Bhavish Aggarwal is an Indian entrepreneur and co-founder of Ola Cabs and Ola Electric. Aggarwal was included in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2018.
Last Updated: October 27, 2023
Bhavish Aggarwal is an influential Indian entrepreneur renowned for co-founding Ola, one of India’s leading ride-hailing companies. Born in Ludhiana, Punjab, in 1985, Bhavish Aggarwal’s journey to success is a testament to his determination and innovative thinking.
Early Life and Education
Bhavish Aggarwal was born in Ludhiana, Punjab, India, in 1985, into a middle-class Punjabi Hindu family. He received his early education at the prestigious St. Xavier’s School in Chandigarh, setting the foundation for his academic journey. His passion for technology and innovation led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering at the esteemed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, where he honed his analytical and problem-solving skills.
Career Beginnings at Microsoft
Following his graduation in 2008, Bhavish Aggarwal embarked on his professional journey as a research intern at Microsoft Research India. During his two-year tenure, he demonstrated his aptitude for research, filing two patents and publishing three papers in international journals. Despite his early success in the corporate world, Bhavish’s entrepreneurial spirit was eager to break free, driving him toward a new path.
The Birth of Ola: Revolutionizing Transportation
In 2010, Bhavish Aggarwal, in collaboration with his friend Ankit Bhati, initiated a groundbreaking venture that would redefine transportation in India. They founded Ola (originally named OlaCabs), inspired by Bhavish’s personal experience with a troublesome taxi ride. Their vision was to create an efficient and cost-effective transportation system for India, leveraging technology to bridge the gap between passengers and local cab drivers.
Innovation and Expansions: Ola’s Remarkable Journey
Under Bhavish Aggarwal’s dynamic leadership, Ola evolved into one of India’s fastest-growing ride-hailing companies. It began as an online taxi aggregator, connecting commuters with nearby cab drivers via a mobile app. Ola’s services expanded to include economy, luxury, and outstation rides, catering to diverse customer needs.
The company’s commitment to innovation led to the introduction of various features, including in-cab entertainment, bike taxis, and a significant shift toward electric vehicles (EVs). Ola’s success extended beyond Indian borders, with services launched in countries like Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Diversification and Recognition
In 2018, Ola made strategic moves to diversify its business portfolio. The acquisition of Foodpanda, a prominent food delivery platform in India, marked Ola’s entry into the highly competitive food delivery market. Simultaneously, the company launched Ola Electric, a subsidiary dedicated to the development and manufacturing of electric vehicles, aligning with Bhavish Aggarwal’s vision for a sustainable future.
Awards and Global Influence
Bhavish Aggarwal’s profound impact on the Indian transportation industry earned him global recognition. In 2018, Time magazine honored him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world. His remarkable contributions also led to accolades such as the Entrepreneur of the Year at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence and the Business Standard Award for the Most Innovative Company.
Conclusion: A Visionary Leader
Bhavish Aggarwal’s journey, from a computer science engineer to a trailblazing entrepreneur and CEO of Ola, is a testament to his innovative spirit and unwavering commitment to transforming India’s transportation landscape. His visionary ideas have not only revolutionized the way Indians commute but have also opened doors to sustainable and inclusive mobility solutions, shaping the future of transportation in India and beyond.