It is well known that in every crisis, there is a window of opportunity. In a clear indication of the panache that
only start-ups possess, Bengaluru-based taxi aggregator Ola Cabs changed the dynamics for commuting in
Chennai where the heaviest rains in the last 10 years converted most roads into mini rivers. Considering that it was next to impossible to hail an Ola Cab, the taxi aggregator changed tack almost overnight by collaborating with the Tamil Nadu Fire Services Department and deployed a fleet of branded blue Ola boats to rescue stranded citizens apart from supplying food and water for free. The boats are deployed based on the information provided by the department.
There is yet no app for the boats, but don’t be surprised if there is an Ola Boat service somewhere in the country over the next few months. Each boat that can carry up to nine passengers is operated by two professional rowers and fishermen on board. The rowers carry rain-gear and umbrellas just in case it rains all over again. Ola has clearly managed a branding coup in India’s automotive hub that houses the plants of Ford Motors, Hyundai, BMW and Nissan. One thing is for sure. The rains may have subsided in Chennai, but Ola has pulled of a seriously ‘uber cool’ move.