Very many businesses have found glorious success with E-Commerce in today’s world of rapid technological advancements and changing customer needs. E-Commerce refers to the trading of goods or services using computer network. The benefits that e-commerce offers are varied in terms of customer satisfaction, efficiency, cost effectiveness and flexibility to customers. Many E-Commerce giants like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal etc have come a big way in providing ultimate shopping experience to customers. One such e-commerce giant, in the service sector, which has impressed me, is India’s smartest cab service, OLA. So in this article, I would like to share a few details about ANI Technologies Private Limited (known popularly by all as OLA)
HOW DID IT START??
OLAcabs was founded by Mr. Bhavish Aggarwal and Mr. Ankit Bhati in December 2010. Mr. Bhavish Aggarwal has graduated with a B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Bombay in 2008 and worked for Microsoft Research for 2 years. Ankit Bhati has done his B.Tech in mechanical engineering and MTech in CAD and Automation and had been working for start ups like Wilcom, QED42 etc. Both of them had the entrepreneurial itch in them and thus started OLAcabs, headquartered at Mumbai. What began in 2010 and what it is now, I really need not have to elaborate, because I am sure each one reading this article must have benefitted from a OLA ride whether as a pleasure visit somewhere or for a important business meeting and today they are spread across several cities and have in offer many different size cars to suit a customer’s need at the most competitive price.
Mr Bhavish says that Many of us would have faced bad taxi experiences and that the main reason to start OLA is to overcome this and avoid difficult situations of an operator leaving you stranded in the middle or the cab just not showing up.
THE BUSINESS MODEL
The business model works on a very simple concept. OLAcabs acts as a facilitator in providing cab-booking services to customers through multiple channels. Customers can book their cabs through the website, call centre or the popular app. OLA does not OWN any of the cabs. Only those drivers with valid permits duly authorised and verified by transport authorities can sign up with OLA and they could be either self-employed or work for an operator who owns multiple cars.
Just like how we use an OLA App, the drivers get access to a driver mobile app on their Smartphone once they register with OLA. This is done only after a thorough check of authenticity and conducting due diligence of commercial papers and personal papers of driver and operator. The drivers have a flexibility to decide their own time to login to OLA Application and accept requests for rides from customers. They may choose to remain logged out of the system as per their convenience.
The source of revenue for OLA is the commission for each drive and the costs they incur are also quiet low as they majorly have to invest only on the technology. From when they started in 2010, the sales have doubled month on month and the graph is a super upward trend and may you not be surprised to note that during the year 2014, the revenues grew more than 10 times over past year.
OLA not only bridges the gap between customers and drivers but also are bringing micro-entrepreneurship to students. A civil engineer, a BA student, a student of journalism and psychology have one thing in common , that is, they are all cab drivers. It serves as an extra income for the students to support their education and their family and they also seem to enjoy driving. Since OLA does not have strict contracts regarding days, hours and time period for driving cars, it’s all on the stamina and flexibility of the students.
During March 2015, OLA acquired taxi for sure to expand its lead over Uber and Meru.
Innovation has no full stop and change is but inevitable, OLA has now started a pilot project called OLA store to deliver groceries and this is being made available to select customers. The store proposes to cater not only to the general needs like vegetables, fruits, groceries but also electrical products, health supplements and medicines.
They aim to cross the coveted $ 1 billion gross revenue by next quarter by clocking at least 5 lakh trips every day.
So OLA has been and will be a great technology platform for transportation and offering flexible options of booking and payment to customers and flexible timings and facilities to drivers. And shortly, we are going to experience a big boom and great facility of getting our grocery delivered to us with ease. Kudos to the idea of the founders and something more to make us proud is that it has been started in India by two genius Indians. Jaihind!!
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