Booking a Ride to Success: Ola’s Genesis
Not so long ago, in a place not so far away, a man named Bhavish Aggarwal had to go on a business trip. To add to his very tiresome schedule, he encountered car issues and ended up being abandoned by his driver. This irked the already exhausted Aggarwal.
Stranded on the road, he thought about the number of people who struggled with this same issue every day. Then, an idea came to him. A cab company that could provide a satisfying commuting experience, one that anyone without a vehicle could make use of. Life sure would be easier if one didn’t have to be rejected by 20 taxis every day! Aggarwal thought of all the features it could have and founded a company with a fellow graduate and called it Ola.
💡 Before The Eureka Moment
Aggarwal graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering in 2008. That’s when he started his blog, Desitech, where he posted about various technological innovations pertaining to India.
He began his career as a research intern at Microsoft India, where he was eventually hired as an assistant researcher. During his time there, he filed two patents, following the publication of three of his papers in international journals. After two years of working at Microsoft, he left the organisation to become an entrepreneur.
🔮 An Appointment With Destiny
Aggarwal’s first venture was olatrip.com, a travel planning service that assisted with short-duration tours and holidays. It was during a business trip for this website that he had that unpleasant experience with car rentals and where he thought of the business model for Ola cabs.
It was in 2010 that he founded Ola with Ankit Bhati, another graduate of IIT Bombay. His technology connected commuters to cab owners. The angel investors for this venture were Kunal Bahl, Rehan Yar Khan and Anupam Mittal.
In four years, Aggarwal and Bhati created a network of 200,000 cars, bagging over 1 lakh bookings a day across 100 cities.
In 2022, Ola Electricals raised $139 million at a $7.3 billion valuation.