Ola Cabs is looking at expanding its market by tying up with rickshaws as well as traditional kaali peeli taxis.
Ola Cabs is looking at expanding its market by tying up with rickshaws as well as traditional kaali peeli taxis. Anand Subramanian, director, marketing communications, at Ola Cabs talks to FE’s Sharleen D’Souza about how the company plans to shape up in the future. Excerpts:
After having recently received funding from DST Capital and others, how do you plan to go ahead considering that you have already captured 80% of the market?
We are not a country of car owners, nor do we have reliable personal transportation options readily available in our cities. In India, taxis are far and few. To make cabs more accessible, we plan to double our reach from 100 to 200 cities in the current year. We have grown over 10 times in the last one year, now hosting about 150,000 vehicles on the platform. We envision a million driver entrepreneurs on the Ola platform over the next three years. We have also ventured into the auto rickshaw segment and are currently in six cities. We intend to go deeper into tier 2 and 3 cities where there is a genuine need for transportation.
Do you plan to raise more money? Are you in talks with PE players for the same?
So far we have ventured into many categories like prime, mini, autos and kaali peelis. We have also started to tie up with auto rickshaws in six cities. We are in an investment mode and working towards providing transportation to places at the touch of a button. Given the fact that we are building the market ground up, it definitely needs substantial investment. We are well capitalised from the most recent round of funding for now.
Do you plan to come up with an IPO in the near future?
We are still in the growth phase and are growing aggressively — that is the focus for now. We are not looking at an IPO at the moment.
Do you plan to acquire any other cab aggregator in the next few months?
We are open to acquisitions when we see a clear synergy —be it in the technology space or transportation space. Our recent acquisition of TaxiForSure, for instance, brought in clear complimentary value on the driver/operator as well as consumer side.
Do you plan to get into any other segment in the future?
At the core of it, Ola is an on-demand platform. We have taken multiple leaps ahead from time to time — from cabs to taxis to autos and now OlaCafé. At every step, we have leveraged the on-demand technology that we have built, which essentially connects the customer and the service provider seamlessly, within minutes!
Have you tied up with vendors for the same for Ola Cafe ? Do you plan to expand in other cities as well?
OlaCafé is currently in beta. What we are doing with OlaCafé is bringing great food from popular restaurants around you at your doorstep within 20 minutes! All of this straight from the Ola app! OlaCafé is operational in four cities — Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad — and we shall be expanding to more cities post the beta phase.