Ola has been launching different initiatives to engage its existing customers and attract new ones from Uber, its biggest competitor. From offering luxury rides through Ola Lux to free WiFi in its premium sedans, Ola knows how to keep its customers busy.
According to a report by Tech in Asia, Ola is all set to launch a subscription service for users, to model it like a postpaid service. Dubbed ‘Ola Executive’, the service will allow users to pay at the end of the billing cycle, whether weekly, monthly or quarterly.
Tech in Asia quoted,“Ola Exclusive will allow a subscription on a monthly, weekly, or quarterly basis, and will offer services like free wifi, rewards, and an even better supply of cars to customers.”
Ola had launched an ‘Ola Select‘ service, similar to this subscription model, for its loyal customers, some time back. The Select service provided similar facilities sans the pay-later model and only to specific customers who have been using Ola on a day-to-day basis.
Rewards for joining the service
One of the biggest rewards for subscribing to the service is that you can choose to pay at a later stage, depending upon your service duration. This is like Ola is extending credit to you right now, and hoping that you pay the amount at a later stage, without any added cost.
Users will also have the flexibility to align the Ola bill payment schedule with the salary day of the month. To add to this, free WiFi and higher car availability have been promised to the users.
This is a good initiative to attract more customers and enroll them in this subscription program, by offering them some rewards for the same. Much like the credit card industry, this could gain pace in a very short period of time.
This could also work beautifully for professionals traveling for work purposes – They can keep taking the Ola ride through the month and at the end of the billing period get a lump sum bill from Ola to submit it to company for reimbursement.
This new service will also ensure that the rider will give priority to Ola whenever they want to take a ride!
What could go wrong?
Ola has been seen to launch a number of services apart from cab-aggregation, by diversifying into shuttle service, corporate cab services, outstation cabs, food delivery service that shut down, and e-rickshaw service.
Critics claim that this is too much diversification before becoming king in one domain. No doubt Ola is doing extremely well, but one needs to ensure good revenues and profits before looking out for other initiatives.
A major problem with postpaid-based billing service is the high probability of default from customers who are not very loyal to Ola. With subscriptions going to as much as 3 months, customers might not pay for the service after so long, thereby bringing loss to the company.
It is very much similar to the credit card industry and could pose similar obstacles. Ola will have to smartly roll out service to its users, and ensure the newly acquired ones are not messing around. However, we strongly feel this service can set a benchmark in the industry for further initiatives in the billing space.
Ola has not officially rolled out the service so rewards and discounts are still grey areas, but users can expect attractive rebates and options to use their cabs in future. Is this tempting enough to use Ola over Uber? Only time can tell.
Source: Tech in Asia"Ola Executive - Ola’s New Post-Paid Billing Service Coming Soon",