This College Dropout Now Heads Up A Multi-Billion Dollar Business
A 24-year-old man is living proof that you can succeed without a college degree. After dropping out of his classes, he’s gone on to create a multi-billion dollar business: a hotel empire that shows no signs of stopping.
Started From The Bottom
The young man wasn’t born with a head-start on the path to a multi-billion dollar business. Hailing from India, Ritesh Agarwal didn’t stay in a hotel until he was 12 years old. He got the idea to start his own hotel a few years later after staying at some bad-quality guesthouses. Though he did go to college for a bit, Ritesh ended up dropping out to focus on creating the hotel he dreamed of.
To truly learn the hotel business, the young entrepreneur spent a year cleaning hotel rooms. After developing a business plan for Oyo Hotel, Ritesh was able to get the attention of a big investor. In 2013, he received a $100,000 fellowship from Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder who gives money to students who drop out to start their own businesses. With that money and a great idea, Ritesh would create a hotel chain in India that would stand out from the pack.
A Top Business Model
Ritesh noticed that people were using online websites to find cheap hotels but that those hotels were not up to high standards, especially in India. Ritesh didn’t want to just push cheap, low-quality hotels. Instead, he decided to focus on revamping poor hotels in his country to make them part of the Oyo brand.
The hotel chain hires hundreds of people to look at hotels around India. A business can be a part of the Oyo empire by agreeing to a complete makeover to fit the brand. With financial backing from Oyo, that typically takes about a month. Then, Oyo will receive 25% of the hotel’s profits moving forward. With that business plan, Ritesh has been very successful, becoming a billionaire in his twenties.
Since its start in 2013, the Oyo chain has created over 10,000 locations all over India, impacting 160 cities. After getting $100 million in venture funding from other investors like Silicon Valley’s Sequoia Capital and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, Ritesh was able to take the brand to a whole other level. In fact, he has begun expanding to other countries.
Recently, Ritesh brought his multi-billion dollar business to China, starting to revamp one hotel located in the city of Shenzen. Now, there are over 1,000 hotels in China with the Oyo name. The startup is now worth over $5 billion and is continuing to grow rapidly. It’s all due to Ritesh’s idea, hard work, and determination.
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