Ola sees full recovery in cities, says demand to continue after festivals

Topics Ola | cab aggregators | Cab service

Ola said it continues to double down on safety measures and take great care in ensuring people have a safe ride by strictly adhering to hygiene protocols.
With the Indian economy opening up almost entirely, ride-hailing firm Ola said on Friday that it is seeing recovery close to pre-Covid levels, with close to 100 per cent recovery in key cities during the festive season, and the spike in demand is expected to continue. The firm had seen a massive slump during the lockdown.

The SoftBank-backed unicorn said that opening of offices, malls and more leisure travel for airports and stations has played a role in increased demand.

“People prefer cabs and autos to public transport,” said the company. “Ola has witnessed high recovery rates across all categories.” 

Cities like Mumbai and Delhi have seen the demand reach close to 80- 90 per cent of the pre-Covid levels. The Bengaluru-based firm said the highest use cases are for outstation as people travel to their native places.

“Customers want hygienic and safe solutions for the movement,” said Ola.

Ola said it continues to double down on safety measures and take great care in ensuring people have a safe ride by strictly adhering to hygiene protocols.

As cities start to open, ride-hailing giant Uber’s mobility business is also seeing strong signs of recovery. For Uber, the demand varies across categories and markets, with its low-cost products like ‘auto’ and ‘moto’ leading the way. Uber Auto category is recovering briskly, with cities like Delhi and Mumbai rebounding to almost 80 per cent of pre-Covid levels, followed by Jaipur and Chandigarh recovering to 50 per cent. Additionally, Delhi NCR has also emerged as a top 10 global trips market for Uber based on the number of trips taken in September with more than 1 million weekly trips.

Post lockdown, scooter sharing firm Vogo has bounced back to over 50 per cent of its pre-lockdown levels. There has been a fundamental shift in consumer needs post the Covid-19 outbreak. Safety is now a priority and people are more comfortable driving themselves rather than public transport or driver dependent commute. “It is also evident that they are now looking to rent for the longer term and get all benefits of personal ownership without actually buying it,” said Anand Ayyadurai, co-founder and CEO of Vogo.“We have also introduced a home-drop delivery service of scooters. These scooters are delivered by our field executives who are equipped with safety kits,” he said. 
Post resumption of services in the unlock phase, bike-taxi company Rapido’s business has recovered 55 per cent to its pre-Covid levels. It had launched Rapido Local, a person-to-person delivery service. Here customers can request pick up and drop of food, groceries and medicine on the App, from or to another customer. Post unlock, it also launched Rapido Store, a one-stop solution for all business deliveries. The firm recently unveiled Rapido Auto in India. The aim is to offer commuters another safe and affordable option for their everyday commute, apart from bike taxi service.

When the pandemic hit, a huge problem statement for Rapido was the need for a safe and secure commute. “This became an opportunity in adversity for us, as we saw a 25 per cent spike in June and July in terms of business coming back,” said Rapido co-founder Aravind Sanka. He expects the adoption of bike taxi travelling to increase as a solution to unavailability of shared autos and last-mile connectivity gaps. “Somewhere in December, we are hoping to come back to 100 per cent of our business as before,” said Sanka.

Another scooter-sharing firm, Bounce had introduced newer services such as long term rentals, where a consumer can retain the possession of the vehicle for anytime between 7 days to 180 days. This provided comfort that a personal vehicle would offer. Bounce commenced its B2B rentals, where delivery companies could use its scooters for the last mile deliveries. Bounce also launched a rent-to-own model on new bikes, wherein consumers could take rentals of bikes paying lower than EMI and choose to purchase the bike after 12-24months.

“Increasing or reviving revenue is a priority,” said Vinay Rotti, head of corporate finance and strategic business, Bounce. “However, adapting to the new reality and being relevant in the new world has taken precedence over all other aspects.”

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