The Ola vs Uber spat is getting uglier by the day. In a blog post on on Thursday, Pranay Jivrajka, Ola COO, said, “It is a shame that our competition (read Uber) has to fan a debate of nationalism to hide their identity of being a multi-national, with serial violations of law as a business strategy, not just in India, but globally.”
The blog post talked of what it claimed as three major violations of the law by Uber in India i.e. operating bike taxies, payment system and non-depolyment of CNG vehicles in Delhi.
For instance, Jivrajka wrote that Ola Bike in Gurgaon chose to operate within the regulatory framework of using yellow plated vehicles. “Our competition chose to run on private white number plates, illegally. They continue to operate this service, even today as you read this, inspite of receiving multiple notices and seizures of hundreds of vehicles by the local authorities, also terming it as aiding and abetting an organized crime,” the post said.
On the ban of diesel vehicles in Delhi, the blog post claimed that Uber chose to continue plying diesel vehicles with absolute disregard for the state and the court of law, until a contempt petition forced them to cease and desist.
Similarly, it alleged that Uber had violated the RBI norms of a particular payment system and Ola chose not chose not to do this and had to face significant business disadvantage of customers moving away and loss of market-share for over a year.
Following its submission in the Karnataka High Court on Monday, Ola had raised the issue of “foreign” identify of Uber, which did not respect the laws of the land. On Tuesday Uber was equally caustic in its reply: “What makes Uber ‘foreign’? The fact that we are established in San Francisco but have a hyperlocal team solving problems that are locally relevant. Or that, just like our competitors, we received most of our funding from ‘foreign’ investors,” Bhavik Rathod, GM for West and South had stated in a blog post.
Competition has intensified tremendously since last year, with the rapid rise of Uber. Ola has expand quickly, doubling its driver partners on the platform and spread its operations to 102 cities, while Uber is operational only in 26 cities in India.
Ola, which is backed marquee global investors like Helion Ventures, Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, Accel and Matrix Partners among others, has raised close to $1.2 billion since its inception in 2011 predominantly through convertible preference shares.
Ola, which raised its last round of funding in November 2015, is looking to raise additional funds for expansion. It This comes at a time which Uber, which raised $3.5 billion recently, has committed a substantial portion for India operations. Uber has about 2.6 lakh vehicles on its platform.
Read Full Blog Post: Read Ola COO Pranay Jivrajka full blog post: The law is the law