Ola, the ride-sharing travel startup of India raises $500M at $5B valuation to race ahead


The cab culture has been racing ahead in India. There was a time when cabs were expensive, and only the elite could take the cab from one place to another. In fact, only a few cities had cabs till a very long time. Mumbai and Kolkatta were famous for their cabs, and ruled the cab culture. But, there were no predetermined fares, and obviously the public transport for major cities belonged to rickshaws and buses. Over the past decade or so, the public transport for a majority of cities has improved substantially. But, the cabs brought in a revolution for the public and facilitated Indian startup travel services.

Imagine a situation a few years back, when you were waiting at some place to hire a rickshaw to get back home. Chances of getting a rickshaw were sometimes minimal. In fact, you were stranded in search of a transport, if it were raining. This changed big time with the entry of services offered by the big cab companies. Meru was the first to take over the Indian cab scene slowly followed by Uber, and Ola. The entry of Ola gave a tough competition to some of the major players, including local transport. The features and facilities that Ola offered were unmatched, which is why it became such a huge attraction. The popularity of Ola cabs soared higher than that of Uber or any other player in that segment. Let’s have a look at Ola story.

Ola: How it Soared to Popularity?

Ola was introduced in the year 2010 for a select market. Today, Ola has crafted its presence in cities like Delhi, Pune, Chennai and other smaller cities in India. Ola has also moved on from cabs to offering auto services. It started out with Bangalore, and today is present in cities like Delhi, Pune and Chennai majorly.

Ola offers economic to luxury travel services for the public. It has actually become synonymous with the word public transport and cabs in most cities, as it is spread in the smallest of towns in India. The company claims it books about 1,50,000 bookings in one day, and has about 60% of the cab market share. Ola is constantly working towards improving its app landscape to include all the features that might be needed by the user. It works towards improving the user experience, thus offering customer satisfaction.

Ola is constantly expanding travel app development to include different services thus facilitating the journey of its passenger. Ola cabs are fighting it hard with its competitors, specially Uber in the Indian markets to get noticed, and booked. It understands the word customer satisfaction to the perfection, and offers services to ensure just that. First it offers three different tiers of cars to suit the different budget needs. So, if you want a low budget cab, ola offers that too. Ola was the pioneer in offering different modes of payment available to the passengers. So, if the passenger was out of cash, they could pay using the app money. Currently, ola cabs are being booked through its app only. You can book a cab ride in 15 minutes, or for a particular time.

Ola understands that customer satisfaction comes from employee satisfaction. It has offered reliable app development to include a suite of services. That’s probably why they have ensured that employees are happy on their Ola rides, and earn just as well as the company does. None of the other companies, including Uber, was able to localize to the extent which Ola has established. They are not only available in tier one cities, but also in the tier 2 cities.

Ola Beyond Cabs

Along with localization, and supply, Ola has also converted itself into a major player by integrating with major players like autos and Kali-peeli taxis that are local to offer more power to the end consumers of public transport. As mentioned earlier, the fares of your autos and kali peeli taxis are not standardized. Ola has integrated with the local players, understanding how autos are the lifeline of regular public, and has gone ahead to offer the standardized and secure payment systems to the public in its app development. So, you get the local transport with ola standards. You can even use Ola money to pay for the auto or kali-peeli taxi. You also have ride sharing options available with this cab service.

Such integration, and taking over the local players has helped Ola stride ahead of competition. It has offered unique ride sharing services.

More About Author


Vishal Nakum

Vishal Nakum is a tech enthusiast with a passion for exploring the latest developments in the world of technology. He has a keen interest in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Blockchain, and enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in these fields. Vishal is an avid learner and is always on the lookout for new ways to expand his knowledge and skills. He is also a creative thinker and enjoys experimenting with new ideas and concepts. In his free time, Vishal enjoys playing video games and reading books on technology and science.