Betting on the futuristic technology of self-driving vehicles and transportation, homegrown cab aggregator Ola is planning to expand horizontally and offer aligned services surrounded by the core services.
Many companies such as Flipkart, Paytm, Ola etc., are now centered with multiple products and services being offered, even as Ola looks to score majority of the transportation sector and also to grow profits in a bleeding sector being affected by large volume of losses incurred.
Since past few years, Indians have shown a tendency to be more inclined towards paying a minimal rent rather than owning a vehicle or car themselves. In a bid to scale the surface transportation space, Ola has launched a self-driven rental car service in Bengaluru.
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Called ‘Ola Drive’, the company has begun testing the pilot in Bengaluru currently for a select number of users before rolling out the service across India and is expected to offer these cars at short-term rental and subscription/ corporate leasing models.
The service is boasts of an experience without any hassle, which has started now after 6 months of internal preparation by the SoftBank-backed company. In March this year, Ola claimed that it has a significant interest in self-drive car rental space with a plan to invest up to $500 million in leasing and subscription verticals.
The self-driving feature has models of several consumer-preferred brands such as Maruti, Hyundai and Tata, among others.
As per data from sources, Ola is charging somewhere about Rs. 444 for two hours if one chooses Swift Dzire while Xcent and Grandi10 costs Rs 362 and 314 respectively.
The service is not yet available in metro cities such as Mumbai, Delhi and Lucknow. Other than this, the self-drive option is not open for all Ola users in Bengaluru at present but is likely to be rolled out for all users in next 2-3 weeks.
With this, Ola is also going to have consensus with luxury carmakers such as Audi, Mercedes and BMW to include luxury cars in Ola’s fleet by paying a monthly subscription.
The two major competitors that Ola will have in this vertical are Zoomcar and Drivezy. While Zoomcar claims to have a fleet of 7,000 vehicles with 2 million customers, Drivezy on the other hand, has fleet size estimated to be in the range of 3,500 to 4,000 (excluding bikes). While as per statistics from aligned reports Ola plans to have a fleet of 10,000 selected car models for self-drive, corporate leasing and subscription in a market where Zoomcar is the market leader with 70% market share across the country.
This has not been the case with just that transport vehicles but the trend has been quite soaring for cars, furniture and large appliances as well. This space has received a further push with added interest of bigwig VC firms such as SoftBank.
However, with the growing competition in every sector, talks of a Drivezy and Zoomcar merger deal which currently, is in the stages of initial discussions, can aid enough competition to Ola.
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