Ola, like every other Indian unicorn out there, now has its eyes on consolidation, sustainability, and profitability after burning loads of investor money on the name of customer acquisition. Once it successfully passes through this crucial stage, the key rival to Uber is planning to eventually go for public listing, CFO Rajiv Bansal told ET.
And the company recently brought Rajiv Bansal from Infosys as its new Chief Financial Officer to achieve this goal. Talking about his plans Rajiv Bansal says,
(We) will have world class processes in 6-8 months and we want to be ready for an IPO as early as possible. If we execute properly we can be financially prepared for an IPO. If we execute well we can become Infosys.
However, according to Rajiv, his immediate priorities were to set up a robust business process; maintain a proper Management Information System(MIS) to enable efficient decision making; and to make capital allocation according to business performance.
Ola has so far raised $1.8 billion in equity funding from investors like Tiger Global, SoftBank, Didi Kuaidi, DST Global, and Sequoia Capital among many others.
The company was valued at $5 billion in its last round in which it raised $500 million from investment management firm Baillie Gifford, China’s largest taxi-hailing service company Didi Kuaidi and existing investors Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global, SoftBank Group and DST Global.
In addition to the taxi services, the company has also expanded its portfolio to launch its payment wallet Ola Money, hyperlocal grocery service Ola Store (which is reportedly shutting down) and food delivery service Ola Cafe.
However, Rajiv Bansal termed Ola Store & Cafe as mere “experiments” and said that the wallet business and cab services would be more critical offerings from Ola in future. That also pretty much confirms shutting down of the former.
Similar to Didi Kuaidi in China, Ola Cabs has already proven to be a tough competitor to the over $70 Billion valued Uber, in India. Ola currently claims about 80% of market share, though Uber continues to challenge that figure with its own numbers. Its presence only got stronger with its $200 million acquisition of its Indian rival TaxiForSure last year.