Ola, a renowned cab aggregator in India, needs no introduction. As the country’s first ride-hailing platform, Ola has revolutionised the way people avail of cab services, offering a seamless experience. Founded in December 2010 by two graduates from IIT Bombay, Ola, formerly known as OlaCabs, is owned by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. With its pioneering approach in the Indian cab industry, Ola has successfully bridged the gap between cab owners and commuters, garnering immense popularity.
What sets Ola apart is its innovative business model.
Instead of acquiring or leasing its own vehicles, Ola collaborates with a multitude of taxi drivers and owners and integrates advanced technology into the entire operation. This allows users to conveniently book cabs on short notice through Ola’s user-friendly app. Ola has emerged as India’s leading ride-hailing app, capturing nearly 50% market share in the country (as per Uber’s 2020 report). Operating in over 250 cities across India, Ola boasts a vast network of more than 2.5 million driver-partners.
|Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati
|Rs 983.2 crores ($131.83 million) FY21
|$5 billion+ (February 2022)
|$7.3 billion+ (December 2021)
|ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Ola – How it Works
Ola has revolutionized the process of cab booking, simplifying it for customers. With a wide range of vehicles to choose from, ranging from shared taxis to self-drive cars, Ola ensures that everyone’s budget and convenience is taken into consideration. Furthermore, Ola offers a subscription-based membership program called ‘Ola select’ which provides riders with premium benefits.
For outstation travel, Ola offers ‘Ola outstation’, and for those looking to rent a cab on an hourly basis, ‘Ola rentals’ is a great option. Additionally, Ola’s bicycle-sharing service called ‘Ola pedal’ has gained popularity in certain campuses.
Ola also introduced ‘Ola corporate’ in 2016, which allows companies to book and pay for their employees’ rides via a prepaid account. This ensures the employees’ safety while enabling the company to track their travel expenses.
In a groundbreaking move, Ola launched India’s first-ever multimodal electric vehicle project on May 26, 2017, in collaboration with industry experts and the Indian government. The project aimed to promote shared mobility and make electric vehicles accessible to the public in Nagpur.
As a result of its success, Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd. was established as a separate entity and achieved unicorn status following a $250 million investment from SoftBank in July 2019.
In September 2021, Ola Electric scooters were made available for purchase on their website and via the Ola app after exceeding expectations in the pre-booking round. Within just two days, the company reportedly sold an astonishing Rs 1100 crores worth of electric scooters. This remarkable achievement showcases Ola’s commitment to sustainable transportation and highlights the increasing demand for eco-friendly mobility solutions.
Exciting news from Ola as reports from July 16, 2022, reveal that the ride-hailing giant is set to launch its first-ever electric car in the next 2-3 years. According to Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal, the car will be the sportiest ever built in India, with some concept design ideas already in the works.
The highly anticipated vehicle will be manufactured at a new 4W factory that is separate from Ola’s existing Futurefactory for 2Ws. This move showcases Ola’s commitment to sustainable transportation and marks a significant milestone in the company’s efforts to revolutionize the Indian automotive industry.
With its focus on innovation and forward-thinking, Ola is poised to shake up the market and set a new standard for electric cars in India.
Ola Financial Services (OFS)
In addition to its ride-hailing services, Ola has diversified its offerings with the introduction of Ola money, which includes various products such as the Ola money credit card, Ola money postpaid, Ola money mobile wallet, and Ola money hospicash. With Ola hospicash, in partnership with Religare health insurance, policyholders can claim up to Rs 5000 per day in case of hospitalization.
Furthermore, Ola has demonstrated its commitment to its financial services subsidiary by announcing its plan to invest up to Rs 786.1 crore in it by December 2021.
Ola operates with utmost transparency, ensuring that drivers receive a commission for every sale made. Compared to other traditional operators, Ola is known for its competitive pricing, making it an attractive option for customers.
The founder of Ola, Bhavish Aggarwal, is a notable figure in the Indian tech industry. With a B.Tech in computer science from IIT Bombay, Bhavish started his career at Microsoft Research in Bangalore, where he filed 2 patents and published 3 research papers in international journals.
Driven by his entrepreneurial spirit, Bhavish launched an online company that offered short-duration tours and holidays before pivoting to create Ola Cabs. As the co-founder and CEO of Ola, Bhavish has played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the ride-hailing industry in India.
Thanks to his efforts, Bhavish has amassed a personal net worth of over $350 million, as estimated in 2019. In September 2021, his wealth surged to a staggering Rs 7500 crore ($958.43 million), placing him in the top 10 wealthiest under 40 in India, alongside other notable names like Sachin and Binny Bansal, Neha Narkhede, Nakul Aggarwal, and Ritesh Arora.
Bhavish’s impressive accomplishments and visionary leadership have cemented his place as one of the most prominent and influential figures in India’s tech scene.
Ankit Bhati, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Ola, plays a vital role in ensuring a seamless and intuitive experience for customers and partners through the technical aspects of Ola Cabs. Ankit started his journey at IIT Bombay, where he pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering followed by an M.Tech in CAD and automation. He honed his skills with various freelance projects and startup collaborations, including Wilcom and QED42, before joining Ola Cabs in November 2010. Despite rumors and unfounded reports about his departure, Ankit remains an integral part of the Ola team, according to co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal.
How was OLA started?
Ola was established on December 3rd, 2010, with a unique backstory that sparked the idea of revolutionizing the cab booking industry. As an aspiring entrepreneur, Ola owner Bhavish Aggarwal started Olatrip.com, a website that offered weekend trips and holiday packages. During a trip from Bangalore to Bandipur, he faced a nightmare when the cab driver stopped the car mid-journey and demanded more money. After refusing to pay more, the driver left him stranded en route to his destination. This experience sparked an idea in Bhavish’s mind to create a reliable and trustworthy cab booking service for customers. With this vision, he changed the course of Olatrip.com, creating the popular and successful Ola Cabs we know today.