Bhavish Aggarwal: Genius Behind The Success Of Ola Cabs in India

Bhavish Aggarwal, Founder Of Ola Cabs

Bhavish Aggarwal is one of the most prominent entrepreneurs in the modern startup ecosystem of India. From an IIT Bombay alumnus to becoming the CEO and co-founder of country’s most popular cab aggregator, Ola Cabs, his success story is nothing short of a revelation to all the budding entrepreneurs across the world. 

Let’s find out how Bhavish Aggarwal came up with a successful startup idea of Ola Cabs. 

Early Days 

Born in 1985 in Ludhiana, Bhavish Aggarwal, just like every successful businessman in this world, started his journey at a very early stage. He did his graduation in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2008. While studying in IIT, Bhavish also served as a research intern at Microsoft Research India for three months. After completing his course, the young lad soon joined Microsoft as an Assistant Researcher in July 2008 and during his two-year stint with the tech-giant, Bhavish managed to file two patents and also got three papers published in international journals. However, this didn’t quench his thirst of achieving something big in his life. Deep down inside, Bhavish always knew that he wanted to become a successful entrepreneur. 

When Bhavish Aggarwal Quit Microsoft

You must be thinking why would someone leave a company like Microsoft? Well, Bhavish Aggarwal had set different goals for his life and working in Microsoft was not one of them. Unable to suppress his entrepreneurial passion any longer, Bhavish decided to quit his job and soon he started an online company which dealt with the sale of short duration tours and holidays. During this time, Bhavish was once traveling from Bengaluru to Bandipur and he faced a problem which later gave birth to a million-dollar startup idea. The driver of Bhavish’s cab stranded him in the middle of nowhere over a failed negotiation deal.

That’s when he realised this was a genuine and deep-rooted problem for many people across the country. Bhavish did his research about the issue and came  to know that a lot of customers had fallen prey to such situations and were desperately in need of a quality cab service in India. At that moment, for the first time, Bhavish could envision the amount of potential a cab booking business had. 

The Launch Of Ola

Soon after knowing all the loopholes in the cab service industry, Bhavish decided to establish a cab aggregator company with great customer experience and economical prices. For this he roped in Ankit Bhati, another IITian from Jodhpur and together they launched the website on December 3, 2010, in Mumbai allowing their customers to book cars for outstation trips.

Initially both Bhavish and Ankit did not have much working capital to invest in the idea and they also lacked the backing of any investor so, somehow they managed to setup an online application with their shoestring savings. Although after the launch of Ola app, the founders received a $5 million investment from Tiger Global Management and they even secured funding from Anupam Mittal, and Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl. 

The Ultimate Success 

Ola, which was a mere vision of two young IIT grads in the beginning, has now become a million-dollar company that provides livelihood to thousands of cab drivers and is a crucial part of millions of people’s everyday lives in many cities. Not many people have known this fact that Ola was named ‘Startup of the Year’ in 2015 by The Economic Times and even received the ‘Leadership Award for Outstanding Startup’ from Forbes India.

For this incredible success, Bhavish Aggarwal was also listed among ’30 under 30′ by Hindustan Times and Forbes. Today, Ola is valued at about $10 billion today, making it the most popular platform for cab booking in India. 

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