Founder & CEO (Group), OYO Hotels & Homes
OYO Hotels & Homes was founded by 26-year-old Ritesh Agarwal, the first resident Asian to be accepted to the Thiel Fellowship (started by Paypal founder Peter Thiel). Travelling across India at the age of 17, Ritesh stayed in more than 100 bed and breakfasts, guest houses, and hotels to realize there was a massive dearth of affordable and good-quality hotels in the unbranded budget hotel category. With this in mind, he started his entrepreneurial journey by creating a listing platform for budget accommodations, only to conclude that discovery alone will not solve this problem. Ritesh believed that everyone deserves a beautifully designed, chic and comfortable living space. And everyone deserves a better life. He believed that he could change the way people live. He did that by upgrading bland, generic spaces and places and designing them with next-gen chic and design moxie and offering them at varied price points. That’s how OYO was launched in May 2013 (known as OYO Hotels & Homes now). OYO today is the world’s leading chain of hotels, homes, and spaces. Today, Ritesh is one of the youngest and most successful founders in the world and has been honoured at several forums, for creating a global disruptor in the form of OYO Hotels & Homes.