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Exclusive | Say Ola to the 'Kaali - Peelis': Ola's Subramanian!

Say Ola to the Kaali-Peeli’s! Ola Cabs have recently taken a big step of launching the Kaali-Peeli taxi booking option for the app users in the city of Mumbai. With over 2000 Kaali-Peelis across South Mumbai already registered on the Ola platform, customers can now book a local taxi with one touch on the Ola app, without having to step out to find one!

Under this scheme, the registered Kaali-Peeli drivers are equipped with a smartphone that helps them accept booking requests and navigate to the customer’s doorstep making the entire process absolutely hassle-free!

This inclusion is a big step in the personal transportation ecosystem for the city. The Ola app has over 30,000 cars available across 19 cities, making it the largest as well as the fastest growing cab booking app in India. The Ola app is available on the Windows, iOS and the Android platform.

Adgully caught up with Anand Subramanian, Director - Marketing Communications, Olacabs to take few more insights about the new initiative and the growth of Ola cabs since its inception in India.

Ola as a brand has always stood for making transportation convenient for the consumers. “This is a very proud moment for us! Kaali-Peelis are life lines for Mumbai. The initiative has been received with great enthusiasm from drivers on the platform and commuters are going to love the booking experience! This move truly shows the extent to which technology can benefit everyone in the ecosystem. This will not only help the consumers but will also leverage the drivers with more orders and gives them a consistant earning too”, stated Subramanian.

The Kaali-Peelis will be available to commuters at the meter rates itself. Customers use the app only as a booking interface and shall settle the fare as usual with the taxi driver.
On the responses bit, Subramanian said, “It is been more than a month now that the initiative is in place, we have seen a great response and acceptance from both consumer and the drivers. We have seen a 40 percent increase in the revenue and also the driver’s registrations have seen a drastic increase therefore getting 2000 taxis across South Bombay in our kitty.”

Ola, founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati has reached and touched newer heights in 3 years and is now one of the leading mobile applications for cab booking, integrating city transportation for customers and drivers onto a technology platform. Speaking about the radio taxi market post and pre Ola, he said, “Radio taxi market has seen a significant change in the past few years. And Radio-taxi market itself is very robust and different concept. So when Ola entered, the market was niche but in the past one year the market has become quite competitive. The industry has grown both in terms of size and number of players. The players in this market own their own cars but we at Ola, using the technology in the right manner, though of giving better revenue to the driver who is an entrepreneur with the help of an application and make that help the consumers’ book cabs conveniently.”

The radio-taxi market is approximately 8 to 10 billion dollar market but 90 percent is still un-organized. In terms of market share, he said, “We and few more players played a big role in organizing this sector. Today we are in 19 cities and have more than 30000 cars in our umbrella. So in terms of market share all that I can say is that Ola stands first and quite tall in terms of consumer’s preference.”

He, explaining the revenue model at Ola, said, “It is very simple, the brand charges 20 percent commission from the taxi's that they have in their kitty. However, we haven't come up with a set revenue model for Kaali-Peelis yet”.

Also when Ola started, initially the app used to contribute 30 to 40 percent of bookings but today the number has gone upto 70 to 75 percent. He feels mobile apps are probably the next big wave in every industry.  

The brand Ola from Jan 2011 to now has growth rapidly making itself available at all the possible platforms and in all the possible cities. From one city to now more than 19 cities, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Pune, Goa, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Indore, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Surat, Vishakhapatnam and soon in Nashik, Nagpur and Coimbatore, Ola has made its presence felt quite literally. In terms of key markets for Ola which have given best results, he said, “Though every city has contributed in our growth but the potential growth has been witnessed from tier 2 and tier 3 cities like Jaipur, Pune, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar etc. these markets are growing at the rate of 200 percent month on month.”

He informs that the coming months and years seem to be really aggressive for Ola as they are would be seen expanding their footprints to cities like Kolkata and few more tier 3 cities.

Transit advertising is one of the most seen, felt and used model of advertising in our country. On the daily basis we see lot of ads on buses, trains, metros etc. When asked whether we should be seeing Ola too adopting to this, he said, "Though it is a good form of advertising but I am not sure whether that would help Ola or no as the cars are not owned by us but the drivers."

Lastly, with Ola and Kaali-Peeli association, the drivers will now have the latest travel technology at their disposal. The app will enable them access to booking requests on a consistent basis from their vicinity. Such additional rides will make a considerable difference to their daily revenues, upto as much as 40% in current scale of operations. The drivers, who are also entrepreneurs in their own right, have the freedom to logon or logout of the application as well.

Over the next 12 months, this option shall be made available across the whole city of Mumbai. The company aims to bring over 20,000 Kaali-Peelis on their mobile platform by the end of this year. By: Aanchal Kohli | Twitter: @aanchalkohli

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