Economy

Ola to launch its cab services in United Kingdom in a month

Ola to launch its cab services in United Kingdom in a month

It has obtained licences to operate in South Wales and Greater Manchester.

Ola will intensity its rivalry with ride-hailing giant Uber, which says it operates in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK.

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder & CEO of Ola, commented: "Ola is excited to announce its plans for the United Kingdom, one of the world's most evolved transportation markets".

Back in India, Ola and Uber have been burning cash for the past four or five years in a bid to outgun each other.

Like Uber, Ola operates a ride-hailing service through an app and relies on the availability of contracted drivers.

Services such as Uber - often called "ride-hailing" or "ride-sharing" apps - at their simplest were created to link drivers, via a mobile phone app, with people who they were prepared to give a lift to in return for a bit of petrol money.

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Ola's launch means its biggest investor is effectively going to war with itself in the UK.

Features of Ola cabs in the UK: Ola says it will conduct Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) screening its drivers, offer 24/7 voice support, options to share ride details with emergency contacts and an emergency feature, possibly in the form of an SOS button. While the U.K.is a key market for Uber, it has also faced criticism over passenger safety and treatment of drivers.

The battle between the two in India has been bitter, and aggressive marketing has proved costly. In Australia, Ola offered to take a commission of 7.5% in one of the states. That's led to speculation about a possible merger in the Indian market, or at least an easing of hostilities.

Uber has also won considerable public backing: more than 8,00,000 had signed a petition urging TFL to change their decision.

Uber, Ola's main rival in India, dominates the Australian market and will offer competition in Britain as well. He was 26 when he founded Ola in 2011.

"The UK is a fantastic place to do business and we look forward to providing a responsible, compelling, new service that can help the country meet its ever-demanding mobility needs", said Aggarwal, who is Ola's co-founder and chief executive. It began services in Bangladesh in 2017 and in Australia in February this year.


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