Bhavish Aggarwal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ola

July 16, 2017
Startup Talky

Ola is a well known online transportation company.  It is the brainchild of Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. The company started its operation on 3rd December 2010 with the intention of providing quality cab services and getting rid of customer suffering.

Bhavish Aggarwal, acquired his education in IIT, Bombay specializing in computer science. Initially, he gained experience in Microsoft research, although his dream was to enter the entrepreneurship world. As part of his career growth, he started planning for an online tour and holiday service much before he thought about Ola.

History behind initiating Ola

Aggarwal once rented a car during his travel from Bangalore to Bandipur. During his journey, he ended up having a bad experience. The driver of the car stopped in the middle of the journey and demanded for a payment re-negotiation. This gave him an insight on what other people experience with cab services. People don’t get to their destination on time and suffer a lot of harassment along the way.

Thus, he saw an opportunity to fill in the cab industry. With Ankit Bhati as his co-founder, he changed from his initial business to Ola cabs which are an online transportation company since December 2010. His dream started to become true and change started to become a reality.

His parents strongly opposed the idea of him becoming a travel agent rather than pursuing his career. This went on until the day Ola cabs received funds from two investors. Instead of Ola cab acquiring and renting their own vehicles, they only networked with a couple of other taxi drivers. They only integrated the modern technology in their services to make work easier. He continued to work on his dreams to revive the whole industry and also benefit many people.

Benefits of Ola

Customers could book for the services from the call center and app within a very short notice. The team started to grow and created employment to people to operate the centers. They offered outstation, half day and full day services.

Customers now enjoy variety of car options which is affordable by citizens at all levels. They offer different payment modes for the service. This is very convenient as customers can choose the payment mode they are comfortable with.  

Ola operates with a lot of transparency. The Commission is given to drivers per sale made. It is pocket-friendly as their charges are far much less than any other cab operators. Ola has grown in the recent past and launched Ola Auto.

Ola’s growth

In 2010, they identified a serious gap in Mumbai. Cabs used to be idle. Cab operators charged very high irrespective of the distance to compensate for the time they stayed idle. Poor services and delays were treated as an obvious thing. In 2011, they could make 10 bookings in a day. In October 2015, they booked 700,000 daily rides. They thought of piloting tracking devices in each cab but let go of the idea in January 2012. In April 2012, Ola expanded its operation in Bangalore and Delhi. The app mainstreamed and is currently used by massive number of Indians using their Smartphones.

Challenges faced by Ola

As much as Ola wanted to meet the needs of the customers by scaling up to different cities, each city faced its own infrastructural challenge. The app required the use of the 2G network. The team had to design an app that could accommodate network connectivity in smaller towns.

 

Creativity is what can define uniqueness in talent and bring more impact in the development of the world. Accountability in ideas should also be enhanced. With Ola’s taxi services there is transparency and accountability experienced by both customers and the company. Ability to track the riding distance, time taken and the price is a plus.

Ola has become an integral part of life of more than half the urban population of India, all thanks to Bhavish Aggarwal.

 

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