Success Saga Of OYO – India’s Budget Hotel Chain

Success Saga Of OYO – India’s Budget Hotel Chain

If you take a glance at OYO’s incredible journey in the hospitality sector so far, you will find that there is hardly any person in today’s era who doesn’t know about this company. OYO’s growth has been phenomenal in the past few years and this can be evident from the fact that it has become the third-largest and fastest-growing chain of leased and franchised hotels, homes & living spaces in the world.

But have you ever wondered how this brand has managed to gain such popularity among the people? How does it expand its portfolio? What is the secret mantra behind its success?

In this blog post, we will give you a brief analysis about OYO and its founder Ritesh Agarwal’s journey till date.

Firstly, let’s understand what kind of a brand OYO is.

About OYO

OYO is India’s largest hospitality company, offering affordable and trusted accommodation to its customers. Many people still don’t know that OYO stands for ‘On Your Own’. Founded by Ritesh Agarwal in 2013, the platform is now considered to be a synonym for budget-friendly hotels and rooms across India.

How did it begin?

Behind every successful brand name, there are a lot of struggles, hard work, efforts and sleepless nights which often get unnoticed. As they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, just like this saying, Ritesh Agarwal’s dream venture, OYO, didn’t become famous overnight. He also had gone through some sequences of events and tough phases to reach where he is now.

Since his childhood days, Ritesh was a tech freak and he even started coding at an age of just 10. Having sent to Kota for education in 2009, he realised that city wasn’t a place to learn coding and eventually he gave up on his coding dream.

After computers, traveling was the second-favourite thing in Ritesh’s list. While exploring different places across India, he realised that there was a shortage of affordable hotels, providing decent services such as AC, Wi-Fi, comfortable beds, breakfast facilities, etc in many big cities. This gave him a hunch to combine both of his passions – Travel and Technology and start a venture of his own.

Though, at the beginning, it was a bit difficult for Ritesh to launch his own start-up as he had no clue about the entrepreneurship at that time. But as they say,
“where there is a will, there is a way”. Hence in 2011, Ritesh, who was a college dropout, commenced his entrepreneurial journey by launching Oravel Stays at the age of 17. Through this platform, Ritesh wanted to help the travellers in finding pocket-friendly hotels with descent hospitality services.

In 2013, Ritesh Agarwal decided to update his business model and re-launched it as what we know today, OYO Hotels & Homes.

Founders & Team

Ritesh Agarwal was born in Orissa, into a business-class family. Right from his younger age, he was passionate to learn new things. At the age of 13, he also started selling SIM cards. In a bid to become the most successful entrepreneur, Ritesh also enrolled himself into the Indian School of Business & Finance, Delhi. But later dropout, which made him eligible for the Peter Thiel fellowship for $100,000. He was among 20 students under the age of 20 who received the Thiel Fellowship.

In 2020, Ritesh was rewarded with an accolade of youngest self-made billionaire in the world after Kylie Jenner. Not only this, he was also listed in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Asia.

“Leaders shouldn’t just build and accumulate wealth but give back to society.” – Founder and CEO of OYO Hotels & Homes, Ritesh Agarwal.

Growth in the market

Ever since its inception in the hospitality industry, OYO has grown by leaps and bounds to carve a niche for itself. It’s been almost eight years since its establishment and the company has already expanded its services in more than 800 cities across 80 countries. With 23,000 hotels and 46,000 vacation homes, OYO has become the largest budget hotel chain in India. What’s more interesting, it is even rated higher than the renowned Taj group of hotels and Oberoi hotel chain.

If we talk about the total valuation of OYO, the company has recorded $9.6 Billion, as of August 2021, after it raised a whopping amount of $5 Million from the tech-giant, Microsoft.

Reason behind the success of OYO

Ritesh Agarwal’s main objective behind launching OYO was to provide standard rooms to its customers at an affordable price range. This idea of giving high-quality experience to the travellers is what driven the continuous growth of OYO. However, one can’t deny the fact that the competition in online hotel booking is increasing with every single day. So, to retain its customer and to attract new leads, the company used both social media and digital marketing to keep the audience engaged with alluring offers and several campaigns.

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