Business Insider is proud to announce that Ritesh Agarwal, founder and CEO of SoftBank-backed hotel chain Oyo, will speak at the inaugural BI Global Trends Festival, a virtual event taking place the week of October 19-23, 2020.
Agarwal, who founded Oyo when he was 18, predicts rapid changes in people’s travel habits resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The hospitality industry will never be the same again, that is absolutely clear,” Agarwal told Reuters. “Small hotels are going to be in vogue. In my view, small is going to be the new big, wherein people will rethink a lot about going back to that 1,000-room hotel versus going to a 40-room niche hotel.”
Oyo allows guests to book rooms on its mobile app. Promising more revenue to hotel owners, the company transforms local hotels into Oyo franchises and takes a cut on every booking.
As a college student, Agarwal won $100,000 from the Thiel Fellowship, a grant for young entrepreneurs. Oyo has since raised more than $3 billion in capital, including $700 million from Agarwal himself as part of a deal that raised Oyo’s valuation to $10 billion. SoftBank has been funding the company since 2015.
Hear Agarwal discuss the future of travel at the Business Insider Global Trends Festival. Get your tickets today.