Ola is a popular cab-hailing service in India and the company has been riding high since the last couple of years. The company started out four years back in 2010, and has grown exponentially in all major cities. Ola faced serious competition from it US-rival Uber who also capitalised on India's growing demand. In face of such competition, the company has been constantly re-inventing itself and strategizing new avenues to stay relevant.
These new services have expanded way beyond just being a cab aggregator. Here are five things you can do with Ola other than booking a taxi:
Pay phone bill/recharge phone
Ola Money is the biggest new venture from Ola. The feature was developed to make taxi payments seamless but with the coming demonetisation the company jumped on to the band wagon of e-wallets and started offering various features other than just paying for cabs. The user can just recharge their Ola Money wallets and directly recharge phones or pay phone bills. Ola Money can also be used to pay electricity, DTH and gas bills.
Ola Play is the latest feature launched by the company which though a part of the ride, has a completely new take on entertainment while riding a taxi. The company claims that a rider, in context to their interaction with the app, spends most time in the cab and hence needs to be entertained while in the cab. The rider is given a tablet in the car to watch videos or play games. This tab will be connected to the WiFi within the car.
Rent a car
Similar to hailing a cab, a user can call for a car then chose from various hourly packages within the app. Being a cab hailing service, Ola had great potential in terms of market reach and fleet of cars. They used this to their own benefit and started a car rental service. According to the company, this service is only second to the Indian Railways in terms of availability across the nation.
Transfer money and pay at shops
Just like other e-wallets in the Indian market, Ola Money can be used to transfer small funds from one account to another. The user can send money using just the contact number of the receiver. However, the recipient will also need to have an Ola Money account to claim the money. The e-wallet can also be used in various stores across the country. The sender can use a merchant code or a mobile number to pay for their purchase.
Travelling via cabs daily can be an expensive affair for many and using the conventional public transport for a long period can tire you endlessly. Ola's Shuttle services are an attempt at striking a balance between both. The user can insert their desired pick up and drop points on the app and confirm a seat on the shuttle that follows that specific route. If there is no such route available, one can even request for a new route which may or may not be implemented with time.