The Icon Who Disrupted Disruption

Bhavish Aggarwal’s OLA is forever taking travel to the next gear.

by Deepak kaistha | Managing Director | TBM GROWTH 36ONE°

GURGAON, India  :  There are many roads to being a self-made millionaire. Bhavish Aggarwal – young, entrepreneurial India’s poster boy – chose one that didn’t just touch your soul with the brilliance of its simplicity. It moved you. Literally, from source to destination, every single day.

The founder of OLA CABS (affectionately referred to, simply, as OLA) – India’s homebred cab aggregator service that went from zero to blockbuster in no time, giving global giants like UBER a breathless drive for their money – always nurtured a special relish for detour journeys. One that takes you from A to B via D – Disruption.

The wind-in-your-hair highway that came with the sign, “There’s a better way of arriving.”

As it turns out, for India’s unorganized cab sector, there certainly was. Having borne the brunt of the unprofessionalism, unpredictability and hazards that plagued the industry, Bhavish decided to do something about it. His idea was masterclass. Today, the world simply calls it OLA.

If India prides itself as a nation that discovered ‘zero’, it can be safely said that it was Bhavish who unleashed its true power. That’s right, Zero Inventory makes OLA’s magical success taste doubly sweet. Strategically built relationships (with both the driver and operator community) deliver the tailwind. Technology adds the steroid.

But the real fuel driving OLA to breath-taking new milestones every quarter, is Bhavish Aggarwal himself.

A gutsy visionary and future-first risk-taker with a robust IIT background, Bhavish is happiest when at work and believes in putting his money where his mouth is (leading by example, he doesn’t own a car – preferring to travel in an OLA, always). In short, the man is many sparks, many men, in one.

Steve Jobs was a great proponent of keeping things simple. Elon Musk likes things larger-than-life. Stephen Hawking could see the future. Bill Gates prepared us for it. Bhavish has made a habit of juggling all of them, with a flair and nonchalance all his own (that is, when this self-proclaimed shutterbug is not out trekking the terrain with his camera a la Steve McCurrywho, in case you’re wondering, is the ace photographer credited with the iconic ‘Afghan girl’ cover photograph of National Geographic magazine).

After all, OLA is a university syllabus template of a business that’s breezily simple in its execution. Magnificently grand in its possibilities. The future of travel. And the way we can get the best out it.

So where does the saga go from here?

Pretty much anywhere it wants to, as long as  The Original Disruptor is behind the wheel.

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