In just six years after setting up his hotel chain, Oyo Hotels founder Ritesh Agarwal became the world's second-youngest self-made billionaire at the age of 26.
The wealth of Agarwal, a college dropout, is estimated to be at around $1.1 billion (Rs 7,800 crore), said a report in Mint citing Hurun Global Rich List 2020. Cosmetics queen Kylie Jenner, who has personal assets worth $1.1 billion and is 22-year-old, tops the chart as the youngest billionaire in the world.
In India, Agarwal is the richest self-made Indian below 40 years of age while Zerodha founders" Nithin Kamath, Nikhil Kamath"both in their 30s, are among India's richest young self-made billionaires, the report said.
Interestingly, Oyo's Agarwal received praise from US President Donald Trump's recent visit to India. During Trump's meeting of India's top business leaders on Tuesday (25 February), the second day of his visit to the country, Agarwal was among the CEO group comprising Mukesh Ambani, Anand Mahindra, Ratan Tata and Kumar Mangalam Birla.
Agarwal said he founded his company as a young startup and said that it has 313 hotels in the US. President Trump said, "I actually know of your company. Not such a small company, by the way. Good job."
There are 90 billionaires aged 40 years or below on the list this year as compared to last year's 85. Of them, 54 were self-made, while 36 became billionaires through the wealth that they had inherited, said a report in Business Today.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world with a net worth of $140 billion, followed by chairman of luxury-goods maker LVMH Bernard Arnault with $107 billion. Mukesh Ambani was the only Indian to make it to the top 10, with $67 billion, said the report citing Hurun Rich List.
Started in 2013, SoftBank-backed Oyo Hotels has already become the largest hotel chain in India and its valuation has soared to $10 billion. As the startup expands to the US and Europe after becoming the second-largest chain in China, Oyo has chalked out ambitious plans of becoming the world's largest hotel chain in 2023.
In a span of six years, the company expanded its presence to over 800 cities, more than 23,000 Oyo-branded hotels and 8,50,000 rooms, Oyo said. This growth is backed by a strong balance sheet of about $1.5 billion, it added.
In July last year, the hospitality firm had said that it emerged as the world's third-largest hotel chain as per room count with 8,50,000 rooms in its portfolio.
In May last year, Oyo claimed that it became the second-largest hotel group in China within 18 months of its foray into the country, with presence in 320 cities and nearly 10,000 Oyo-branded hotels with 4,50,000 rooms.
" With PTI inputs