How Bhavish Aggarwal is building his 'convenience economy' dream with Ola Cabs
Who would have thought 3-4 years back that we would be booking cabs via our mobile phones without even negotiating for the tariff? Today this has become an integral part of our lives in most cities of India with various aggregators providing us the luxury and comfort of booking cabs at our own convenience.
Bhavish Aggarwal belongs to the young breed of entrepreneurs who are the face of Indian entrepreneurship ecosystem today.
A soft-spoken, unassuming IIT alumnus, Bhavish is out there with a clear vision to organize the huge unstructured cab market in India and aggressively marching towards achieving his goal. Having graduated from IIT Bombay in 2008, he worked for Microsoft for a couple of years where he filed two patents and published three papers in international journals. He quit this to start OlaCabs along with his friend, Ankit Bhati, at IIT Bombay with a mission to ‘provide a cab to every Mumbaikar’.
Olacabs, which began just a couple of years ago, has become everyone’s darling, from the investors to customers to every driver onboard. Transport is a huge hyper-local problem that various startups in different geographies are trying to solve, and India is no exception. One of the major reasons for this chaos is its unstructured nature. Redbus’ Phanindra Sama not only solved the colossal difficulty of bus ticket booking but also got almost all traditional agents online. His product BOSS opened the gateways for every other bus ticketing platforms in India. Another segment of this transportation market is the ‘Cabs’.
We remember Bhavish pitching his idea that would make booking a cab very simple, for the first time at E-Sparks 2011. Since then, the startup has grown from one city, Mumbai, to almost 10 cities now and counting.
OlaCabs is still not the greatest solution that the market wants, but probably the best available to customers today. The team has been very innovative with their marketing and user acquisitions in the past few months.
Could you ever believe that a cab ride in a city like Bangalore would cost you less than an auto? This privilege is possible today; and all thanks to Bhavish’s product. Whether Ola is making money or not is definitely a point to ponder, but at the end of the day a consumer wants good service with affordable prices – exactly what OlaCabs has been delivering in 10 metros of India.
Bhavish will be speaking at TechSparks Grand Finale 2014 on how ‘convenience economy’ is influencing different future prospects in India and how his three-year-old startup has scaled and won the hearts of consumers in various parts of the country. This biggest entrepreneurial summit of India is slated for October 17 and 18 (Hackathon on the 17th followed by the main conference on the 18th).