Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO and co-founder of Ola, an app-based cab service provider, poses in front of an Ola cab in Mumbai March 3, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade
MUMBAI, Sept 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Bhavish Aggarwal is joining the dots between the Indian mobility businesses he co-founded. Ola competes with Uber (UBER.N) in ride-hailing but Ola Electric is the rising star, rapidly notching up orders for its scooters read more and eyeing an expansion to battery-powered motorcycles and cars. It intends to open-up its digital-only sales platform to rival automakers too.
Aggarwal envisions revamping the way the automotive market works by customising electric vehicles to expand the take-up of car and scooter sharing services; at present only 7% of the population uses them. He believes that lower running costs, from switching from petrol to battery power, will help more than triple domestic cars sales to 10 million units in the coming years as crunching data drives down financing and insurance costs.
Although the plan will require cooperation across industry silos, Ola and Ola Electric remain separate entities with SoftBank (9984.T) leading the partial investor overlap. It makes sense to keep businesses of differing capital intensity separate, but Aggarwal will have to find creative ways to extract value. (By Una Galani)
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