Udayavni Special

The success story of Olacabs: How one bad experience led Bhavish Aggarwal to start Ola Cabs?


Team Udayavani, Aug 27, 2020, 2:52 PM IST

There was a time when people used to rely on auto rickshaws to travel short distance as private cabs were expensive. But, two friends Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati came up with Ola cabs in order to  help people travel in cabs with the lowest fares.

OlaCabs, popularly known as Ola, the first Indian cab aggregator company, has made availing cab services a smooth experience. Ola offers a wide range of cars to choose from depending on the number of travellers, budget and convenience. In metro cities, Ola wins out for short and long rides during both peak and off-peak times.

The success story of Ola Cabs

One of the founders of Ola Bhavish Aggarwal graduated from IIT Bombay with a B. Tech in Computer Science in the year 2008.  Bhavish worked for Microsoft research, Bangalore for two years right after college

He used to daily travel via auto or cab which was also hard to find in a city like Bengaluru due to its high demand and heavy traffic.

Bhavish, started an online company to sell short duration tours and holidays online and in order to keep his business afloat he had to travel a lot. Once he had to travel from Bangalore to bandipur, for which he rented out a car, which ended in a very bad experience. The driver stopped on the way and started demanding more than what was agreed upon initially. When he was refused, the driver abandoned him on the way before  the destination. Bhavish understood that this was the plight faced by several other travellers booking cars.

In 2010, he changed his business model from a holiday and tour planning company to a taxi hailing firm. He was then joined by his co founder Ankit Bhati and  Ola was launched in December 2010 as Ola Cabs.

The company partnered with drivers and cab owners to offer a variety of cab services to commuters across India.

Initially, they faced a lot of difficulties, they had to work long hours and sometimes Ankit had to code for 48 hours straight while Bhavish had to ride the cab himself and complete the cab booking. They also faced internet connectivity issues in 2010

Since its inception, OlaCabs has raised funds from SoftBank Corp, and other investors during two rounds of VC finding.

In India, Ola operates across over 250 cities. Ola has also got in to 3 international market, Australia, United Kingdom and New Zealand. In Australia, it has set-up operations in seven cities

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