Transport aggregator Ola today said its India-focussed innovations like offline booking and local language apps have helped the homegrown company “effectively hold onto over three-fourth market share”. The SoftBank-backed firm, which is locked in an intense battle with US-based Uber, also claimed that every bit of technology it has built has been “made from the ground up without any premise to use as a base”.
“When they (Uber) launched in India in 2013, Ola hardly had a first mover advantage as we were doing just about 2,000 bookings a day. In spite of this, we have continued to build on our innovations effectively holding onto over three-fourth of the market-share,” Ola COO Pranay Jivrajka told Pixr8.
He added that the focus needs to be on localisation for building customised products for India and replicating existing business models and innovations will not work for the market here.
“We are using technology to create ‘Made for India’ solutions, both on supply and demand side, right from offline bookings for customers and 2G optimisation to local language apps. Several introductions from competition like ride later option, cash payment have already been pioneered months ago by Ola’s technology team,” he said.
Asked if the Bengaluru-based firm was looking at raising more funds, Jivrajka said the company is well capitalised at the moment. “When (capital is) used for irrational incentivising or for doling out heavy customer discounts in an attempt to buy market share, it is not in the interest of the industry… Capital is very important, but cannot be a differentiator in the long run if it is to be deployed in short term tactics,” he added.
Jivrajka said Ola is is investing into long term development of the ecosystem by promoting skilling, entrepreneurship and sustainable mobility.