Online cab aggregator Ola has tied up with Nissan India to provide its drivers with cars under the Nissan and Datsun brands. Ola plans to have more such tie ups in the future, in order to add over 100,000 vehicles through cab leasing by the end of 2016. It plans to track usage throughout this time and develop customised vehicles for cab sharing based on the analytics.
In September, Ola raised $225 million in a round of funding from existing and new investors and launched a cab leasing program for drivers which would let them lease a car for a deposit and monthly lease payments, with an option to own the vehicle after 3 years. The company piloted the program with 1,000 vehicles in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and 3 other cities, for which it sourced vehicles from Maruti Suzuki. The program, worth Rs 5,000 crore ($753 million), will see an initial investment of Rs 500 crore (~ $75 million) by Ola, and raise independent funds for this company owned subsidiary.
Ride sharing launched: Last month, Ola launched Ola Share, a ride sharing service in beta, which will apparently match users from ‘social groups’ like people from the same workplace, friends from college etc. This service would be available for select users in Bangalore and 5 other cities over the next 3 months. Ola said that Share would help in decongestion of traffic, pollution and sustainable transport. It claimed that its drivers’ revenue was likely to increase up to 50% by taking continuous rides.
Mahindra First Choice and Shriram partnership: In the same month, Ola has partnered with Mahindra First Choice Services to provide discounted car maintenance services to drivers on its platform. According to the cab aggregator, drivers would be able to avail these services at 79 First Choice workshops across the country. It also partnered with Shriram Automall and Shriram Transport Finance to help drivers get financing for CNG cars and an exchange mechanism for their old cars.
Driver cashbacks: In September, Ola partnered with Indian Oil (IOCL) to provide its drivers cashbacks of Re 1 for every liter of fuel filled at IOCL stations across India. The program would also extend to CNG fuelling in Delhi. The company would also set up mobile contact centres at IOCL CNG stations to talk to driver partners who’d want to register on the platform.
Platform charges for drivers: Ola and rival Uber started charging their drivers Rs 300 a week to try and prevent them from using other aggregating platforms. This charge, which applies regardless of usage, is being attributed to phone, mobile Internet connections and other services provided by the aggregators.
Loyalty program: In August, it launched the rewards and loyalty program called ‘Ola Select’ for its frequent customers. At that time, Select users would be able to use free WiFi, no-cost upgrades, discounts and ‘exclusive benefits’ from partners Myntra, Snapdeal and Cleartrip.