Ola cabs need no introduction. It is a household name to almost everyone in India. Ola cabs service is an Indian online transportation network company which was developed by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. It was founded by Bhavish Aggarwal on 3rd December 2010. It is headquartered at Bangalore. Approximately 6000 people are working in Ola.
Ola is now present in 110+ city. It has 9,00000 vehicles for millions of customers every day. Approximately 10,00000 drivers are associated as partners.
Ola cabs service serves different sets of customers- intercity customers, long route outstation passengers, Shuttle service and shared services. It has both economic and luxury travel. Ola Cabs has positioned itself as a company that makes mobility convenient, affordable and safe.
The latest round of funding of ola was in March 2019. So far they have raised $3.8 billion in total. Ola cabs have a revenue of 758 crore INR (FY2016).
- Company Name: Olacabs.com
- Founders: Bhavish Aggarwal & Ankit Bhati
- Type: B2C
- Slogan: Chalo Niklo
- Desktop/App: Ola has both Desktop & App
- One-liner: “With Olacabs, we’re trying to bring quality and predictability to car rental services online.” – Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO & Co-founder, Olacabs
- Industry: Transportation & Food delivery (On 29th December 2017, food panda’s business in India has been acquired by Ola Cabs)
“At Olacabs, the goal is to bring convenience, price transparency, and standardization to consumers booking car rentals and cab services. We offer instant confirmation for car rental bookings, either online or over the phone”- Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO & Co-founder, Olacabs
Table Of Contents
Ola cabs service didn’t actually start off as ola cabs but were a pivot from a package weekend trip company called as Ola trips. In this Bhavish designed travel packages for the Commonwealth visitors in Delhi. But soon he shifted his focus to transportation as he noticed the gap. Thus, ola cabs were born.
The Ola’s Story:
The idea of Ola cabs came to Bhavish when he was stranded on the way to his from Bangalore to Bandipur. The cab driver stopped his car and demanded more money than what Bhavish was paying. On not agreeing to what the cab driver demanded, he was abandoned by the roadside.
This experience made him understand what an extraordinary cab booking service can do in India. Initially, he started off with Ola trips but soon changed his business model from a tour planning company to a taxi hailing firm. Thus along with Ankit Bhati, Bhavish started Ola cabs in December 2010.
This cab aggregator company bridges the gap between the cab owners and the commuters by adding more technology into it to make life easy and comfortable. When Ola started, they had a call center which used to take bookings from customers. This was pretty similar to other cab services in India.
But within a year they pivoted into an app-based cab aggregation service. This is what differentiated them from other local cab services.
Ola has two apps. One is used by the customers while co-ordinating trips at Ola and the other one is used by the request completing the taxi/cab driver called user application.
Other Revenue Lines of Ola
• Fleet Management via TeleSales
• Trip-Based Commissions
• Ola money in the wallet
• Food panda (Food Delivery)
• Corporate Tie-Ups / Event Tie-Ups
• In-Cab Advertisements
• Peak Time Charges
1. PR – Got Featured In:
- Economic times
- Next big what
- Business Standard
- The Next Web
- Business Today
- Forbes India
2. Word of Mouth
Word of mouth has been one of the effective tactics for Ola to get their initial customers & drivers. According to Piyush Nawalgaria, the roads of Kolkata was ruled by the yellow taxis. Be it price or the condition of the taxi it was not up to the mark. Meru cabs were launched in early 2010, but due to its overpriced rides, it did not do well in getting customers.
There was a gap which OLA captured although Uber was in full swing. Even though the rides were priced high than a yellow taxi but the best part was, you can book a cab from anywhere you liked and they would come to your doorsteps. Also, it offered new users 150 INR free ride. People wanted a quick way to reach to their destination and OLA was the perfect solution to it even if they had multiple options.
“The most popular service is weekend outstation travel. Many people, especially youngsters working in corporate jobs, take weekend breaks with their friends and colleagues. Before Olacabs came into the picture, they had a hard time trying to rent a car. We’re very happy with the response and we intend to expand our customer base in Mumbai swiftly” – Bhavish Aggarwal in an interview in yourstory.com in 2011.
3. Ola Launched its Mobile App
OLA became the first cab service in India to launch its mobile app in 2012 to book and monitor cabs. It aimed to deliver a cab in 15 minutes from the booking time. Making it much easier for people to track the real-time whereabouts of the cab. “25% of Ola Cab’s business comes via mobile app”: Bhavish Aggarwal, founder Ola Cabs to yourstory.com on 10th August 2013
4. Blogging: Ola started blogging from January 2011. In one of the post, they compared how Ola cabs are different from Meru Cabs. Thus giving people the option to compare and choose the best. Click here to read the full article on how are they different from their competitors.
5. User-Generated Content: Users were allowed to comment and review on the services of Ola. This was displayed in the Ola website.
6. Ola Received the Best Startup of the year at the IAMAI Digital awards in 2013
7. Jobs Posted in Various Job Portal: OLA started posting jobs from 2011 in Linkedin, Naukri, Glassdoor, Indeed jobs, monster, wisdom jobs, and monster. OLA has a rating of 3.5 stars as on April 2019. OLA cabs, as a company was first rated and reviewed in glassdoor in 2012 just a few months of its launch.
Posting relevant jobs in different job portal sites is a way of letting people know that you exist.
8. Coupon & Deals Websites: OLA registered themselves in various coupon websites (cash Karo, 27 coupons.com, Indianshoppers.in, mydala.com) offering discount codes to their customers. This was an excellent way of letting the target audience know about their existence.
Blogging: They blogged approximately twice a month. Most of the blog post was about comparing themselves with other competitors and how customers can benefit from the advanced features of Ola.
- Quora: OLA received backlinks from Quora, a platform in which anyone can ask a question and can get an answer to it.
- PR: Ola got featured in many reputed websites and magazines. This had helped them to get solid backlinks in their initial days
10.Distribution of pamphlets with the newspaper: Ola printed about its offer in pamphlets and distributed it along with the newspaper.
Top Of The Funnel
I. SEO: 50. 02% traffic from search (97.59% organic, 2.41% paid)
- Approximately 8-10 articles/month – Check their blog.
- Different tags for blog posts: Most of their blog posts are uncategorized with tags as Ola rentals, discounts, long weekend, offer, outstation.
- 500+ word articles – heavy with full information.
- They also rank for keywords.
Type Of Content They Create
Primary Content: Most of the posts in the blog are primary content which focuses on Ola offers, discount coupon, ola contest, Ola money.
Few examples of primary content in their blog are:
- They have a blog post on OLA money postpaid. It says pay with Ola money postpaid and gets 25% cash back on all bus bookings made through redbus.in.
- They have written a blog post in 2019, where they have partnered with Faasos, an app where you can get amazing deals from your favorite restaurant. So you get 25 % cashback with ola money postpaid.
Secondary Content: Most of the secondary blog posts are regarding trip insurance that can be booked. It features an introduction to customer trip insurance, how to claim the insurance and benefits of the insurance.
Tertiary Content: The blog posts under this category are short with complete information. They are usually 100+ words post.
- In 2017 an OLA auto driver went out of his way to reach a girl to her destination and made sure she is safe. A blog post on Ghasamfar – the auto driver was published in Ola blog. The internet picked up this happy story and got it published in Indiatimes.com.
- A post on Ola inspires its readers to cast their vote as every votes count. Ola made voting easy to go to the poll booth and cast vote.
- A post on the blog encourages its customers to take a minimum of three micro, mini & prime rides to get a chance to win event passes for Holi festival in country club Hyderabad.
III. Direct: 34.76% of people directly type into their website (olacabs.com)
IV. Referrals: 8.44%.
Top Referring Sites Are:
V. Social: 1.96% Ola gets 1.96% of traffic from different social media channels. Let’s see their top three social media channels in it.
- 64,038 subscribers
- Created a series of video on Heroes of Ola &Moms on the move
- The maximum duration of the videos are 4 minute
- Creates a video on almost all the offers /discounts it offers
- Video on “how to use” Ola money, ola share pass
- FB – Check out their profile
- Has a use app button
- Has 1,011,343 followers
- Inspires people to vote
- Motivational post – heroes of ola
- Request for donation with a unique concept by ola restrooms
- Change the cover picture to a strong message
- Wishes on women’s day with a video
- 10-12 posts every month
- Have many tweets with short videos of ola restroom
- Tweets on women’s day with a short video. Drivers wish women on the women’s day.
- Tweets the step by step procedure on how to raise an alert in ola during emergency
- Runs republic day contest
- Runs contest on “win an international trip to Singapore”
- Hassle free wedding with ola
- Request customers to give “gift of words” to Ola drivers
- Tweet on Meghna Sahoo- the first transgender driver of Ola
- Minimum one tweet every day
VI. Offline Events:
- Bhavish has been a part of Techsparks sharing his startup knowledge.
- Bhavish Aggarwal was a speaker at a three-day event of INK.
VII. Paid Ads
Ola runs Google ads, but they get maximum traffic from organic search with only 2.41 % of traffic from paid keywords.
They have got twenty-four PAID keywords. The top five paid keywords are :
- Allahabad to Varanasi.
- Pune to Aurangabad.
- Ola cab offers Jaipur.
- Ola coupons today.
- Pune magical cab service.
Middle Of The Funnel
- After you sign up into ola cabs (website/app), they send emails about discount offers, contest, dine out vouchers, meet your favorite star with an Ola ride contest.
- Ola is very active on Facebook and Twitter where they keep posting engaging posts and contents. Below are the examples of two such engaging post from their facebook page.
Bottom Of The Funnel
- You are taken to the landing page with full details about the discount, contest, blog post after you open the newsletter in the email.
I. Innovation In Technology: Ola cabs captured the market, where people were worried about getting a safe ride in a cab or auto by providing a hassle-free ride. It’s interesting to know, Meru cabs was launched in early 2010 but due to its overpriced rides, it was not doing well to get customers.
Ola was smart enough to capture this gap. Even though the rides were slightly priced high than the taxi but the best part was, you had the facility to make an online booking of a cab.
II. Word of mouth: played a very crucial role in Ola Cabs. Read this article in quora, where Nitin Raj shares his experience with Ola and Meru and gives Ola cabs a thumbs up.
III. High attention to customer satisfaction: Bhavish initially called up the customers to get their feedback. This has helped him to understand his users better. Read the article here where he says he made 10 calls every day to take feedback from users.
IV. Ola acquired taxiforsure: In 2015, taxiforsure was acquired by OLA, this helped the OLA users to get taxiforsure cabs as well.
V. Ola acquired Geotagg: – an intelligence transport based company. It has developed many products for Advanced Passenger Information Systems which was deployed in the Web and Mobile platforms. Geotagg takes care of all the technical platforms and GPS related work for OLA. So if you are happy using Ola for easy booking of cabs, then thank OLA for acquiring Geotagg.
VI. Ola acquired Ridlr: In 2018 OLA acquired Ridlr, which is a traffic alert app which provides live traffic information to the Ola users.
VII. Redesigning of Ola partner site: OLA cabs has approximately 10,00000 drivers working with them. They keep adding new drivers to meet the ever-increasing demand for cab service. The old OLA partner site gave the drivers basic information about OLA and asked them to leave their contact numbers.
The site has been redesigned where you have the option to select your preferred language, gives the drivers complete information with a clearly readable faq section, showcase options to choose by which they can earn money from OLA, shares inspiring stories of existing drivers which gives the new partners more assurance.
VII. Free rides & discount coupons: OLA is now a household name when it comes to booking a cab. The best part about them is, first they provide you a free ride (which I am sure you will love and think of OLA again when you book your next cab again), then they provide you with discount coupons which can be used in your next rides
XI. Cashless rides: Launched OLA money in 2015 which allowed to recharge your OLA app. With this feature, you need not carry cash while you ride. The ride fare gets deducted from the app automatically after the end of the ride.
X. Ola boats in Chennai: In 2015 Ola launched its boat service to rescue Chennai people due to flood. The boats were managed by professional men to rescue the locals and provide food and water free of cost.
XI. Ola partnered: With Skill development and Entrepreneurship department of Maharastra to create ten thousand job opportunities in the state. OLA also partnered with the Haryana government to create thirty-five thousand job opportunity.
XII. Ride now, pay later with Ola credits: OLA came up with the option of ola credit where you can ride now pay later. This option of payment came as a great relief for regular riders.
XIII. In 2017 Bollywood actress Vidya Balan met few women OLA cab and auto drivers. She spoke with them, encouraged them and motivated them to keep the good work going.
XIV. In 2016, OLA introduced OLA share pass. Daily riders will benefit out of this, where they can share the fare of the ride. The best part of OLA share pass is you get to know the names of the people sharing the ride with you even before you board the cab.
Being a woman I always prefer traveling with other females. Keeping safety in mind, I might cancel my OLA share cab if I see only men in the cab.
XV. Brilliant Campaign: OLA gained 8,30000 new followers with a #PeekeMatChala campaign on Twitter.
On 2016 Christmas night there was a series of “drunk” tweet from Ola account. The aim of the campaign was to make people understand that if drunk tweeting is harmful then image what drunk driving could do. This campaign was launched to discourage people not to drink and drive. With this tweet, Ola got 830000 followers. It was one of the most successful campaigns of Ola.
XVI. Ola Cabs Expansion:
Ola acquired Foodpanda: “Foodpanda has come to be a very efficient and profit-focused business over the last couple of years. Our commitment to investing $200 million in Foodpanda India will help the business be focused on growth by creating value for customers and partners.
With Delivery Hero’s global leadership and Ola’s platform capabilities with unique local insights, this partnership is born out of strength,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of Ola in a statement.
Ola entered the UK market in Sep 2018. Currently, it has a license for South Wales and Greater Manchester. Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder & CEO of Ola, commented: “Ola is excited to announce its plans for the UK, one of the world’s most evolved transportation markets. The UK is a fantastic place to do business and we look forward to providing a responsible, compelling, new service that can help the country meet its ever demanding mobility needs. We look forward to our continued engagement with policymakers and regulators as we expand across the country and build a company embedded in the UK.”
UK’s cab market is crowded with apps like Uber, myTaxi, BlaBlaCar, etc. Will Ola get success in Uk? Pranjal Sharma, author of Kranti Nation: India and The Fourth Industrial Revolution said, “There is always room for competition even in the most crowded markets.
However to get a share of the market every new entrant has to offer a value or service proposition that is better than the existing offerings.” – www.entrepreneur.com
Bhavish Aggarwal shares his journey, coming from a middle-class family to running a multi-billion dollar company
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She also loves traveling and exploring new places. She is always planning for the next trip with her family and friends. She has a travel blog budgetfamilytrips.com, where she shares her travel itineraries.