Ritesh Agarwal, the young CEO and founder of OYO Rooms, won the award for New Age Business, which honours emerging businesses and individuals whose innovative ideas are steering the nation towards development and prosperity, at the Achievers Awards on Monday.
On receiving the award from Gautam Kumra, the Managing Director of McKinsey India, Ritesh Agarwal highlighted the long list of disruptive contenders who had also been nominated and remarked that "mission-orientedness" was a new thing he was seeing across India at the moment. He said that whether one speaks about media companies or organisations like OYO Rooms, companies are no longer being built just for the sake of profits or income - "they're being built to accomplish a mission".
Speaking about the concept of 'agility' - a hallmark of the most successful startups - Ritesh Agarwal recounted his own story and expressed the idea that low cost doesn't have to entail low quality:
"I came from Odisha to Delhi at the age of 19 and we thought that low cost doesn't have to be low quality. Why can't low cost be good quality in hospitality?", Agarwal asked.
He then gave a short and succinct report on just how far OYO Rooms has come: "In the last few years, we're today the largest hotel group in India - the top 5 hotel groups in China. Everyday, close to 300,000 people put their heads on OYO pillows. We've created jobs for over 200,000 people. This award is for each of them and their families who don't get to see the excitement, enthusiasm and mission that all of us see. It's all for their support and belief in the mission."
He then put forth his own mission: "I do believe we'll be one of these first Indian companies, who will operate the world's largest hotel company, significantly larger than Marriott, by 2023."
The Achievers Awards recognize people whose hard work, ability, endeavours and perseverance have brought glory to the country
In December, during an interaction with Republic TV's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami and Patanjali's Baba Ramdev during the inaugural Republic Summit, Agarwal had also spoken about the same goal:
"Over 75-80% of the population travels from one town to another, be it for pilgrimage, holiday or work but no one ever thought how to improve their life. I come from a middle-class family, holidays for us was always a pilgrimage, and the question of where to stay was the hardest thing in that trip. This is not a problem of India alone, but around the world, finding a better living space for middle-class is a huge challenge and I wish to be one of those people who brings better living space for those people. And while doing so, I hope to create the world's largest hotel chain by 2023," he said.