Indian ride-hailing company Ola takes on Uber in New Zealand

Ola will be available in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington

Indian ride-hailing company Ola on Tuesday announced its plans to enter New Zealand, deepening its battle with U.S rival Uber. Ola said it would provide its service to passengers to get around Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. Ola’s entry into New Zealand follows its successful launch in Australia in February and the UK in August this year.

Founded in 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola said it now enables smart transportation to over 125 million users in India, Australia and the UK. Through its platform, Ola serves as many as a billion rides annually, said the company.

“We see a real opportunity in New Zealand to provide a fair alternative in the rideshare space for both customers and drivers,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO at Ola. “We invested in understanding the New Zealand customer and devised the right strategy to meet their transport needs.”

To build Ola’s presence locally, Brian Dewil, who brings business expertise from his many years in the startup and tech industry, has been appointed as country manager for New Zealand. He previously founded UrbanSherpa, a firm that disrupted the local courier market. Before his newly appointed role at Ola, he was the co-founder and director of Horizon Robotics, where he implemented robotic technologies to re-imagine the way physical goods are transported and delivered.

“Kiwis have had too little choice when it comes to rideshare. Ola’s arrival will create a compelling experience that puts the quality of rides first,” said Brian Dewil, country manager, NZ, at Ola.

Ola said it benefits drivers by charging the industry’s lowest commissions, resulting in higher driver earnings, and by paying drivers daily rather than weekly.

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