A SimCard Seller Mr. Ritesh Agarwal

A college dropout, who once wanted to sit for an engineering exam, Ritesh today heads among the most valuable start-up by a person who never studied beyond school.
He even sold sim cards to survive, afraid his well off family would end his entrepreneurial dreams and summon him back home to Odisha if they knew of his struggles.

In Kota(Rajasthan), where he was ostensibly preparing for his IIT entrance exams, Ritesh says he couldn’t wait every weekend to slip out to Delhi and meet those doing their own thing.



19 year old Ritesh Agarwal has quite a story. Internet and technology doesn’t care for age and this youngster having found a penchant for how the web works, started working very early in his life, at a tender age of 13. And by 17, he had started his first company- Oravel. Oravel started as an Airbnb clone but the model has undergone a twist and post receiving a seed round from Venture Nursery, the company will be out with its new model soon.

This 19-year-old had traveled for months staying at budget hotels, attended customer calls everyday and immersed himself in every possible experience to learn about budget hotel customers and their expectations. That was the kind of on-the-ground learning that helped him pivot Oravel to Oyo.



This youngster has been selected for the “20 under 20” Thiel Fellowship which makes him one of the very few Indians to have been shortlisted. Currently amongst the top 1% of the candidates that applied, Ritesh will be making his journey to the States for a 20 day stint post which he’d come to know whether he has been selected amongst the 20.


Ritesh has been selected after a rigorous process of 4 rounds – first screening, 2 rounds of applications, communications with the Foundation Jury and a long interview with a Thiel Foundation Mentor from a senior Management at Facebook.

As a company, Oravel has grown by leaps and currently lists 3,500+ Places on its marketplace from across the country.

what I learnt to Agrawal is :::)

“If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.”

and Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Remember friends When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.

For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.

Think if Agrawal waited and only thought over his plans and only discussed his plans with others -what was his success rates ? This is what we all have to understand.


                                                                 ∅  BY Vishal Pandey





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