Putting an end to the assumptions about the possible Ola-Uber merger, Ola’s CEO Bhavish Aggarwal took to Twitter calling the news “absolute rubbish”. Uber also responded to the rumor calling the report ‘inaccurate.’
The ride-hailing companies were believed to be in talks to merge. The news spread across after Ola’s CEO’s recent visit to San Francisco and a meeting with the senior Uber executives. Responding to the news Aggarwal tweeted, “We’re very profitable and growing well. If some other companies want to exit their business from India they are welcome too! We will never merge.” Uber issued a statement saying that the companies “have not and have never been in the merger talks.”
There is a background story as to why these assumptions took place. Both the cab aggregator companies held a somewhat similar conversation 4-years ago when Japan’s Softbank, a common investor of both companies pushed for a merger back then. No deal was settled then, but the recent happening revived and restarted the entire speculation.
Ola and Uber have been competing in the Indian market for a long time, and have ferociously competed against each other, both being on top and spending billions of dollars on driver incentives, passenger discounts, and different schemes to drag in more customers.
The pandemic, no wonder brought down the business for both the aggregator companies as the demands dampened which led to the process of laying off employees.
For Ola, this led to the recent layoff of 400-500 employees since the Bangalore-based company has to struggle in terms of funding. Ola also had to shut down the Ola Cars within a year of its launch followed by Ola Cafe, Food Panda, Ola Foods, and Ola Dash. This, nevertheless, is taken as a shifted focus to one thing at a time which is the EV sector, Ola’s entry into the electric two-wheeler and car verticals has been a big bet and the company continues to find new growth areas.