Bhavish Aggarwal is an Indian businessman who co-founded Ola Cabs and Ola Electric. In 2019, he also founded Ola Electric, a company that aims to produce and sell electric two-wheelers while also promoting clean mobility. Various media outlets and organizations have named him one of the most influential and innovative Indian entrepreneurs. He was named one of Time magazine's 2018 100 Most Influential People. Forbes India's Tycoons of the Future 2018. Fortune India's 40 Under 40 2019 and Business Today's Most Powerful CEOs 2020 are two of the most powerful CEOs in India. He is also a Young Global Leaders member of the World Economic Forum and a member of the Global Future Council on Mobility. He is married to Rajlakshmi Aggarwal, a doctor, and the couple has two children.
Bhavish Aggarwal had an unusual and varied childhood because he was born in Afghanistan, spent some time in the United Kingdom, and then returned to India. He was born in a Punjabi Hindu family on August 28, 1985. Naresh Aggarwal, his father, was an orthopaedic surgeon, and Usha Aggarwal, his mother, was a pathologist. Ankush Aggarwal was his brother, and Arohi Aggarwal was his sister. He was an intelligent, ambitious student who enjoyed reading and writing. He also demonstrated leadership abilities at a young age.
He moved to England with his family when he was ten years old, where he attended a local school. He enjoyed learning about different cultures and languages, and he became interested in technology and computers. When he was 16, he returned to Ludhiana, India, and decided to pursue engineering as a career. He studied for the IIT entrance exam at home for a year and passed it. He then enrolled at IIT Bombay, where he studied computer science and engineering from 2004 to 2008. At IIT Bombay, he also met his future Ola Cabs co-founder, Ankit Bhati.
Bhavish Aggarwal's childhood was full of opportunities and challenges that shaped his personality and vision. He learned to adapt to new environments and situations, and he became interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is an example of someone who pursued and realized his dreams.
Career in Microsoft:
Bhavish Aggarwal began his Microsoft career as an intern in May 2007. In 2008, he received his bachelor's degree in computer science from IIT Bombay. He then worked as an Assistant Researcher at Microsoft Research India for two years, from July 2008 to July 2010. He worked on cloud computing, distributed systems, data mining, and machine learning projects. During his time at Microsoft, he received two patents and published three papers in international journals. For his outstanding performance, he also received the Microsoft Gold Star Award.
Co-founding Ola Cabs:
Bhavish Aggarwal had the idea for a taxi company after a bad experience with a taxi during a weekend trip from Bengaluru to Bandipur National Park in December 2010. He recognized a significant gap in the quality and availability of dependable transportation options in India. He decided to leave Microsoft and launch his own company with his friend Ankit Bhati, an IIT Bombay alumnus and software engineer. In January 2011, they launched Ola Cabs with a fleet of four cars rented from local operators.
Ola Cabs is an online platform that connects customers with drivers who provide a variety of vehicles, including sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs, luxury cars, auto-rickshaws, bikes, and buses. Customers can book rides using the Ola app, website, or a toll-free number. Live tracking, cashless payments, ride-sharing, outstation trips, rental packages, corporate services, and loyalty programs are also available through Ola. Ola has over two million drivers in more than 250 cities in India and abroad. Ola has also entered new markets, including food delivery (Ola Foods), grocery delivery (Ola Store), financial services (Ola Money), bike-sharing (Ola Pedal), electric mobility (Ola Electric), and self-drive car rental (Ola Drive).
Ola Cabs has grown to be one of India's most successful and valuable startups, with a valuation of more than $6 billion as of March 2021. SoftBank, Tiger Global Management, Tencent Holdings, Steadview Capital, Ratan Tata, Sachin Bansal, Hyundai Motor Company, and Kia Motors Corporation are among the investors who have contributed over $3 billion. It has also acquired TaxiForSure (a competitor cab aggregator), Qarth Technologies (a mobile payments startup), Ridlr (a public transportation app), Foodpanda India (a food delivery platform), Vogo (a scooter-sharing startup), and Etergo (a Dutch electric scooter manufacturer).
Founding Ola Electric:
Bhavish Aggarwal also founded Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd (OEM), an Ola Cabs subsidiary focused on electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. In May 2019, he founded OEM with the goal of making electric mobility accessible and affordable to everyone. OEM intends to manufacture and sell electric two-wheelers tailored to Indian conditions and preferences. OEM also intends to build a nationwide network of charging stations capable of supporting millions of electric vehicles.
SoftBank Vision Fund, Tiger Global Management, Matrix Partners India, Ratan Tata, and Arun Sarin are among the investors who have contributed over $400 million to OEM. It has also received funding from the Indian government through the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) program. OEM has also collaborated with state governments in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Gujarat to establish manufacturing plants and charging stations.
In August 2021, OEM released its first electric scooter, the Ola S1. The Ola S1 is a stylish and smart scooter with features like a 7-inch touchscreen display, voice assistant, navigation, cruise control, reverse mode, anti-theft system, hill hold, and geo-fencing. The Ola S1 has a range of up to 181 kilometers on a single charge and a top speed of 115 kilometers per hour. The base variant of the Ola S1 costs Rs 99,999 (ex-showroom) and the pro variant costs Rs 1,29,999 (ex-showroom). Customers have reacted positively to the Ola S1, with over one lakh bookings made in the first 24 hours of its launch.
"Entrepreneurs are not driven by fear; they are driven by the idea to create impact." ~ Bhavish Aggarwal
"Focus on solving real problems and not on making money. There will be enough takers for your solutions. You will help make lives of some people better, and money will follow." ~ Bhavish Aggarwal
"All things can be done by every company in the world. Apple builds a phone, and so does Samsung. It's not about being different but about being better at what you do." ~ Bhavish Aggarwal
"We will always work on technologies that are required in our market, which is India." ~ Bhavish Aggarwal
"As an entrepreneur, I am focused on my business." ~ Bhavish Aggarwal
"In 10 years of being together - 6 while dating and 4 in marriage - my wife has never once complained about my physical or mental absence in our relationship." ~ Bhavish Aggarwal
"China rightly identified consumer Internet as important and moved to protect it, and we need to do the same in India." ~ Bhavish Aggarwal
Bhavish Aggarwal is an inspiring entrepreneur who has transformed India's transportation sector through innovative and customer-centric solutions. He has built a platform that provides better mobility options to millions of drivers and customers. He has also demonstrated his dedication to environmental sustainability by investing in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. He is a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to use their ideas and actions to make a positive impact on society.
"There is a reason companies raise money from investors, which is to invest in growth." ~ Bhavish Aggarwal
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