COVID-19 gave push to innovations in urban mobility, transport business, says Ola co-founder
Innovations in urban mobility and transportation business got a push during the COVID-19 pandemic with a move towards electric vehicles and subscription-based ownership models, Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal said on Monday.
Speaking at the Bennett University's 'Freshers' Welcome Week 2020', Aggarwal said while the initial impact of the pandemic on the industry was hard, it also provided an opportunity for new business models to come up.
"Public transportation will undergo a fundamental change over the next three to five years to address the need for safer solutions...People will need personal mobility solutions because everyone feels safer in their own vehicle. However, not everyone can afford one, even a two-wheeler," he said.
New businesses will emerge allowing people to use the vehicle as a service, or subscribe to a vehicle for six months instead of buying it, he added.
Aggarwal added that the youth of the country would also accelerate adoption of electric vehicles, which was one of the focus areas for Ola.
"Given the talent pool and open economy with the world, large English-speaking workforce, tough cost structures and high customer expectations, businesses that can scale heights in India can be taken to global markets," he said.
The entrepreneur said when he was passing out of IIT-Bombay, many students were looking to study or get a job abroad, but the youth of the country now "aspire to build businesses and careers in India, and contribute to the country's transformation".
"Indian companies have a unique opportunity in this future era. By leveraging India as a large market, and the entrepreneurial and depth of technology and engineering talent, we can actually create global solutions, he added.
Bennett University, which is part of The Times of India Group, was set up in Greater Noida in 2016. It started onboarding students from October 19 for the academic year 2020-21 with the 'Freshers Welcome Week'.
Considering the delayed admissions in state and central universities and the flood of applications received by Bennett University, the late admission opportunities have been extended till October 31.
Amit Ganjoo, founder and CEO of Washington-based Anra Technologies, said COVID-19 has tested everyone and people will have to get used to a new way of thinking.
"Entrepreneurship is great. Find a problem, look for a solution, and you will absolutely succeed. Do not be a solution looking for a problem...COVID has tested everyone, every industry. The world as we know it is not going to exist. We all have to adapt to the new normal. We will all get used to a new way of thinking," Ganjoo said.
Ganjoo, whose domain and passion is aviation, communication and robotics, was addressing Bennett students from Washington. After doing civil engineering from Chandigarh, he went to the US for his Masters and also earned his pilot licence there. He later went on to work in the drone space.
"There is a difference in skill and attitude. A skill can be acquired, but the right attitude and mindset can take you places. India has some catching up to do in the emerging drone space, but it will leapfrog given the huge talent pool in the country, he said.