Ola and Uber are two of the most used car-for-hire services in the world. While Uber is a cab-service giant operating in 63 countries across the globe, Ola is giving it a fierce competition in India and also newly in 3 other countries, including Australia, the UK and New Zealand where it recently expanded. Both companies aspire to dominate the $10 Billion market and wider transportation in the country. In India, there are around 10,00,000 Ola and 9,00,000 Uber Drivers; More than 70% of them drive both in cities where both the services prevail. Out of my curiosity, questions prevailed in my head.
Why do they need to use both services? How do they manage both at once? Don’t ride overlap? Don’t the services pay the driver well?
That One ride
I was in Noida for my design internship at Innovaccer. It was a great experience. I was headed back home after the internship, and my last cab ride was one to remember. It was a one and half hour journey from Noida to Delhi Airport. Instead of turning on the music, I started a conversation with my newly made friend.
My New Friend
His name was Shajad. The conversation started from talking about his family, including his wife and two beautiful children. We talked about politics, history, cultural differences between south and north Indians, his job, and a lot of other stuff. During the conversation, I had a chance to ask him tons of questions about Ola and Uber. He was one among the 70% of people who use both the platforms, which made the conversation a lot more interesting. During our talk, I was able to pick up some key points which a user is generally not aware of. I have briefed some of his experiences on both the applications below.
“Both the applications are simple to use. But I like how Ola app looks.” -Shajad
The branding of both companies is top-notch. While Uber went a black schema, Ola chose a lighter version and went with Green. Even when it comes down to the user flow and experience, both of them have done a magnificent job.
Preference of the apps is mostly just based on a person’s likes and dislikes.
“I earn more through Uber than Ola on a daily basis.” - S
Uber and Ola follow a specific incentive model.
- These services pay the driver a per-ride way.
- After the driver completes a certain number of rides, he/she receives an incentive.
Failing to complete the rides or doing anything against their policy (Eg: Not putting the Ola/Uber sticker), the company cuts short on their incentives. Earning more through a specific service can be because of reasons like cancellations, surge, personal interest, etc.
“People using Uber cancel more than the ones using Ola.” -Shajad
Uber and Ola have a similar application structure for both user and driver personas. All cab services except Ola have a 5 minute free cancellation time frame, whereas Ola has a 2 minute free cancellation time frame. Post that time frame, Ola charges an additional cancellation fee, which is added to the total bill amount of the next ride. The leniency to cancel on Uber may be the reason for more cancellations.
“I have met more rude people on Ola than on Uber.” - S
Uber and Ola both have a rider’s rating. Uber shows the rating to the user, but the later one doesn’t. The visibility of the rating could be the primary reason for the behavior of people with the driver.
After hearing to Shajad’s experiences on both the applications, I would say Uber is Driver-satisfaction driven, and Ola is Customer-satisfaction driven.
Since it was just one conversation and not a detailed survey, I wouldn’t say all of them are a hundred percent accurate. The choices and likes of another driver could have been entirely different.
Based on the majority, when scaled to 10,00,000 drivers across the globe, many carry the same perspective. The facts are based on research, and the views are entirely the driver’s experience.