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How Ola Was Started

Ramya GovindRaj



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The Indian taxi hailing industry is valued to be close to $10 billion. A lucrative and relatively untapped market such as this is bound to attract a lot of attention from entrepreneurs in India and around the world. Capitalising on this opportunity, Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati launched India’s very own cab hailing startup, Ola.

The idea behind Ola came to Bhavish Aggarwal after he found himself stranded in the middle of the road on his way to Bandipur from Bangalore. Bhavish’s cab driver stopped the car in the middle of the journey and demanded a renegotiation of what Bhavish was paying and then proceeded to abandon him by the side of the road. Understanding the plight of travellers everywhere, he saw the amount of potential that an extraordinary cab booking service could have in this country. In 2010, he changed his business model from a holiday and tour planning company to a taxi hailing firm.

Joined by his co founder Ankit Bhati, Ola was launched in December 2010 as Ola Cabs. The taxi aggregator efficiently bridges the gap between cab owners and commuters adding a touch of technology to make lives and transportation easier. The company partners with drivers and cab owners to offer a variety of cab services to commuters across India. Leveraging the best of technology and building innovative solutions, the company expanded to reach 50+ cities by 2015. Serving 200,000 rides per day, which roughly translated to 6 million riders per month, the taxi hailing startup grew at a rate of over 40%.

However, the Ola journey was not as smooth as booking a cab on the app. In 2012, both the founders got a wake up call in the form of a website outage. Ankit Bhati, the Chief Technology Officer, who was in Bangalore at the time had to stay on call the entire night with the one man technology team in Mumbai to solve the issue. But that did not stop the duo. They shifted base from Mumbai to Bangalore and launched their mobile app, stepping up their game. The first version of the app, however, was a one touch destination for booking cabs.

Further, in 2015, the company also launched Ola Fleet, a cab lending arm, which operates as a subsidiary of ANI Technologies Pvt., Ltd., Ola’s parent company. By September 2015, the company was valued at $5 billion. In 2016, the company launched another flagship service Ola Play which became the world’s first connected car platform, transforming the commuting experiences and setting the tone for global innovation in this space. By the end of the year, started facing competition from Uber and another homegrown company TaxiForSure. Nevertheless, Ola persevered. The startup acquired TaxiForSure, launched another flagship service Ola Auto and continues to battle against Uber to become the majority shareholder of the market.

Currently, the company offers 11 services in over 106 cities and also launched its services in Australia. The company is backed by international venture capital firms like SoftBank, Tencent, Microsoft and eBay among others. According to latest reports, Ola is in talks with Singapore sovereign fund Temasek, to raise $1 billion in fresh funding. As of November last year, Ola is expected to be valued at close to Rs. 23,112 crores or $3.46 billion.

Bhavish Aggarwal’s journey from almost beginning a tourism company to establishing India’s biggest taxi hailing startup looks like a dream of every aspiring entrepreneur in the country. If anything, Ankit Bhati and Bhavish Aggarwal’s story is proof that anything is possible if you have the will and the determination to start your journey.  Two IIT B-Tech graduates who started their careers in Microsoft and other startups have acquired 3 startups till date and raised more than $350 million from existing as well as new investors. The success story of Ola is the motivation everyone needs to book your next ride and start your own journey.

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7 Books That Could Change Your Life



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A book always opens up the doors to new possibilities and ideas. You just need to be open to new suggestions. The right books will make you invincible, by providing you with gems you can not find anywhere else. Here we have a list of books which will change your life, only if you let them.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is about preaching the message, we are all are inherently creative. Big Magic is a motivational and inspirational read, it makes the reader want to create something spectacular.

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

“You are the masterpiece of your own life. You are the Michelangelo of your own life.” This is the message this book conveys. If you are ever in a slump pick this up, it is a light and easy read, The Secret will leave you with a new energy and a new perspective on life.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Charles Duhigg takes us on a journey with this book, he includes real life examples and success stories. Duhigg employs scientific discoveries to provide us with a logical explanation about why we do, what we do in life and how to change it.

Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

The author of this book Gary Vaynerchuk writes “Are you going to be part of the revolution? My hope is that Crushing It! will be the inspiration and strategy for you to understand how it’s not only possible, but practical to do the same.” It is a self help book for entrepreneurs to build their businesses.

Startupland:How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea into a Global Business By Mikkel Svane

Startup Land is a realistic account of how three guys dove into the startup industry. They documented their struggles and successes in this book. The story effortlessly conveys the message you just need to be you to succeed at your passion.

Four Thousand Days: My Journey from Prison to Business Success By Duane Jackson

An entertaining an inspiring story of a young man, who turned his life over after being arrested for possession of drugs. The author tells his story about building and selling his business and how he became a millionaire.

Rework By Jason Fried

A New York Times bestseller, Rework, is a business book, that is unlike the rest. Rework does not give you the same old advice, it provides you with realistic, better, faster and easier ways to succeed in your business.

Have you read any of these books? If so let us know how you liked it in the comments below!

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How Steve Jobs Convinced Tim Cook To Work For Apple



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Timothy Donald Cook, also known as Tim Cook, is the Chief Executive Officer of Apple. Cook is a well known American business executive and an engineer. Tim is behind the company which runs the most profitable business in America. Last year, Apple brought in more than $ 48 billion in net income.

Steve Jobs, the co founder of Apple, introduced Tim Cook to the company. In an interview with Bloomberg, Tim was quoted saying working for Steve Jobs was “liberating.” He added, if he had a “really big” idea, he would just simply bring it to Steve Jobs, if Jobs liked it he would just say “OK” and let Tim work on it.

“It was like a total revelation for me that a company could run like this, because I was used to these layers and bureaucracies and studies the sort of paralysis that companies could get into and Apple was totally different,” said Cook.

Tim Cook celebrates his seventh anniversary as Apple’s CEO after being with Apple for 14 years. He took over the company in 2011 after the passing of Steve Jobs. Jobs died after a long battle with cancer at the age of 56.

Steve Jobs’ desire to move into the consumer space for Apple and his lack of interest in growing financially convinced Cook to join Apple. In his first  interview in 1998 for the position, Cook wanted to join Apple within five minutes of meeting Steve Jobs. Cook was so mesmerized with Jobs charm and the way he ran the company, he resigned from his job at Compaq the next day, he did not look back from Apple ever since.

Cook adapted the role as the CEO seamlessly, he calls the job “his oxygen.” He built a reputation as a demanding boss, he holds marathon meetings, questions everything and is constantly emailing employees.

Talking about how Cook’s Apple is going to be different he said, “I love museums, but I don’t want to live in one. Steve taught us to not focus on the past. Be future focused.”


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How To Structure Your Priorities



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At work, everything is at a high priority, how do you then structure your list of priorities with everything you need to accomplish. Knowing how to structure your priorities, is a key skill to have. To hit deadlines, you need to follow these steps and make your life easier, for you and your colleagues.

Write a to do list

Even though, you know everything you need to get done, it is best if you jot down everything with the deadline date. Do not worry about the order, just brain dump, small tasks as well as big tasks on to the list. From walking the dogs to finishing up a work related document that is due in two hours.

Identify what is urgent

After writing everything down, look at the things needed to be done the quickest, the work, if not done as soon as possible can have negative consequences. That work related document which is now due in an hour and fifty minutes.

Assess value

Look at the leftover tasks, and identify tasks adding the most value to the company upon completion. You should be able to recognize what tasks provide you or your organisation with the most value. If there is cooking food on your list, it would be helpful to do that before embarking to do everything else on an empty stomach.

Rearrange the tasks

After identifying the work needed to be done first and the work garnering the most value when completed. It is time to rearrange the tasks requiring the most effort. The easiest way to do this is by employing a prioritisation method by Brian Tracy. It focuses on your feelings towards the task.

In the words of Mark Twain, if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing it is probably the worst thing going to happen to you all day long. With this ideology in mind, get the worst task done first.

  1. Things you do not want to do and you do not need to do.
  2. Things you do not want to do but actually, need to do.
  3. Things you want to do and actually need to do.
  4. Things you want to do and do not need to do.

Remember you only have twenty four hours in a day, make sure you do not bite off more than you can chew.


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