Since commencement of the 21st century, people all over the world have started to settle into the fast -paced life that required optimum utilization of all the hours of the day.
In such circumstances, “Uber” was founded as UberCab by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick in 2009 at San Francisco, California. The company introduced the use of mobile app as a means of booking cabs. Fast-forward to 2016, the Uber service is now available in over 66 countries and 507 cities worldwide.
While this was happening, India was incubating its own Uber. ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd., operating under the trade name “Ola”, was founded as an online cab aggregator on 3rd December, 2010, by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. As of 2014, the company had expanded to a network of more than 2,00,000 cars across 100 cities in the country!
Although it has sporadically expanded its services all over the world, Uber has faced stiff competition in every market it has entered..
After spending nearly USD 1 billion in China, Uber shifted its focus to the second-most populated nation in the world – India. It introduced a number of features like Uberpool, which allows the customers to share cabs and thus minimize the cost of traveling. But it seems that India still prefers its indigenous firm-Ola Cabs, which also introduced pooling of rides.
Uber currently covers 26 cities with 2,50,000 drivers on its platform. The market leader Ola, however, does more rides per day than any other player in the country. It provides services in 102 cities and possessing close to 4,50,000 drivers. According to a recent survey, Ola app is downloaded over twice as much as Uber’s. Launched in 2011, two years before Uber entered India, Ola has more experience in the market in India, which gives it an edge over Uber. Ola covers 5 times more area than Uber. It has also introduced its own share of innovative features such as getting the ‘kaali-peelis’ on board, and having the ‘e-rickshaw’ category. Also, Ola lets users make advanced bookings with the Ride Later option, while Uber does not. Uber has a cancellation fee, Ola does not in some cities.
In December last year, Ola inked a pact with China’s Didi Kuaidi, and also with Uber’s biggest competitor in USA, Lyft, allowing users to seamlessly travel across China, USA and Southeast Asia. Figuratively, Ola has a 15-20% lead on Uber in the world’s third-biggest market for ride hailing app and has steadily grown to become India’s third-most valuable startup after Flipkart and Snapdeal.
A quick overview:
The stiff competition leads each company to come up with various exciting offers and deals along with improving the quality of services provided. This, in turn, is proving to be too good for the taxi riders. In the battle between Uber and Ola, the consumers are clearly in a win-win situation, either way!
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