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Meet Bhavish Aggarwal, founder of Ola

By PN Team Posted on Jul, 13 2017

Bhavish Aggarwal, Founder Of Ola Cab 

Ola is an Indian online transportation network company. It was founded as an online cab aggregator in Mumbai, but is now based in Bangalore. As of September 2015, Ola was valued at$5 billion.

 

Ola Cabs was founded on 3 December 2010 by Bhavish Aggarwal, currently CEO, and Ankit Bhati. As of 2017, the company has expanded to a network of more than 600,000 vehicles across 110 cities. In November 2014, Ola diversified to incorporate autos on trial basis in Bangalore.

Post the trial phase, Ola Auto expanded to other cities like Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad and Kolkata starting December 2014. In December 2015, Ola expanded its auto services in Mysore, Chandigarh, Indore, Jaipur and Guwahati, Visakhapatnam. Ola was valued at $US5 billion as of September 2015.

In March 2015, OlaCabs acquired Bangalore based taxi service TaxiForSure for about $US200 million. From the 25th of June 2015, Ola users have gained access to TFS cabs via the Ola mobile application. By November 2015, Ola had acquired Geotagg, a trip-planning applications company, for an undisclosed sum to strengthen its new bus-shuttle service.

Ola provides different types of service, ranging from economic to luxury travel. The cabs are reserved through a mobile app and the service accepts both cash and cashless payments with Ola money. It claims to clock an average of more than 150,000 bookings per day and commands 60% of the market share in India. November 2014 Ola also started on-demand auto rickshaw service on its mobile app in Bangalore, Pune and now available in 73 cities.

 

Technology:

OlaCabs' technology came under criticism regarding the security of its mobile app. The API calls could be replayed to top up its wallet.

In August 2015, a privacy breach had occurred when intended customers' details such as names, phone numbers and addresses, in Bangalore, were received as SMS messages by an individual in Chennai. Although these unanticipated messages were reported to Ola, the company had chosen to ignore them, even under the threat of being reported to the TRAI. The issue was reportedly fixed three weeks later after receiving considerable media coverage and social media attention.

 

Transparency in billing and over billing:

The refund policy of OlaCabs has been criticised because of billing errors caused by technical glitches in their system.

Hackers have claimed that they have been able to hack Ola Cabs system and access customer data including credit card/debit card information.

 

The bill for an OLA cab comprises of:

  • Base fare [fixed amount]
  • Distance fare [Charged per kilometre]
  • Ride time fare [Charged time taken to travel]
  • Peak pricing [Direct ratio depending on demand for cabs
  • GST [5%]
  • Swach Bharat Tax [0.2%]
  • Toll charges [Toll collection if crossing a toll Junction on road]

 

Driver credibility:

Delhi Transport authority in early 2015 questioned the credibility and required verification of drivers working for Ola, along with other competitors such as Uber. The inquiry has revealed that approximately 80% of drivers amongst all services did not possess permits to ply commercial transport services in Delhi. Drivers also protested outside the Kukatapally, Hyderabad branch office of Ola demanding more transparency over payments.

 

(Inputs from Wikipedia)

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