Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Economy | By

Ola takes the battle to Uber, says it’s going to enter UK

Ola takes the battle to Uber, says it’s going to enter UK

Ola says it will be the only ride-hailing app in the United Kingdom that offers passengers the option of PHVs and Black Cabs through one consumer-friendly platform, which will in future see additional transportation options incorporated for greater passenger choice.

Subject to successful negotiations with other local authorities Ola could expand nationwide by the end of the year.

Indian ride-hailing app Ola has announced plans to launch its services in Britain, as it seeks to challenge Uber's dominance.

Ola will open operations in Greater Manchester and south Wales, including capital Cardiff, within the next month.

Founded in 2011 in Mumbai by two graduates from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Ola now arranges 1bn rides each year globally, with more than 1 million drivers and 125 million customers in more than 110 cities.

Mint first reported on May 28 that Ola is adopting a holding company structure similar to that of India's most successful internet startup Flipkart to boost the cab-hailing company's valuation and improve the management of its businesses.

Ride-hailing apps are booming in India despite stiff opposition from traditional taxi firms and some initial concerns about passenger safety.

Ola states that it offers its drivers higher commissions than rival services and screens all drivers through the Disclosure and Barring Service, backed up by in-app emergency features and the option to share ride details with emergency contacts.

Services such as Uber - often called "ride-hailing" or "ride-sharing" apps - at their simplest were created to link drivers, via a mobile phone app, with people who they were prepared to give a lift to in return for a bit of petrol money.

After years spent fighting Uber on its home ground in India, Ola is taking the fight into its rival's core markets.

The UK is already a crowded market, and one in which Uber itself has faced fierce opposition from established taxi providers, not to mention friction from licensing authorities unhappy at some of its business practices. The news follows an expansion into Australia in February, signalling that Ola is ready to ramp up its global takeover.

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