance
If anyone works sincerely and has a great vision. Then some people come forward to give the opportunity. As 99% of the owners did not respond to his mail still there was a 1% chance.
One of the guest house owners name ” Rajesh Yadav” from Gurugram responded to his mail. Then Ritesh Agarwal and Rajesh Yadav met and started talking about the business.
Rajesh did not have any kind of hope for 19-year-old thin guy Ritesh Yadav. But still, he gave a chance to Ritesh Agarwal to implement his strategies in his guest house.
As Ritesh Yadav was fed up with his guest house as he could generate much revenue from it. At any point of the time the business had only 20% occupancy.
So, Rajesh took a bet on Ritesh’s business idea. However, Rajesh knew that he wouldn’t lose much in the game.
Finally, Ritesh Agarwal started to standardize the quality of the hotel. Gradually, there was a growth in the business. Even Rajesh Yadav was also happy with the business growth.
The customers were satisfied with the premium services at an affordable price point. Customers used to proudly speak about the experience and it went on like word-of-mouth marketing.
Before Rajesh Yadav’s guest occupancy level was just 20% but now his occupancy level is up to 90%.
Ritesh Agarwal utilized his opportunity and brought a massive outcome for Rajesh Yadav. Then Rajesh Yadav started talking about the business strategies and about Ritesh Agarwal.
Gradually, every other hotel and guest house started tying up with Ritesh Agarwal’s Oyo business. In the span of 1 year, there were over 60 hotels were tied up with the OYO.
Rest is the history. Later, Ritesh Agarwal started expanding his businesses to the rest of India. He also expanded to different countries as well.
As of now, there are over 1.7 lakh hotel properties are tied up with OYO. Ritesh Agarwal is entitled as the ” World’s second youngest self-made billionaire”.
As OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal had a 1% chance and this chance was given by Rajesh Yadav. So, in life one has to grab the opportunity instead of waiting for the right time.
Now OYO made a revolutionary impact on the travel and hotel industry. As OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal said his vision is to provide a great hotel stay experience at the affordable price point.
Here are some metrics about the OYO success
- Revenue in 2023: 5400+ crores
- OYO is present in 80 countries with 1 million rooms
- OYO in India made it legal for unmarried couples could check in to the hotel with local IDs