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Indian Popular app-based cab Ola likely to announce new initiative with Mahindra Group

Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of the $17.8 billion Mahindra Group, said the arrangement will also fulfil the current and future needs of Indian consumers

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Ola Cabs. Image source: Flickr

Sept 11, 2016: Automobile maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Ola, the app-based cab service provider, announced a tie-up on Thursday to sell Mahindra vehicles worth about Rs. 2,600 crore to Ola-affiliated drivers over two years on easy financing terms. The agreement between the two entities envisages selling the vehicles to about 40,000 drivers by 2018 at “special” prices, along with other benefits.

“Ola’s driver partners can now avail of an integrated and attractive ‘Mahindra-Ola’ package which will include Mahindra cars at special prices, attractive financing with zero down payment, and the best NBFC interest rates, subsidized insurance premiums, comprehensive maintenance packages, as well as exclusive benefits on the Ola platform,” M&M said in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Thursday.

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Anand Mahindra. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Anand Mahindra. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of the $17.8 billion Mahindra Group, said the arrangement will also fulfil the current and future needs of Indian consumers, particularly younger ones who prefer shared mobility solutions, said to Reuters.

Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said that the partnership will pave the way for similar arrangements in the future. M &M shares closed at Rs. 1,485.50, down 0.21 percent.

The company sold 18,246 passenger vehicles in August 2016, 29 percent more than the 14,198 units sold in August 2015. Pravin Shah, President and Chief Executive (automotive), Mahindra & Mahindra, said that the upcoming festival season will boost sales for the company.

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According to Reuters report, M&M is also involved in manufacturing tractors, two-wheelers, and electric cars. Recently, the company renamed its electric car business as Mahindra Electric. Ola and global rival Uber have burned through money to capture market share in India, one of the world’s fastest growing taxi markets worth nearly $12 billion.

Ola, last year in 2015, announced a tie-up with Nissan Motor India to buy and lend cars to its drivers. And last month, Tata Motors’s parent Tata Group, became the first Indian carmaker to tie-up with Uber. Overseas, General Motors in January announced a $500 million investment in Lyft, with plans down the road to develop an on-demand network of self-driving cars.

– prepared by Shayari Dutta with inputs from various agencies

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Goa App-Based Cab Service’ GoaMiles’ Faces Backlash, Welcomes Ola and Uber

Goa's private taxi associations have been at loggerheads with GoaMiles, accusing the latter of encroaching on their livelihood

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Goa's private taxi associations have been at loggerheads with GoaMiles, accusing the latter of encroaching on their livelihood. Wikimedia Commons

Goa’s only app-based cab service GoaMiles, which is currently facing a backlash from associations of privately-owned taxis, has welcomed pan-India cab aggregating services like Ola and Uber to the coastal state, stating that such technology-based initiatives would encourage competition and help to provide good service to the customers.

“GoaMiles is not opposing Ola or Uber. That is the decision of the government at the end of the day. We are very comfortable with that,” Hemant Prabhu Chodnekar, Operations Manager of GoaMiles told IANS on Saturday.

“We support technology, we believe in technology,” Chodnekar also said, when asked if GoaMiles would welcome setting up of Ola and Uber taxi services in Goa.

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Ola taxi services were introduced in Goa in 2014 but were soon stopped by the state Transport Department following protests by local taxi operators. Flickr

Ola taxi services were introduced in Goa in 2014 but were soon stopped by the state Transport Department following protests by local taxi operators.

Goa’s private taxi associations have been at loggerheads with GoaMiles, accusing the latter of encroaching on their livelihood.

In the last one year, more than a dozen FIRs have been filed by GoaMiles taxi drivers, accusing private taxi operators of assault and giving threats.

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Photo shows an exterior view of the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. VOA

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has also said that any further violence from the private taxi operators would result in strict action by the Goa government.

ALSO READ: Uber to Weed out Low-rated Riders for Bad Behaviour

Several attempts by the state government to install and implement a fare meter system have failed, even as members of taxi lobby have also attacked tour coach buses ferrying foreign tourists, accusing tour operators of depriving them of business.

The state also attracts more than seven million domestic tourists every year, who often face hardship due to overpriced and irregular public transports system. (IANS)