The journey so far and the path ahead

We celebrated our 13th anniversary on the 3rd of December, 2023. Every anniversary makes us proud of what we have achieved, and yet more aware of how much there is left to do.

We are proud that we are building a business in shared mobility in India. The impact we can make and the lives we can touch is inspiring. We are happy that the quality of our business has come a long way and are proud to share a view of where we are today and what we intend to achieve going forward.
Our journey so far
There was a time when autos and public transport were the most popular mode of transport across India. This time was, Before Ola. It was a time when cabs were not easily accessible and cab owners struggled to find riders. Traveling from one place to another wasn’t easy.

In this context, Ola pioneered the concept of shared mobility in India and made it accessible to every Indian. The introduction of Ola Cabs allowed users to book rides conveniently through a mobile app, bringing a new level of efficiency and ease to urban transportation. We remained at the forefront of mobility transformation in India, and we did this while leveraging innovative services, technology, a focus on affordability, and expansion across the country. All of which have collectively shaped a more convenient and efficient transportation landscape in the country.

Over the years, Ola became synonymous with ride hailing – customers would often exclaim while on the move – “Ola karlo?” This phrase makes us proud – we are no longer a noun, we are a verb!

We learnt in our early days that supply on the platform was critical, and by providing a compelling offering to our partners, we could build a healthy and vibrant ecosystem. We have been dedicated to providing a fulfilling experience to our partners, knowing that we succeed only when they thrive.

We gradually expanded outside of cabs and launched a set of newer categories and businesses including but not limited to autorickshaw, bikes, outstation, rentals. The brand’s strong association with mobility remains a testament to its success in shaping and dominating the narrative of on-demand transportation in India.
A journey not without road bumps
Inarguably, COVID has been one of the biggest crises in modern history, disrupting and changing the contours of almost all industries. Like many others, we weren’t immune to this disruption either. The pandemic saw us facing lockdowns, social distancing measures, and a steep decrease in travel. In parallel, there was a migration of partners to hometowns, even as work from home became more of the norm in a covid-stricken world.

However, we were resilient and our truly entrepreneurial culture empowered us to convert the crisis into an opportunity – the changes we made in our operating model then continue to help us even today. As a result of our trials and perseverance, our new business model has come together. The moves we made during and after the pandemic have now made our operating model not only scalable but also profitable.
We are proud to serve India at scale
It is truly humbling to witness the deep-rooted presence we have established in India. We have created a vast and fully integrated ecosystem of partners and riders that not only creates value for the riders on our platform but also acts as an economic enabler for our partners. More importantly, we are truly inspired by the change that we have engendered and the positive impact that we have brought into the lives of those who are part of our ecosystem.
Profitable while retaining our leadership position
In FY23 we challenged ourselves – to not just grow and scale, but to do this profitably. While our revenue continued to grow at a strong clip of 58%, we became EBITDA positive in the India mobility business. One of the few consumer internet businesses in India to be profitable at this level.
Standalone (Mobility India only) financial results for FY23
Consolidated financial results for FY23

*Note:  EBITDA numbers for continuous business
This is an incredible milestone. Often we were challenged if we could ever be profitable. In the true Ola way, we have let our actions speak louder than words.

The India Opportunity
While great strides have been made, we know we are only starting. We are just 13 years young! Our past only makes us more hungry, more driven and more ambitious. And where else to do this, than rooted in India! 

India’s growth is unstoppable! A young and digital native demographic, India is well on its way to achieving a USD 5 Trillion economy and becoming the 3rd largest economy by 2027-2028. We will see growth across the spectrum. Number of affluent consumers will grow rapidly, it is estimated that the total number of affluent households in India (annual income > INR 20 Lakhs) will grow by 13 million by 2030. These consumers will expect a step jump in the quality of services offered to them – no different from any other part of the world. At the same time there will be a large upsurge in the consuming class. India will add ~45 million households to her middle class. We will serve our customers at both ends of the spectrum.
Our vision is to serve a billion Indian consumers and enable livelihood and economic empowerment for 10 million partners 
Mobility: Ride hailing is still significantly underpenetrated in India, 92% of all rides remain off-line. In fact penetration levels today are just 1/4th of that of Brazil. We can unlock significant growth if we can provide convenience, choice and affordability to our consumers.. For example, today, 75-90 Bn rides are done annually on public transport. These consumers have to pay almost twice as much (1.8X) to use the most affordable shared mobility (Bike) ride, this limits the market size. If we are able to bring this pricing down, the size of the addressable market would more than double. Even more importantly it will enable millions of our consumers access to better livelihoods and socio-economic opportunities.
Mobility today versus overall ride hailing opportunity
Logistics and online commerce: Like shared mobility, even online commerce penetration in India is only 6%, significantly lower than even countries in South East Asia like Indonesia (26%). The tailwinds are strong though. We see this space grow to ~USD 150Bn by 2025 with the bulk of growth expected to come from Tier 2/3 towns and lower SEC consumers in larger cities. An important unlock to online commerce will be superior, reliable, lower cost urban logistics. India is currently held back by an under-developed and expensive logistics system. Logistics is 8% of GDP in the USA while in India it is 13-14% and as result a cause of inefficiency. This will get streamlined in the future.

The potential for us to shape the future is immense. We have the right starting point and we are determined to build on this going forward.

Paving our path ahead

We are organizing ourselves into three business units to allow focused management, streamlined operations, and more agility.

  1. Ride Hailing and mobility
  2. Financial Services 
  3. Logistics & E-Commerce

1. Ride Hailing: We have a clear, cohesive and compelling plan to participate in India’s growth story. In mobility, our strategy is built on three pillars – Premiumization and Penetration by leveraging Electrification and Technology.

Our three pillars of growth in mobility

a. Premiumization: Ola aims to offer superior service to its riders and partners, thereby providing opportunity to premiumize its offering. We are actively working towards this and our Prime+ initiative is an example which we already see on ground. 

Prime+: We launched Prime+ to offer our discerning customers premium services with better partners, superior in-ride experience, faster allocation and no cancellations. Although the selection process was stringent, over 16k partners have been on-boarded across 7 cities and 1.9 Mn riders have availed Prime+ service so far. We are continuously building on this service and will make it available to many more consumers in the near future.

175x growth in bookings in first 6 months of launch of Prime Plus Category
Driving premiumization of 4W category through Prime Plus launch

We will continue to build premium services and experiences on our platform. A Loyalty programme that unlocks exclusive services and introduction of a Luxury category are on the anvil.

b. Penetration through Electrification: Electrification is the biggest lever to unlock penetration. We will leverage Electrification to disrupt the mobility space by offering the most affordable rides across all segments

Radical cost unlock creates value for the ecosystem – both rider and partner
(Typical Daily Rider Cost comparison – INR)
The savings through electric, when shared between the passenger and partner, ensures riders get a very affordable ride while the partner makes more money. This discontinuity is only possible through electrification.

We have already seen early success of this strategy in e-bikes launched in Bangalore. In September 2023, Ola revolutionized urban mobility in Bangalore with the launch of our e-bike service. Our service offered the most affordable electric two-wheeler rides in India, priced ~30% lower than those of our competitors. This pioneering move led to a substantial 40% market expansion in the category within three months. To date, we’ve accomplished more than 1.75 million rides. In addition, we have also set up 200 charging stations in Bangalore to service our fleet.
Bangalore Pilot | Reached 20k+ bookings/day within 4 months of launch of 2W EV ride hailing

This model also allows us to address a multi-work opportunity. Our partners can deliver on other use-cases during their slack period. We have started with parcels, food and grocery but will grow into additional categories as well.  We will scale our e-bike business nationally by the end of this year, we expect to complete 0.5 Bn rides this year. At the same time we will establish a national Charging Network to support this category. 


This is just the first step in our goal to transform mobility in India. Through the electrification of 3W and 4W categories we will drive penetration and upgradation across all segments.

c. Technology: Ola consistently channels investments into advancing its technological capabilities through a diverse array of initiatives. This commitment extends across enhancing customer and partner services, as well as optimizing platform efficiency for an overall elevated experience. Ola Maps and AI powered Customer Care are recent examples. 

Ola Maps: In FY23, we successfully transitioned to our proprietary in house Ola Maps which led to better search results & improved wait time estimate accuracy. With our latest improvements in our places and POI (Points of interest) data, and routing algorithm we now have in-house capabilities leading to faster time-to-market, and response to customer / partner requests. 

AI powered customer care: In FY23, we strategically integrated Artificial Intelligence into our Care operations, aiming to elevate the overall customer and partner support experience. The results were remarkable, with a noteworthy 69% improvement in resolution turnaround time. This underscores our commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology for the benefit of our valued users and partners.

2) Financial Services: We already have ~6Mn monthly active users in our financial services platform. We provide services ranging from payments, lending, asset financing and insurance. We will continue to build on our current base with a clear focus on our own customers – partners and riders.

Ola Financial Services | ~4X growth in GMV across lending, asset financing and insurance

3. Logistics and e-commerce: As we continue to evolve our play in mobility, we will use multi-work to create opportunities for us in logistics. Within three months of launch, we have seen a 4X increase in deliveries from use cases beyond ride hailing
Multi-work model | ~4X growth in food and parcel deliveries since launch
The logistics presence, combined with our large customer base, financial services offerings, our gig-worker platform and technology capabilities will allow us to leverage Digital Public Infrastructure that is being built. ONDC is a real game changing opportunity for us. Our strengths combined by this change will allow us to deliver value to our customers like never before.
We will move beyond Mobility to Commerce

Our aspirations in mobility and commerce are ambitious and exciting. At the same time, we remain confident of our ability to achieve them. We have built a set of strong assets and they will serve as a bedrock for our growth. The assets we will lean on:

  1. Our 130 Mn+ individual consumers 
  2. Our deep and close partnership with Electric OEMs especially Ola.
  3. Our access to the latest AI capabilities through our partnership with Ola Krutrim.
  4. Our financial services business across lending, insurance, and wallet

Ola culture = Customer-centricity + Innovation + Passion for Perfection

Ola has prided itself since inception of being a ‘Technology-first’ business which employs technology to solve problems and challenges that confront India’s shared mobility industry. Hence, Ola encourages a strong innovation culture at the workplace that has served it well in the past. We are further institutionalizing this with a strong “customer-first” culture. In line with the same, we launched ‘Apna Ola’ recently and have already seen strong traction from our partners. Apna Ola improves Transparency, builds Trust and increases Benefits for our partners. But ‘Apna Ola’ is just the beginning. There is a lot more to come. Our manifesto continues to guide us and drive us to our goals.

Onwards & upwards,

Hemant & Bhavish