It’s amazing the room for expansion Ola and Uber have, in the latest Truecaller insightful yet debatable report on the taxi-on demand space in India.
About a month and a half ago, Uber sued Ola and dragged the latter to the Delhi High Court on account of ‘false bookings’. Uber claimed that Ola misrepresented bookings on its platform with 93,000 false accounts and then cancelled all, resulting in loss of business and more than 20,000 drivers abandoning its platform. Ola, run by Bengaluru headquartered ANI technologies, had denied any transgression and reasoned Uber’s claim to be a counter-attack to its plea against Uber’s practice of plying diesel vehicles in the city. While only CNG cabs are allowed in Delhi, Ola’s claim to bewildered Uber.
The market of taxi hailing services in India is well worth $15 billion, and so the potential for growth is huge. The court battles between the two significant players form a perfect background, of the bitter rivalry in a bid to outdo the other and dominate India’s streets. Further contributing to the backdrop are few reports, including the recent TrueInsights report by app ‘truecaller’, which has drawn insights from the conversations between consumers and service providers. The report, on the app’s blog titled, ‘The Changing Face of Cab Hailing in India’ collates data from January 1st to April 17th and notifies that Indian smartphone owners made and received 2.49 billion calls to some sort of cab or car service.
The data, courtesy of Truecaller blog, states that 4.1 per cent of all calls were made to Ola/Ola Drivers for the purpose of getting a taxi. Bookings done on Uber on call came in at 1.6 per cent in contrast. Ola users were found to have racked up 59.5 million outgoing calls and 42.5 million incoming calls over the four months, whereas Uber users call volumes were 24.5 million outgoing and 13.6 million incoming. But like everything, the figures are highly debatable. Figure this: the information tells you the story of Truecaller users only, and one wouldn’t know the active app users booking cab rides via their phones.
Although interesting and debatable, the huge sample size of the analysis provides a meaty insight into the trends prevailing in online taxi aggregator space in India.
The report also stated that Ola made 42.5 million calls to its users, while 59.5 million calls were made by its users - accounting for the 102 million calls between the taxi aggregator and its users. On the other hand, Uber users received 13.6 million calls from the company and called the company 25.4 million times - which totalled 39 million calls. And going by the report, taxi aggregator Ola is twice as large as its rival Uber.
Going by the numbers of the report, the app-based services of Ola and Uber just constitute 6 per cent of the total cab-hailing service industry in India. If the market grows as aggressively as it is today, there is abundant room for more than two services to survive and strengthen the cab industry in India. Not only that, it is amazing the room for expansion both Uber and Ola have, in taxi on-demand space.