Founder and CEO, OYO
Ritesh Agarwal is the Founder and CEO of OYO, India's largest hospitality company. In this role, he sets the overall strategic vision and direction for the company. Two of his key focus areas are product and technology initiatives and looking after overall execution at OYO.
Travelling across India at the age of 17, Mr. Agarwal stayed in more than 100 bed and breakfasts, guest houses and hotels and observed the huge dearth of affordable and good-quality hotels in the unbranded budget hotel category. He started his entrepreneurial journey with Oravel Stays, which was a platform for listing budget accommodations. In 2013, Oravel transformed from a discovery marketplace to a managed marketplace for standardized hotels listed under the OYO brand. Starting with a single hotel in Gurgaon in 2013, OYO expanded to over 200 cities by 2015, offering 70,000 rooms in its network. Currently, over 8,500 hotels are a part of OYO’s network.
Mr. Agarwal was selected for the Thiel Fellowship (started by PayPal founder Peter Thiel) in 2013. He is the first resident Asian to be accepted into the program.
He has received accolades including Judges’ and People's Choice Winner – Real Innovation Awards – U.K. (2017), New Age Entrepreneur Award at the Leadership, Governance, and Sustainability & CSR Awards (2017), Haryana Gaurav Samman at the first Pravasi Haryana Divas (2017), Icon of the Year (2017), Forbes' 30 under 30 (Consumer Tech - 2016), NDTV Dream Chaser of the Year (2016) and Business World Young Entrepreneur Award (2015).