Success Story of Bhavish Aggarwal – Ola Cabs Founder, India’s most popular Cab Aggregator

bhavish-aggarwal

In India, finding a car ride for long distances has always been a major problem. If left in the center of the road, you can choose to stroll there instead. However, it will be exhausting physically. The alternative is to reserve a cab near your destinations at the most affordable rates, then take a leisurely journey.

Ola cabs do not need any introduction. It is the first car aggregator business in India. Also, it makes it simple for you to reserve or rent a cab while offering the greatest taxi services at the most affordable rates.

Ola Cabs wants to create a seamless transportation system for billions of passengers. Most importantly, the goal of Ola cabs is to provide the best possible car-riding experience with the least amount of hassle.

The car aggregator company links and partners with taxi drivers to offer a new transformation with the use of technology.

Bangalore is home to what began as an online cab aggregator in Mumbai. The worldwide ride-sharing corporation has expanded its services across a variety of outputs.

Furthermore, there was an alteration of India’s mobility system by the hyperlocal car aggregator starship.

But who among the top entrepreneurs list is there behind the introduction of Ola cabs? Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, both graduates of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, are the co-founders of Ola Cabs.

Fortunately, today Bhavish Aggarwal is well known among the top 5 entrepreneurs in India 2022.

Bhavish Aggarwal’s Story

In 2008, Bhavish Aggarwal did his graduation from the prestigious IIT with a degree in computer science and engineering.

Afterward, he began his professional career in the Microsoft Research center.

Bhavish Aggarwal went to IIT, where regular lectures on subjects like business and entrepreneurship foster an entrepreneurial mentality.

Bhavish Aggarwal made the decision to become an entrepreneur and stand on his own feet during his undergraduate years after hearing these speeches.

  • The sooner the better…

It was certain to him that he would never be able to take risks again in his entire life if he didn’t take the chance to start his own business at such a young age.

Therefore, as a result of this idea and the shame he felt for not making progress toward his dreams, he gave the resignation from his position.

Bhavish Aggarwal left Microsoft after two years of employment.

Although he had a strong entrepreneurial spirit, he was unable to come up with a specific company plan to concentrate on.

  • The journey of being a travel agent

Bhavish Aggarwal founded his own tour and travel business- Ola Trips

He began providing local weekend and holiday trips to places like Lonavla, Lavasa, etc.

Sadly, Bhavish Aggarwal didn’t get any feedback on his offers of vacation trips.

Moreover, to try his luck, he chose to market his own business.

For that, Bhavish Aggarwal started distributing pamphlets about his business outside the stadium hosting the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010.

He spent a whole day selling, but he still failed to sell a single tour package.

His father was quite concerned about his son and worried that his intelligent son would choose to become a travel agent in the future.

  • An unfortunate incident

Once, Bhavish Aggarwal was traveling from Bangalore to Bandipur via taxi.

After covering only half of the distance, the cab driver unexpectedly came to a stop in the midst of a forest. Then the driver asked that Bhavish Aggarwal pay an outrageous sum of money to finish the trip.

However, Bhavish had previously negotiated the cost of the trip, thus this came as a great surprise.

So Bhavish stepped out of the car and started walking since he was so furious at the driver’s unfair actions.

After this encounter, he understood how tough it is to find a taxi that provides fair services without the right connections.

Moreover, one needs to pay excessive prices and suffer from the drivers’ arrogance without the right connections.

Therefore, here Bhavish Aggarwal got to know the unrealized business potential.

  • Understanding customers

A few days later, Bhavish Aggarwal was pitching his trip package to a customer, when the customer said all he needed was a vehicle.

At that moment, he realized that customers actually needs vehicles to get to their destinations rather than his tour packages.

Consequently, Bhavish Aggarwal shut down his travel agency business and concentrated entirely on his new venture, Ola Cabs.

The Birth Of Ola Cabs

The above-mentioned incident led to the establishment of Ola Cabs on December 3, 2010.

However, to meet the needs of his passengers, Bhavish Aggarwal was aware that he would require vehicles and drivers for those vehicles.

Afterward, he began adding drivers to Ola Cabs.

  • The initial stage

Booking an Ola cab was primarily a manual process in the early days.

Few people used to utilize the Ola website to book cabs; the majority of clients used to book cabs by phone.

When a consumer uses the Ola website to book a cab, Ankit Bhati used to call the driver.

Additionally, since some drivers weren’t punctual in the beginning, Bhavish Aggarwal himself would borrow a car to pick up customers.

  • Using technology

After a few days, Bhavish Aggarwal realized how crucial it was to match drivers with clients, so he turned to technology for assistance.

So he asked his friend Ankit Bhati to create an extremely user-friendly app.

Ankit Bhati concentrated on coding to apply automated approaches to streamline the taxi booking process.

  • The real challenges

Though Ola Cabs was able to attract cab drivers and investors. But attracting clients was extremely difficult because the cab culture was not well-established in India.

They played the marketing game quite skillfully to get the clients used to the cab rides.

  • The win-win strategy

As a result, Ola Cabs started a referral program that offered a free trip to bring a new customer to Ola Cabs as well as 50 rupees for suggesting a friend.

The primary target audience for this campaign was college and university students.

Additionally, they provided significant savings.

At first, Ola Cabs also provided rides at incredibly low prices, such as 6 rupees for a kilometer of travel; this pricing is comparable to that of the auto-rickshaws.

Bhavish Aggarwal came to the realization that marketing is essential to the success of any organization.

Initially, they didn’t focus on making profits but on building a large ecosystem of drivers and passengers in the first three years of Ola Cabs.

Bigger Than Uber

By the time Uber was attempting to understand Ola Cabs’ marketing strategy, Ola Cabs had a sizable market share in India.

Currently, Uber only operates in 46 Indian cities, compared to Ola Cabs’ approximately 250 locations.

Additionally, Ola Cabs has around twice the number of customers in India as Uber does.

Today, Bhavish Aggarwal has a net worth of above $500 Million.

Reasons For Success

Bhavish Aggarwal, the foresighted co-founder of Ola Cabs, was aware that even when individuals are able to acquire cars, the majority of them will not.

The primary causes of this behavior include the high prices of vehicle upkeep, hiring a driver, fuel, parking hassles, paying vehicle taxes, and the congested and deplorable state of the nation’s highways.

Indians own cars in just 36.49 percent of cases.

Therefore, he realized that many people would rather use a taxi service than buy a car.

No one will want to spend most of their time in traffic in the future, thus many people will eventually favor shared transportation like shared cabs, shared buses, etc. to relieve traffic congestion.

Some Interesting Facts

  • Even after becoming a millionaire, Bhavish Aggarwal is yet to get his own car.
  • He utilizes Ola Cabs to get around, giving him the chance to firsthand assess the cab services’ level of excellence.
  • Ola Cabs only serves as a platform to link clients and drivers because it doesn’t own any vehicles. Separate owners (drivers) own each vehicle, as well as pay for maintenance and fuel.
  • Currently, Ola Cabs has about 45,000 vehicles.
  • The virtual wallet service known as Ola Money has been introduced by Ola Cabs. You can use this money not just for Ola Cabs services, but also in restaurants, and subway trains, to buy insurance, airline tickets, and pizza from Dominos and Café Coffee Day.
  • Similar to other wallet services like Paytm, Airtel Money, etc. is Ola Money.
  • Currently, Ola Cabs controls 60% of the Indian taxi market, with players like Uber, Jugnoo, Meru, etc. occupying the other 40%.
  • Additionally, Ola Cabs has grown its clientele in additional nations like the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • As a response to Uber Eats, Ola Cabs also purchased the Indian Foodpanda business. Ola offered Foodpanda equity shares in Ola Cabs instead of paying any money to acquire the company.
  • With the arrangement in a straight line, Ola Cabs could travel from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, covering the entire length of India.
  • Daily, Ola Cabs go ten times farther than the distance between the earth and the moon.

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  • An enthusiastic and dedicated writer, Parul is always keen to learn and explore something new. She is open to learning and writing unique content in various niches like food, travel, photography, etc.

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