India’s biggest hotel chain: OYO

India is a country that has one of the most entrepreneurs living here. Either it is Ola, Oyo, Phone pay, Zomato, Swiggy, or Paytm. They all are magnificent examples of start-ups in India. In India, there was a mindset that if any foreign company arrives, they support them blindly and there was very little support in any local start-ups. So, how they manage to grow in this condition and took away to one of the successful start-ups in India as well as globally.

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Let’s talk about OYO.

OYO (“On Your Own” Rooms) is a start-up by a middle class 20-year-old young man. It was started 8years back in May 2013. OYO is a start-up business that has now covered more than 80 countries with a huge no of 800 cities on their list. OYO says in every 0.75 sec an OYO gets booked. It is India’s fastest growing start-up business. It currently has coverage on more than 23000 buildings. OYO adds 80000 rooms monthly. One of the famous tag lines from their advertisement “From Delhi to Dubai, from Scotland to Shanghai, from Texas to Tokyo it defines how big the OYO is and how it became the world’s second-biggest hotel chain and India’s biggest hotel chain

Ritesh Aggarwal: World’s second-youngest self-made billionaire.

OYO RITESH AGGARWAL

Founder of India’s biggest hotel chain(OYO) and the world’s second-youngest self-made billionaire. He was born on 16th November 1993 in Bissam Cuttack in Odisha in a middle-class business family. After completing his school life, he went to Kota (Rajasthan) for IIT preparation, but he didn’t get into any IIT, and later he joined a private college in Delhi for higher studies. During his Kota times, he used to attend many seminars on entrepreneurship. When he started college, he hardly went one or two days to college. Besides his daily college schedule, he worked on his start-up idea. He was one of the youngest college students so he got many chances to attend an entrepreneurship awareness camp for free. He also did some internships that helped him to attend more and more seminars like this. In his school life, he got the idea of an entrepreneur through his elder sister. Ritesh uses to tell his school teachers that he will become an entrepreneur one day because the word entrepreneur seems new and cool to him. Although at that time he does not know the exact meaning of the entrepreneur. Later in his college life, he continued for these start-up ides

Thiel Fellowship, Ritesh Aggarwal, and OYO.

He was Asia’s first man to be selected in the Thiel Fellowship. Thiel fellowship is a program launched by PayPal founder Peter Thiel. The idea behind this program is for those students who are under 23 and want to start their own business. This program offers them a huge amount of $100,000 with some terms of conditions. One of the terms and conditions was to drop out the college for students and they had to join this fellowship full time. Students also get guidance from the mentor of this program. As Rites got selected for this fellowship, he dropped out of his college life.

How did Ritesh come up with the idea of such a huge company?

He was a very good traveler. He used to travel to many cities in his early life. When he was done with his schooling, he chose Northern India’s college just to explore beauty. On weekends he always plans a trip to Himachal and Uttarakhand. In his early traveling journey in his college, he faced many problems in booking hotels while on the trip and sometimes couldn’t able to find the proper location of hotels. Sometimes hotel names were miss placed, sometimes there was no banner for hotel names, sometimes he also saw there was no proper cleanliness in hotels.

So, he came up with the idea of why not combine technical knowledge with problem-solving. After his trip, he started approaching small hotels and convened them to run their hotel for months and he will share profit with them and if he faces any loss, he will cover it by himself and will leave the hotel. Firstly, he approached a hotel in Gurugram. The hotel he approached there was already dealing with a lot of problems. They already were in a loss because there was no customer booking for their hotels.

When Ritesh approached them, they agreed to him and handover the hotel to him for 6months. Surprisingly after 6mnths the hotel owner gets a huge amount of profit. This was Ritesh’s first step towards his future goal. He now has a lot of confidence to approach many hotels and sooner and sooner he covered many hotels in Gurugram. Many hotels are now approaching him to a partnership with him. In the first 6 months, OYO took over more than 100 hotels.

How OYO works and how it spread over 80 plus countries and its success story.

When OYO launched in 2013 it covered a maximum of the hotels from Gurugram. It is headquartered in Gurugram. In the starting period, it focused on growing and growing. Till its first 6months, it only focused on growing and once it covered 50 cities in India it started getting negative feedback from its customers. So, they started focusing on building their more friendly and improving their services and stopped covering more hotels for some time. 

Does OYO own any hotel properties?

OYO doesn’t own any hotel properties. It seems surprising but it is true OYO does not own any properties for any of their hotels worldwide. They renovate existing hotels according to some marked criteria with some basic tools. In the very first step, they approach any hotel and then they renovate the hotel and named them OYO rooms.

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What makes them so famous hotel booking platforms all over the world?

There were many hotel chains before OYO step into the market. But according to OYO founder OYO mainly focus on mid-class hotels. In India, there are more middle-class families than rich families. Ritesh focused on this thing only. He started OYO for middle-class people, they can also enjoy the luxury of hotels in cheaper prices. OYO provided couple-friendly rooms on their platforms.

The idea of a problem is a basic step towards many successful businesses all over the world. OYO founder saws the problem in the hotel business and according to make a solution he made such a huge platform. 

Alok Kumar

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