Cab aggregator Ola will be investing Rs 350 crore in Haryana over the next five years. Ola has signed a memorandum of understanding with the state to create 10,000 driver-entrepreneurs. It is currently present in five cities in the state: Gurgaon, Faridabad, Panchkula, Kurukshetra and Ambala.
Ola plans to introduce its other mobility solutions – Ola Auto, Ola Share, Ola Shuttle and Ola Bike – across the state. It’s worth noting that Haryana and Goa are the only states to have regulations for motorcycles used as a mode of public transport. The Karnataka State Transport department has deemed Ola and Uber’s newly launched bike taxi services as illegal, since they do not have permits to operate as commercial vehicles in Bangalore. Ola and Uber shortly shut down the service in the state.
Rival Uber too had signed an MoU with Haryana in March and said it would introduce ridesharing services through UberPOOL in the state.
Ola is increasingly looks to work with state governments across the country to deeply ingrain itself into the ecosystem and prevent possible actions against the cab aggregators by the governments in the future. Earlier in the month, Karnataka state government gave Ola the license to operate in the state after it was able to meet the conditions of the new guidelines for cab aggregators. This makes Ola the first cab aggregator to operate legally in the state.
Ola’s other problems: Securing licenses from state governments to operate legally is not Ola’s only headache. Last week in Chennai, 250 people, who have signed up with Ola, protested outside the company’s office demanding the scrapping of surge pricing, customer ratings, Ola Share and Ola Micro.
The other problem, that applies to almost every Internet business, is the constant tussle between and offline and online services. Last Tuesday, yellow taxi cabs in Mumbai went on a strike protesting against the low fares charged by the online cab aggregators, who are flushed with VC money.
Ola’s new services: Ola has been ramping up its offerings and introducing new services like hourly car rentals in Mumbai, a luxury car service offering cars like Mercedes, BMW and Audi for its users in Mumbai and outstation cab service from Pune. It recently signed an MoU with Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru to set up an Ola Zone at the airport, allowing drivers easy parking facility and users to hail cabs more quickly.
With inputs from Harshal Gupta