NEW DELHI, India - After debuting internationally in January this year, when its launched operations in Australia - the Indian ride-hailing giant Ola is now set to explore its second international market - the United Kingdom.
The ride-sharing company, which was founded in 2011, now boasts of over 125 million users and one million driver-partners across 110 cities in India.
Earlier this year, when the company launched in Australia, it said it had decided to expand its global footprint and explore markets that “embrace new technology and innovation” where it said it sees “immense potential for the ride-sharing ecosystem.”
Now, with successful operations in two countries, including its home market - Ola said it is gearing to launch in its third market - U.K.
The battler in Britain is however, set to be fierce for Ola, which will prove to be the first serious challenge in the U.K. for the market-leading taxi-hailing app Uber.
Uber, which was launched two years earlier than Ola, currently operates in 600 cities in 65 countries and boasts of three million drivers.
However, In India, Ola has given Uber tough competition, even though it entered the market 24 months later.
Gearing to take its rivalry with Uber to the global level, Ola has announced that it is planning to roll out operations in South Wales and Greater Manchester - with the company launching operations in South Wales next month.
In one of the biggest differences between their operations, unlike Uber, Ola will offer a choice of a private hire vehicle or black taxi - yet, the biggest similarity is that both Uber and Ola have one common top investor - Japan’s Softbank.
Ola has stated that it is working with local authorities across the U.K. to expand nationwide by the end of 2018.
In its announcement, Ola said that it "seeks to lead the industry with its approach to passenger safety.”
The company said that it plans to offer round-the-clock voice support and an option to share journey details with a passenger's emergency contacts.
Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola founder and chief executive said, “Ola is excited to announce its plans for the U.K., one of the world’s most evolved transportation markets. The U.K. 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 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 U.K.”