India: Ola to start making profits in two years, says Bhavish Aggarwal

Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO and co-founder of Ola, an app-based cab service provider, poses in front of an Ola cab in Mumbai March 3, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

Despite stringent competition, home-grown cab hailing firm Ola is steadily gaining market share and expects to be profitable in two years, claimed Bhavish Aggarwal, chief executive officer of ANI Technologoies Pvt. Ltd, which owns Ola, at an event on Friday.

“Our focus remains to build a robust and an impactful business,” Aggarwal said at India Internet Day, an event organized by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).

This comes at a time when Ola, along with its US-based rival Uber Inc., is recovering from the setback of nationwide strikes by its drivers due to withdrawal of incentives and bonuses. Both Ola and Uber drivers went on strike in Delhi and Bengaluru in February.

Aggarwal said Ola is working towards building a sustainable business model that balances all prices for both drivers and rides. “We have introduced intercity cab services, corporate bus services so that same set of drivers see a career path with us… the ones who own one car, are able to become fleet owners,” Aggarwal said.

Aggarwal admitted that ride-sharing is an intense business worldwide, but disagreed that it is not a winner-takes-all market.

“Competition is such that ride-sharing companies were giving customers discounts and drivers were getting subsidised, a nature of competition that other (traditional) sectors like FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) haven’t seen, who fought on margins,” he said.

“(Competition between) Uber and Didi was (like) World War II, both had nuclear bombs (heavily funded…China had an advantage over its foreign rival; India is not like that,” he added.

In 2016,Uber sold its China operations to its rival Didi, ending an expensive price war and increased its focus on other markets, including India, a market which it has been reported that Uber cannot afford to lose

Ola claims to have over 500,000 drivers, which will grow to two to three million drivers in next few years. In its increased focus on drivers, Aggarwal added that the company is setting up institutes to skill these drivers; 10 of them have been established.

Both Ola and Uber together registered 500 million rides being booked in 2016, nearly a fourfold increase from a year earlier, according to a report by market research and advisory firm RedSeer Management Consulting Pvt. Ltd, Mint reported in February.

Also Read: India: Ola in talks to raise $100m funding from RNT Capital, Falcon Edge

Ola, Uber see India rides rise four-fold in 2016

This article was first published on Livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.