That’s correct! Ola Cabs, now known as Ola, initially started as an online platform called Olatrip.com that allowed users to book tours and holiday packages in India.
The platform was launched in December 2010 by co-founders Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. However, in 2011, the founders pivoted their business model and transformed Olatrip.com into a ride-hailing platform, OlaCabs.com, after realising the potential of the taxi market in India. ‘
Ola Cabs launched its mobile app in December 2012, and since then, it has become one of the leading ride-hailing companies in India, offering a range of services, including taxis, auto-rickshaws, bikes, and more.
Olatrip.com, which offered advanced package weekend trips and holiday packages, was launched in December 2010 by Ola co-founders. According to Aggarwal, the tour booking business seemed promising at the time, and he marketed the website all by himself as he was the only employee.
He would work on the website at night and go to the Commonwealth Games venue in the morning to distribute pamphlets of Olatrip.com. However, the founders later realised that there was a bigger opportunity in the taxi market in India and pivoted their business model to launch Ola Cabs in 2011.
Pivot to Ola Cabs
The response to the tour booking business was lukewarm, and the founders realised that there was a better opportunity in the taxi market. People were looking for a more convenient and reliable way to book intercity cabs, and the existing taxi services were not meeting their expectations.
In 2011, the founders pivoted their business model and transformed Olatrip.com into a ride-hailing platform called Ola Cabs. The company initially offered intercity cabs for outstation travel, and customers could book cabs through the company’s call centre or website. In 2012, Ola Cabs launched its mobile app, which enabled customers to book cabs on-the-go, track their rides in real-time, and make cashless payments.
Over the years, Ola Cabs expanded its services and added new categories, including city taxis, auto-rickshaws, bikes, and more. The company also introduced innovative features, such as Ola Share, which allows users to share rides and split fares with others going in the same direction, and Ola Money, a digital wallet that enables cashless transactions for Ola rides and other services.
Today, Ola is one of the leading ride-hailing companies in India, serving millions of customers across the country with its affordable, safe, and convenient transportation solutions.
It is interesting to note the evolution of Ola’s business model and how it led to the company’s success in the ride-hailing industry. The story of Ola’s pivot from a tour booking platform to a ride-hailing platform, as well as its expansion into different transportation categories, shows the importance of adaptability and innovation in the competitive tech industry. It is also worth mentioning that Ola’s success in India may have contributed to its acquisition of the UK-based ride-hailing company, Addison Lee, and its continued growth and expansion into other markets.