12 inspirational quotes by Oyo’s Ritesh Agarwal on how to become a successful entrepreneur

Ritesh Agarwal is an Indian entrepreneur, billionaire, and the founder and CEO of the country’s largest hospitality chain, OYO Hotels & Homes. He dropped out of college to fulfil his entrepreneurial dreams to become one of the youngest successful entrepreneurs in India.

22nd Feb 2020
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Twenty-six-year-old Ritesh Agarwal is rated among India’s most celebrated young entrepreneurs. Born in Odisha, he comes from a middle-class business family.


Ritesh started selling SIM cards at the age of 13 for survival. Determined to take a different course for his life, he decided to travel across India on a shoestring budget, and saw an opportunity to bring order to the hospitality industry.


At the age of 18, Ritesh started a budget accommodation portal called Oravel Stays to book budget hotels, which was later renamed and launched as OYO Hotels & Homes in May 2013.


In September 2018, OYO raised $1 billion led by SoftBank Vision Fund. In July 2019, it was reported that Agarwal purchased shares worth $2 billion in the company, tripling his stake. Currently valued at $10 billion, Ritesh-led OYO has expanded to over 800 cities in over 80 countries, and claims to have hosted over 50 million guests so far.


Ritesh Agarwal

Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and Group CEO, OYO




Being one of the youngest self-made entrepreneurs, his net worth was approximately estimated at $1 billion (Rs 7,500 crore) in 2019, according to IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List.


Ritesh dropped out of college to fulfil his entrepreneurial dreams and went against all the social norms to become the youngest successful entrepreneur of our country. He was also the first Asian to graduate as a Thiel Fellow (the Thiel Fellowship backed by PayPal founder Peter Thiel), receiving a grant of $100,000. 


A youth icon, Ritesh has definitely put a remarkable footprint through his journey. 


Let's take a look at some of the inspirational quotes by the entrepreneur :


“It is extremely important to build something that a 100 people absolutely love using rather than make something that a 1,000 people would just, kind of, like.”


“Hire people not for today but for 2-3 years from now, and let them grow with the company.”


“The reality of startup is you have failures very often.”


“Having a passion for solving a big problem and leaving a huge impact. Once you have that, everything else falls into place.”


“Your brand reflects your culture, purpose, and identity. It’s never too early to start thinking about it.”


“Stay away from family when you are working on a startup. They make your life difficult.”


“Bring people who are ready to stick their neck out for the mission of the company.”


“Start small, nail it, and then make it big.”


“You must be willing to stretch out of your comfort zone, take risks, and be emotional (in a good way) about your venture and the stakeholders involved.”


As an entrepreneur, you have to be open to taking risks, especially when the downside is limited but the upside is high.” 


“I am yet to hear of an entrepreneur who can claim to have succeeded without making mistakes.”


“We ignore the noise and the distractions. We know our vision, our goals – and we just focus on getting there before anyone else can.”


(Edited by Megha Reddy)

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