Ola, which recently expanded to Australia, will now begin its operation in the UK next month, after having obtained licenses for South Wales and Greater Manchester. The company says that it will offer Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs) and Black Cabs to start with, and will add other options later on.
The company says that it will expand across the UK by the end of 2018. It is offering “introductory” commission rates of 10% for PHVs and 5% for metered taxis. For comparison, in Australia, Ola offered to take a commission of 7.5% in one of the states. While it has clarified that this is an “introductory offer”, Ola has not mentioned what the actual commission will be after this offer expires.
The cab-hailing service provider has claimed that it will conduct Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) screening its drivers, offer 24/7 voice support, options to share ride details with emergency contacts and an emergency feature, which could be in the form of an SOS button.
Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola, said,
Ola is excited to announce its plans for the UK, one of the world’s most evolved transportation markets. The UK is a fantastic place to do business and we look forward to providing a responsible, compelling, new service that can help the country meet its ever demanding mobility needs. We look forward to our continued engagement with policymakers and regulators as we expand across the country and build a company embedded in the UK.
The development of Ola’s expansion to the UK market comes after Uber managed to get its license back for 15 months. Last year, in London, Uber’s license was suspended for demonstrating lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues that include potential public safety and security implications.
The company is also looking to expand in other countries such as New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and already has teams in Dhaka and Colombo. Ola’s team in Sri Lanka has been accused of “commercial espionage” by its competitor PickMe.