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Founder and CEO
Ritesh Agarwal was born in a Marwari family in Bissam Cuttack, Odisha, India and brought up in Titilagarh. Ritesh comes from a family that used to run a small shop in Southern Odisha city called Rayagada and his schooling was completed from Sacred Heart School in Rayagada. At the age of 13, he started selling SIM cards. He graduated from St. Johns Senior Secondary School, Bundi Road, Kota, Rajasthan and moved to Delhi in 2011 for college. He dropped out of college, and was selected for the Thiel Fellowship (started by Peter Thiel) in 2013.
In June 2022, he was recognised by the International Hospitality Institute on the Global 100 in Hospitality, a list featuring the 100 Most Powerful People in Global Hospitality.
Agarwal started a budget accommodation portal, Oravel Stays, for booking budget hotels. It was accepted into the accelerator program by Venture Nursery in September 2012, and later was one of the winners of the 2013 Thiel Fellowship program, receiving a grant of $100,000. The company was launched as OYO Rooms in May 2013.
By September 2018, the company raised $1 billion. In July 2019, it was reported that Agarwal purchased $2 billion in shares in the company, tripling his stake.
His net worth in 2020 was estimated to be approximately $1.1 billion (₹7253 crore) according to Hurun Rich List 2020. As of February 2020, he is the second youngest self-made billionaire in the world after Kylie Jenner.
He is listed in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Asia.