Ritesh Agarwal: The World’s Youngest Billionaire in Five Years

Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian entrepreneur, billionaire and the founder and CEO of OYO Rooms. Photo: Daily US Times
Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian entrepreneur, billionaire and the founder and CEO of OYO Rooms. Photo: Daily US Times
11 Min Read

Nuseir Yassin, Daily US Times: I am so happy to share the story of Ritesh Agarwal who has impressed me for years now. Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian entrepreneur, billionaire and the founder and CEO of OYO Rooms. I flew to India just to tell you his story. I hope it resonates with you as it resonated with me.

The guy you see next to me is the world’s youngest billionaire and he’s not even 30. And this guy doesn’t come from New York, doesn’t come from California, doesn’t come from Sweden. He comes from Rayagada, India, a city where most people make no more than $10 a day.

Ritesh Agarwal grew up poor!

For the first time, I want to share with you the incredible success story of the world’s youngest billionaire. Ritesh Agarwal grew up poor and for 18 years he struggled, he didn’t go to university and he had no career.

At that point of time, I felt this was the toughest period I was ever going to endure in my life. At some point, he was kicked out of his apartment with 50 cents (20 INR) in his bank account.

How to become a billionaire?

Nas Daily: So how the hell do you become a billionaire?

Ritesh Agarwal: Money is not what I ever cared about. It is always about solving real problems for me.

And so he did! He noticed that a nearby hotel, was empty a lot of the time. And the order wasn’t making much money. So he went to the owner and took the biggest risk of his life. He promised to make his hotel better.

He changed the light bulbs, he changed the bets, he added water, he puts picture frames, he put room service and he took nice pictures of the hotel and put them on the Internet and changed the name and called it OYO HOTEL.

All of a sudden the hotel went from empty to full and it worked. The first hotel is always the hardest, when I was able to change one hotel, I was pretty sure I could change hundreds, added Agarwal.

Success story of Ritesh Agarwa

At age 20 he raised money from investors, at age 21 he hired 50 people, at age 22 he had 500 hotels, at age 24 he raised one billion dollars and at age 26 right now he has 46,000 hotels and built the second-largest hotel chain in the world and he’s not even 30 years old.

‘Many people told me multiple times go to university seek help from parents to make sure that you can do that. This is just not going to work’ Ritesh Agarwal

Think about this for a second, a random kid in a poor city in India with 50 cents in his bank account became the world’s youngest billionaire in five years and helped 350,000 people get jobs.

Is it luck?

This isn’t just luck, this is the definition of hard work. He worked at night, he worked on weekends, he knocked on doors, he guessed people’s emails, he begged to get meetings and he succeeded even when all the odds were stacked against people that look like him.

‘I do believe in luck, I believe if you work hard your probability of being lucky increases dramatically’ Ritesh Agarwal

When you don’t let your nationality, ethnicity, age, university background, family status or gender come in the way you will achieve greatness!

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Public reaction about Ritesh Agarwal

Sumit Shrivastava: I don’t agree bro I am a hotelier and I have worked with this co for a while. They r cheater and fraud. They have always exploited the hotel owner. They just reduce room rate and force hotels to provide rooms on losses. This co itself has never made a profit just because they wanted to expand their customer base by providing discount coupons that are to borne by the hotel who have invested a huge amount to make a hotel. What they do is just take no pictures of rooms and upload them. It’s a valuation game going on with this startup and will soon burst. SoftBank has been proving funds to them all this time. What they did is just increase the valuation of the company. They can only play this game till the time soft bank is funding them otherwise they have to fail business model and they can’t sustain for a year. They r make their Investor Fool.

Victoria Thompson: Great article. I was listening to the message about what he had learned. Hard work, positive attitude, tenacity, this young man’s message is one of hope.

Abhishek Behera: A true inspiration for entrepreneurs. And a big change in the hospitality industry. People currently pulling his brand down are out of good ideas to run their brands.

Numaan Ali Khan Bozai: It’s not about being a billionaire at a young age please people don’t see that. Nas has shown us how hard work can make one random person a billionaire at a tender age. Please stop questioning Nas about loss or he is not the first billionaire at a young age or other stuff. New lesson learned by Nas.

Praveen D’Souza: Sorry Nas Daily His hotel chains (OYO Rooms) are one of the worst hotel services in India. They only focus on making money. I am sharing this from my personal experience.

Matthew Cassar: Impressive! This guy saw an opportunity and jumped right on it! It’s amazing what dedication, and seeing things from a slightly different perspective can get you!

Tamojoy Ghosh: Lacking content nowadays, is it? You left the most important parts of the OYO story. I need to also be a fraudster to make it big too many articles and news have been published in recent times on OYO’s multiple frauds, share drop, etc to miss that. If it was deliberate miss, I hoped you were better than that. Else, simply poor content!

Pankaj Sarin: It’s so sad that people are not getting the essence of the video to get inspired by it! Instead, suddenly everyone’s become this righteous accountant and entrepreneur to figure the loopholes and mistakes. Good one Nas. Great video as always and an inspiring story if someone wants to learn from it.

Jennifer Lim: Overall, Oyo reported a net loss of 23.85 billion rupees ($332 million) in the year to March 2019, compared with a loss of 3.6 billion rupees a year earlier, according to the valuation report filed with India’s ministry of corporate affairs.

Kul Bhurung: Lots of people work hard, only hardworking is not enough. SMART WORK should go along with hard work and the platform you work hard should be scalable. I did Hardwork but didn’t do smart and scalable work that I experienced.

Anant Singh Vishnoi: OYO has set a layoff in India and is firing its employees. The company seems to be under debt and is unable to make any money. Although the idea was great somehow couldn’t sustain. The person is surely admirable but the business idea wasn’t such a great hit when it comes to sustainable business and sustainable entrepreneurship.

Aaminah Amin: As they say when a tree has too many fruits people will throw the stone to taste the fruit that he not own. May his business progress more and hoping he will not suffer from people who will get envy to him.

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Neelima Sudharma Vijayan: It is true that this hotel chain, had pissed me off several times, and none from this unkind customer care helped me or even cared!! Two times I was denied check-in and midnight I had to stay outside the hotel even though I have paid it online!! They don’t resolve the problem, they just say sorry and ask us to pay again. I have heard many hotels saying the OYO team owe them a lot of money so they don’t accept online payments. They won’t refund the money to the hotel people if it is required. I still can’t forget those nights I stayed outside the hotel, waiting for the OYO response, at midnight at 1 am. Another level of fraud. Even though OYO Rooms were working awesome initially and I appreciate his idea and hard work, yet he cannot afford to make a profit by cheating the hotels and customers. I never got any help from the customer care people whenever I wanted it. And if it happened so, that’s his inability. I heard a lot of similar stuff from many people I know. It’s not just my story.

Chirag Chauhan: OYO’s business model is the most criticized in India .its customers are not happy and many hotels want to break up with OYO. Do your research Nas you make great videos.

Nhung Cam: I took a hotel of this brand in Ha Noi just last week. I’m satisfied with my choice of OYO. Before I installed the app, I had a look on the internet about that unfamiliar brand and got the story of the CEO. Interesting to see him in the video again.

Himanshu Singh Rialch: Now Indians will start pointing out what is wrong with OYO. And make speculations that he is not from a poor family. Other Indians will feel unnecessarily proud of themselves. I just want to say Nas, Youngest billionaire in India, Most expensive house in the world is in India, Top CEOs in the world INDIANS. But, as a country, we are still poor and have a long way to go.

Ranju Naik: OYO has defrauded not just it’s customers but it’s business partners. Their model is to take a cheap lodge, take good pics and sell for a higher price. Not bothering about service. Their contract s with partners keep changing every 3-6 months. He may be a millionaire but fundamentally he is a fraud. Unfortunately in India, the law is not stringent. But already he is facing several lawsuits in the US and UK.

Leigh Anne Johnson: What physical labor did he do? Did he have to pay for all the additions to the first hotel? Did he have to repair problems like chipped paint and damages to the structure out of his pocket? Or did the hotel owner help him pay for these things?

Krinal Mehta: Thank you for covering the story of an Indian startup a fellow Indian entrepreneur. Ritesh Agarwal is an inspiration to many. For the sake of transparency, It might be misleading to say Oyo “has” hotels. Oyo only “manages” a portion of the hotel room “bookings”. They are a booking partner much like Expedia, but with a twist. This makes it even more interesting, coz he made this empire without actually owning 43000 hotels.

Michael C. Cappello: This is all great but they are a disaster. Most of these reservations aren’t met or are oversold and many guests are then sent to another nearby “sister property ” instead. While he has an amazing vision. The customer service side and logistics aren’t up to par and he grew too fast to keep the eye on the customer!

Nazib Ul Hassan: Once I have booked an OYO Hotel room online, when I reached the hotel for the check-in, the receptionist told me that they have no tie-up with OYO. Then I informed it to OYO customer service (via phone call) and they promised me a complete refund. However, after 14 days, I’ve received a 50% refund. I called and informed it to the customer care again, and they assured me that I’ll get the remaining 50% within the next 15 days. It’s been 3 months now and that balance 50% was never refunded. I had huge respect for this guy once, but after that incident, I understood how he makes money so quickly. And it’s not only me, but OYO also owes cancellation charges to many of my friends and known people, pending for years. It’s not always the reality, what they want us to see.

Vedran Buretić: He’s just a man, nothing special about the man with the money. Having so much is the actual disproportionate and bad trait of the present economic system. That’s why many have nothing and a few have much more than enough. The only system I support is the resource-based economy. Jacque Fresco’s vision of the future. Either way, I’m glad you managed such success in this world, at least you are not selling boobs and ass over Instagram.

Almer Miranda: Age doesn’t even matter where or when you will get your highest achievement in life it is a great inspiration for a lot and some say’s “age is just a number” but the sort of the reality is, no matter how older or younger you are, your achievements come when you are taking action and you are in the right opportunity.

Ritesh Agarwal: The World’s Youngest Billionaire in Five Years

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