After expanding its presence across 110 cities across the country, cab aggregator Ola is now keen to expand its footprints beyond Indian shores and while Australia and New Zealand appear to be the major target markets, the company has already made its moves in neighboring Sri Lanka and Bangladesh by setting up teams in Colombo and Dhaka respectively. It is reported that Didi Chuxing, an investor in the company wants Ola to capture as much of the global ride-hailing market as it can. Countries in Asia and North Africa could be the next targets.
Uber, Ola’s rival in India already has an established business in both Australia and New Zealand though there are local players, like GoCatch in Australia. In fact, Uber almost enjoys a monopoly in some cities in these countries. Similarly, in the other two countries mentioned above, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Uber has already been there for over two years now. And Uber does not appear to be ruffled by the news of Ola making an entry into these countries. It says it will keep chasing its own broader business objectives.
Interestingly, another location that Ola seriously considered establishing its business was London. Ola’s co-founder and CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal had even gone and raised the matter with the Mayor of London. However, it is learnt Ola dropped the idea in view of the huge expenses involved in setting about the business in the city which already has a saturated market for taxi services. In Ola’s assessment, the same amount can be productively invested elsewhere and in other countries.
Coming back to the proposal to set up base in Australia and New Zealand, Ola feels there is still sufficient scope to grow its ride-hail cab services in these two countries. Even if one were to leave the 2 major cities of Sydney and Melbourne, there are many more cities and towns that remain untapped. Other operators are also making plans on the same premise.