“Giving an example is ordinary; being an example is eXtraOrdinary.” – Naveen Lakkur
We like to drop big names like Gandhi, Tesla, Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Charlie Chaplin, Marie Curie, and others at a given situation to ‘wake people up’. Only eXtraOrdinary people take matters in their own hands and ‘step on the gas’. They work a Little Extra, they go the extra mile to put a smile on everyone’s face.
Ritesh Agarwal from Rayagada, a small town in the East Indian state of Odisha. This town has small business people who are trying to make ends meet and the youth has fewer opportunities than the people in big cities. Ritesh Agarwal created opportunities for himself instead of waiting for it.
Ritesh Agarwal is the founder and CEO of OYO Hotels & Homes. Traveling across India at the age of 17, Ritesh stayed in more than 100 bed and breakfasts, guest houses, and hotels to realize there was a massive dearth of affordable and good-quality hotels in the budget hotel category. He believed that everyone deserves a beautifully designed and comfortable living space. And everyone deserves a better life. That’s how OYO was launched in May 2013. OYO today is the world’s leading chain of hotels, homes, and spaces.
Ritesh was not only one of the rare persons who only dreamt big but also kept a vision to achieve bigger. His early life is a perfect example of how young minds can dream and make it happen.
However, he did not achieve this status overnight. Maybe he knew giving examples was ordinary. So, he set out to work a Little Extra to be an example, an extraordinary one at that. While in his teens, he used to give empty hotel rooms a makeover and sold the rooms for cheap. This attracted guests and help change the fortunes of the hotels in time.
Oyo Rooms is banking on technology and people from engineering, design, architecture, and management to succeed. The innovation in Oyo Rooms disrupted the Indian hospitality industry and it has a global network of 2,200 hotels operating across 154 cities. Agarwal has won many awards and is a regular speaker at entrepreneurship conferences. Ritesh has set an Example for Business Model Innovation. Watch his story on InkTalks.