India’s ride-hailing Major Ola has finally made its international debut by launching a trail based service in Perth city, capital of Western Australia, according to a statement issued by the company on Wednesday. This marks a new chapter for the cab aggregator firm, which until now offered its services only in major Indian cities.
“Ola is offering affordable fares for customers and higher commissions for driver-partners to create a high-quality travel experience for Australia, and is excited to start with the Perth community,” the company said in a statement.
As per the trail offer, Ola will be offering Perth customers two free rides up to $10 (Australian dollars) per ride. To enjoy this offer, Perth customers will obviously have to download the Ola app from their respective Android and Apple phones. The soft launch will essentially help the Indian cab aggregator company to properly evaluate the customer’s response and also how far it will have to stretch itself to compete against Uber.
The company will evaluate customer’s response by continuously collecting customer’s feedback. After completion of the ride, every customer will need to drop feedback on the Ola app. Simultaneously, Ola has also invited private hire vehicle owners in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth to register with the cab-hailing firm.
Needless to say, the success of this trail operation will determine whether Ola can think of launching its operation in Australia in full throttle in coming months. But Australia is not the only foreign territory that Ola is focusing for international expansion. According to reports, the company has already set a special team in Dhaka and Colombo to evaluate the market conditions. The firm is also eyeing opportunities in other Asian and North African territories, as per people privy with the matter.
Ola’s hunger to grow beyond its home shores will be closely watched by its U.S based rival Uber. Although the Indian company does not have the same funding power as Uber has, but the latter certainly cannot afford to let its guard down. Besides, Ola still has good cash reserves to pose a respectable challenge to any firm. After all, it is backed by high profile names like SoftBank, Tencent and Tiger Global Management.