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SIM card seller, college dropout, millionaire at 22: Boy from Naxal area scripts incredible story

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Who doesn’t know about, OYO Rooms, the most affordable accommodation in any city in India? The CEO and founder of OYO, Mr. Ritesh Agarwal is a perfect example of ‘success-comes-from-dreaming-big.”

He was born in a small town named ‘Bissam Cuttack’ in Odisha. The dominance of The Naxalite activities in his native was the main reason he wanted to get out of the place.

By the age of 17, he started his first company named ‘Oravel,’ a budget-friendly accommodation startup. Before that he used to sell SIM cards in his small town, not because of financial issues but because he wanted to learn the business.

Being a dropout, he earned the 2-year Peter Thiel scholarship of $100,000. This scholarship is specially given to youngsters under 20 who have ambitions to aim high in the area of innovation. Big investors like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Larry Page, and many more are included in this scheme apart from the founder of PayPal Peter Thiel.

Source: Corporate bytes

With the help of the scholarship he started OYO Rooms, another budget-friendly accommodation, but this time he wanted to expand it to every small city in the country. “OYO stands for On Your Own,” said Ritesh in one of his interviews. He added, “I got the inspiration to start such a business because I wanted to have the TV remote controller in my hand, which I never used to get at my place.”

He is the only dropout in the team of 10-20 IIM graduates, more than 200 IIT graduates and Many from HBS and IVY leagues. “It’s funny how I haven’t met many dropouts in India with a ‘dream-big’ attitude. That’s why whenever I go to any college to address students, I advise them to drop out of their studies,” said the OYO founder in an interview.

At 22, he became the owner of the billion-dollar firm and now, one of the most prominent investors in the world, Masayoshi Son of ‘Softbank,’ wants to partner him up for establishing OYO network in China.