Indian ride-hailing firm Ola to take on Uber in Britain

Ola cab taxi

The company will offer Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs) and Black Cabs to start with, but says it will add other options later on, without mentioning the timeline.

Less than a year after launching in Australia, India's largest cab-hailing start-up Ola is planning to launch its service in the UK.

Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ola, said the company would engage with policymakers and regulators to "build a company embedded in the U.K".

Homegrown cab hailing company Ola has announced its foray into UK.

Ola will open operations in Greater Manchester and south Wales, including capital Cardiff, within the next month.

Like Uber, Ola operates a ride-hailing service through an app and relies on the availability of contracted drivers.

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Currently, Ola only operates in two countries, the United Kingdom will be its third, after starting its first operations in Australia earlier this year.

Both companies are backed by Japan's SoftBank Group and recently ventured into the food delivery business, further intensifying their rivalry. Ola now conducts 1 billion rides each year globally, with more than 1 million drivers and 125 million customers in over 110 cities. Ola seeks to lead the industry with its approach to passenger safety including DBS screened drivers and processes such as 24/7 voice support, options to share ride details with emergency contacts and in-app emergency features.

After years spent fighting Uber on its home ground in India, Ola is taking the fight into its rival's core markets. However, the US firm's legal woes continue as the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association said it was seeking advice about potential class action against Uber, over losses to earnings.

Britain will be Ola's second global market after it started operations in Australia in February.

Uber has also won considerable public backing: more than 8,00,000 had signed a petition urging TFL to change their decision. The UK is a fantastic place to do business and we look forward to providing a responsible, compelling, new service that can help the country meet its demanding mobility needs.

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