Ola's latest offering Micro bulks up overall bookings for cab aggreggator

Ola’s latest offering, the cheapest air condition cab service at Rs 6 per km for Ola Micro is being given a further fillip through the company’s sponsorship with IPL. Ola is the official cab service for five teams of IPL:  Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Rising Pune Supergiants, Royal Challengers-Bangalore and Sunrisers, Hyderabad.

New offering from Ola. Reuters

New offering from Ola. Reuters

Ola Micro service was launched in seven cities a few weeks ago. It has now been extended to 17 cities and plans are underway to go beyond 42 cities on Friday.

The company has also begun airing three TV campaigns on the Ola Micro. Raghuvesh Swaroop, CMO and Head of Categories at Ola said that the Micro was targeted at three categories of people: youngsters at their first jobs, young working adults and for youngsters with families. The TVC covers all the three target categories.

“Ola Micro offering an air conditioned ride at just Rs.6 per km is ‘Made for India’. The campaign, targeted at young adults and working professionals, is a fun and entertaining take on how, in a world where even a walk with someone you love, can get really expensive; taking a cab ride will not be, ” Swaroop said.

“The IPL is another area of fitment for us,” said Swaroop. “Lots of people travel to watch the matches and it also garners a lot of viewership. Last year the viewership was around 200 million and this year it is expected to be around 500 million. The biggest viewership is in the 18-28 age group and that is our target audience for the Ola Micro.”

How does it work

When you go on the Ola app, various categories are listed such as Premium (fare of Rs 11 to Rs 13 per km), Mini (Rs 9  to Rs 11 per km), Micro (Rs 6 per km), Share (depends on various factors such as day, state of traffic), etc.  If the match between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants is being played in Mumbai and you are a cricket enthusiast in Mumbai, you can click on the helmet icon next to the car which is called match Day. Now here is the catch. If you manage to get a car on the day of the match, you will get tickets to the match free -- on Ola Match Day icon. If you are in Pune and want to cheer the players, you could click on the icon and if you are lucky, you could get any goodies free such as cricket memorabilia, food, etc.

In case you think these services are for anyone keen on watching the match or cheering for it, here is a caveat. These services are for those who have been repeated users of Ola or are loyalists of the service.

Swaroop said presently, Ola Micro and Mini drive the bulk of bookings for the company. “Ola Micro is our fastest rising category as of now and the most affordable. Around 75 per cent of our users are first time users of cab services. Around 25 per cent comprise of infrequent cab users.”

Surge pricing

Ola has temporarily suspended its surge pricing in Delhi. Surge pricing works on an algorithm that effectively maps demand and supply in every area. The pricing, usually five or six times or even more the regular fare, then comes into play.

Surge pricing is seen on cab aggregation platforms like Uber and Ola and the consumer has to pay different fares than the fixed fare. It is a demand and supply game. The fares go up automatically when the demand for cabs increases than the number of cabs in a particular locality.

The customers are aware that the prices have gone up as the app indicates it. If the customer wants to book a ride at these times, then the surge has to be accepted. Else, the customer won’t get a cab during those peak hours.

Even though the Micro is touted as the cheapest fare presently, it might be a different fare during peak periods.

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Updated Date: Apr 21, 2016 21:48:56 IST

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