Last year, Uber’s fierce rival Ola, launched an in-ride entertainment platform called Ola Play in India. The aim of this innovative feature is to make long rides more entertaining and luxurious. Ola partnered with Qualcomm to build interactive devices mounted in cars. This device called Ola Play, boasts touch-screen hardware with two consoles –one for the driver and another for the passenger. Passengers can sync their phones with the device to listen to music and also watch all they want online.
This seems like a response to Uber’s partnership with Spotify that allows passengers play their playlists on Spotify as they travel. Granted, Uber’s innovation isn’t as integrating as Ola’s Ola Play but it seems Uber is not completely off track. It doesn’t seem like this move on the part of Ola is a real game changer as people will always look out for the best price especially in an emerging market like India.
The rideshare company that can offer the basic needs at the most affordable price will surely take the cake. India is a huge market and Uber and Ola are presently fighting a turf war with Ola currently winning in the country. Ola currently controls over 60 percent of the Indian market and growing. Can this success be attributed to the in-ride entertainment? Obviously not.
Ola is a home grown rival while Uber is a global phenomenon. It is only fair that Ola will enjoy more patronage since it launched in Mumbai 3 years before Uber came into the scene.
However, Uber boasts a higher presence globally than Ola and is more concerned in growing it’s footprint across the world. In a show of power, Uber recently launched in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh on the 22nd of November, 2016. |
With presence in over 400 cities worldwide, the congested city of Bangladesh is the next city to experience the revolution that Uber introduces to the transport sector. Uber has teamed up with Bangladesh’s largest mobile operator, Grameenphone to reach Dhaka’s 18 million population. Unlike in most American cities, Uber will accept cash payments as well as card payments. This is a strategy that Uber initiates in emerging markets in order to reach the percentage of unbanked populace.
Uber will continue to face fierce rivalry from competitors. It’s up to the rideshare giant to devise new and innovative ways to keep customers satisfied.
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