Who are the lesser-known people of India? by Arnab Nayak
Answer by Arnab Nayak:
Everybody knows the story of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jack Ma. We all get inspired by them. We complain that there are no famous Indian entrepreneurs who have started companies based on unique ideas. We have many entrepreneurs who despite so many problems, worked hard and and have started companies based on path breaking ideas. I have already posted this answer but I think it is more appropriate here.
This is the story of how a 20 year old college drop out with just Rs 23 (~ 0.4$) in his bank account founded a $ 500 million (~Rs 3250 crore) company, (OYO Rooms) that has taken the hospitality industry by a storm. Here is his story:
- Ritesh Agarwal (founder and CEO of OYO Rooms) was born on November 16, 1993.
He started coding from the age of 10 and soon started selling SIM cards and FMCG products.
2. Ritesh lived in the Rayagada district of Odisha and was a good student. He went to Kota to take engineering coaching. But he did not like it there as students studied whole days. Every weekend he used to come to Delhi alone to attend entrepreneurship events.
3. After completing his schooling, he joined an engineering college in Delhi. He went to college for 2-3 days and then thought he would take 2 days holiday to try something that he loved. That was the last time he went to college. Through his frequent travels, he discovered that many people had extra rooms in their houses which they wanted to rent out but tourists were not able to discover those rooms though there was a huge demand of hotels. Hence he built a web based solution, similar to Airbnb called Oravel stays.
4. After he built Oravel he realized he was not solving any important pain points for Indian consumers. Then he realized that all good business are those in which the entrepreneurs solve their own pain points. He then went on a 3 month trip and everyday he would stay at different places to understand the problems of the consumers. In 3 months he went to around 100 hotels and realized that though you can find many places to stay online, their services are not predictable. For example if you have booked a hotel, when you reach the place and call the receptionist, he might not pick up. When you reach your room, it might not be clean or the television might not be working etc. Then he decided to solve all these problems with OYO (On Your Own) which would provide standardized services at a fair price.
5. He knew that it is impossible for a 20 year old to start his own hotel. So he went to a hotel in Gurugram that he had stayed before and which had a 15-20% occupancy. He told the owner that he would help run the hotel for 6-7 months and get at least 90% occupancy. If he will be able to achieve it they would become partners otherwise he would leave. He started managing everything from housekeeping, sales, talking to customers to understand their problems etc. He was able to get 95% occupancy and soon got inquiries from other nearby hotels on how he had managed it.
6. In the starting the revenues was very less and once he had gone to meet some hotel owners. When he returned all his stuff was kept outside and guard told him that his rent was pending since several months and unless he paid the rent he will not be allowed to stay. He was new in Delhi and did not have any relatives with whom he could stay. His phone had also been blocked because he could not pay bills and he had just Rs23 in his bank account. He slept on stairs for 3 days.Then he found a mutual friend and stayed in his house for 2 months. After that he came back to the same place, paid a premium on the rent and stayed in the same house.
7. Even now, every month Ritesh Agarwal goes to some OYO hotel and interacts with customers, staff, does housekeeping etc to understand the problems and the on ground situation.
His goal is to be able to standardize any piece of land and rent it at a fair price like airport lounge etc.
If you follow your passion, work hard and persevere, nothing can stop you.
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