The taxi rivalry in India is turning into a three-way fight. On one hand Government machinery is observing every law and regulation to control their reach; taxi app companies are fighting among themselves to prove who is the boss in India.
In a latest war of words initiated, Ola has claimed that their ‘Micro’ category of cabs have beaten entire fleet of Uber in India. This is a huge claim, considering that Uber is attempting to raise funds in the USA; and at the same time fighting a bitter battle inside India and other Asian countries.
Ola Micro is the small car segment offered by Ola to compete against UberGo, which also provides small cars at low prices. For instance, in Bangalore, Ola Micro is available at Rs 6/km, compared to UberGo, which is at Rs 7/km.
Raghuvesh Sarup, head of categories and chief marketing officer at Ola, said, “In just under seven weeks of its launch, Ola Micro alone as a category, is larger than our nearest competitor as a whole,”
Hence, without naming Uber, Ola is trying to say that their one ‘category’ is enough to beat Uber, and their entire fleet of cars in India. Interestingly, there is no valid proof of these numbers, as these claims have been made on their ‘internal data, as well as data available from market research’
Recently, Ola Micro had had expanded into 48 new cities, thereby making their presence felt across 75 Indian cities.
Sarup also said, “Ola Micro has seen rapid acceptance and popularity in just a matter of weeks since its launch, compelling us to take it to over 75 cities within a short span of time.”
As per Ola, 2/3rd of all Ola Micro customers are first time users of Ola; while remaining 1/3rd are recurring customers.
Ola has aggressively marketed their ‘Micro’ offering and currently running high impact TV commercials on various channels including during IPL cricket matches.
War of Words Continues
Last month, Sarup had claimed that Micro category alone is now equivalent to entire Uber bookings. He had said at that time, “In three weeks, we have put up a category (Ola Micro) which is already 50 per cent of all of Uber’s daily bookings in the country. The rate at which Micro is growing, it will be larger than their entire brand within a month,”
Earlier in March, Uber’s President of business in Asia, Eric Alexander, had claimed that Uber will surpass Ola in India within a month. This statement actually triggered the war of words between these two taxi app behemoths.
Eric had said, “In January last year, we were at 5% market share. Now we are right at the edge of 50%. I would say that within the next 30 days we would beat them (Ola). We will surpass them very, very shortly.”
In an emailed reply, Uber has responded to the recent salvo by Ola this way: “We are excited to see the growth and momentum we have picked over the last few months becoming the most popular ride-hailing app in India. It’s all possible because of the product and technology that provides better value to our riders and drivers using our platform.”
Earlier, Uber had sued Ola for loss of Rs 50 crore. Uber claimed that Ola is misguiding their drivers, and booking fake orders.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Govt. has warned both Uber and Ola about following traffic rules. In case they are found to be breaking any law, then their cabs would be seized.
Transport commissioner Rame Gowda said, “Aggregators must obtain licenses under the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rule 2016.”
How will Uber and Ola counter high handedness of Govt., in case they are busy fighting one another? Will such fierce fighting lead to consolidation in this niche market?
We will keep you updated as more details come in..