Oyo Rooms – Startup Story

Startup Stories Startups

Oyo Rooms (stylised as OYO), also known as Oyo Hotels & Homes, is a hospitality chains of leased and franchised hotels, homes and living spaces in India.

Ritesh was born in Orissa, Bissam Cuttack to a business class family background of Infrastructure. During his school time, he works in an unconventional manner as compared to others. He was always looking out for opportunities that will make him make mistakes and then learn from them. He started to learn about programming with the books of his elder brother. During this phase, Google became his best friend and he managed to learn a lot of things in the term of programming. When he was only eight years old, he was able to generate code.

The biggest twist came in his life when he joined Kota in 2009 only to quit when he got to know that there is nothing it can give him. He joined Bansal Tutorials and left coding as the second spare. Later on, he started to work on a book ‘Indian Engineering Colleges: A Complete Encyclopaedia of Top 100 Engineering Colleges’. This book managed to earn a lot of fame to him on Flipkart. At the age of 16, he was a part of 240 students to participate at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research for the Asian Science Camp. This was the time when he started to venture out to meet entrepreneurs and attend conferences. Later on, he was determined to start something bigger and he returned to Delhi in 2011. He prepares for further studies with SAT which never became a part of his life. This results in spiking his interest in books about business, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.

That is when Ritesh went into the thinking mode and realized that, the biggest pain on the face of this earth while travelling was to find a good, affordable & most importantly “available” hotel to stay in but like always, most of us ended up staying in a crappy place with equally crappy staff, food, etc. which killed the whole trip. This also reminded of the time he used to face accommodation issues during his trips. There were times when he was sold a crappy place for a huge amount and many-a-times he used find a nice place in a little amount. This got him motivated again, to create an online yet social community to bring information about all good places together on one platform. Oravel was founded in 2011 by 18 year old Ritesh. The company joined VentureNursery’s acceleration program in July, 2012. Post funding, Manish Sinha of Gurgaon based Cinnamon Stays has joined Oravel as a co-founder. Ritesh dropped out of college and in April 2013, Ritesh Agarwal won “20 Under 20” Thiel Fellowship for 2013. And as a last resort Ritesh tweaked his present business model and in 2013 re-launched Oravel as “OYO Rooms”.