It was an absolute pleasure to have the man behind OLA Cabs, Bhavish Aggarwal, in our office while he was in town for an event. Olacabs is the first cab service in India to launch a mobile app to book and monitor cabs. The 2 croreangelround and the subsequent 40 crorefunding has given a huge thrust to Ola who plans to expand aggressively with a target of 1 new city per month. “Yes, we’re set up firmly in Mumbai now and have begun operations in Bangalore and Delhi. We will be very aggressive hereafter and expand rapidly,” said Bhavish.
Being very technology intensive and operationally sound, Ola aims to deliver a cab within 15 minutes from the time of booking. Using heat-maps and following a structured protocol, this aim doesn’t seem to be beyond the grasp of Ola.
The application directly addresses the on-the-ground uncertainties that most taxi-users face in India. By providing a direct interface between the customer and the cab, this app eliminates the ambiguity of not knowing where the cab is, or how long the driver will take to reach the destination and provides greater control and real time information at the customer’s disposal. With a built-in GPS system and location sharing, the app also ensures that a customer does not waste valuable time speaking to the customer care or the driver multiple times to provide directions. The driver reaches the pick-up point on his own. Apart from this app, Ola has also developed an enviable culture of efficiency within the team. The team has grown from 20 to 150 in the past 3 months and pays very high attention to customer satisfaction. “I personally make 10 calls every day to take feedback from users,” informs Bhavish. The hiring policy is also very blunt & open and people who admire these qualities can only make the cut. Bhavish has interviewed up to a 100 people for filling a job in the higher positions! This says a lot. And while interviewing people 10 years older than you might not go very well with the ethos of the country, things are changing rapidly.
Ola doesn’t have a fleet of its own but works with local taxi providers and has taken upon this herculean task to organize the system (along with a lot of others). With a very aggressive attitude and the 15 minute claim to fulfill, Ola can certainly be the Dominos of the cab world.