It must be destiny that India’s high-tech ride-hailing industry was created by someone from Ludhiana, a town best known as one of the world’s largest manufacturing hubs for the humble bicycle.
For those who meet Bhavish Aggarwal for the first time, his polite, soft-spoken demeanor is impossible to forget. Get to know him a little more and you will soon notice his vision, passion and determination to stand against all odds. After all, he co-founded Ola, one of the world’s largest ride-sharing companies, scaled it to more than 100 Indian cities, empowered millions of driver-partners and commuters, and is a flag bearer for India’s consumer-tech ecosystem—all by the age of 32.
In counting his laurels, it’s easy to forget the struggles he faced while building one of India’s most storied startups. From bootstrapping Ola when Indian consumer tech was still taking baby steps to braving regulatory hurdles and fighting off foreign competitors, Bhavish has driven around the block a few times.
By taking Ola Down Under to Australia this year, he has made it one of the first homegrown tech companies to meaningfully expand outside India. This time, the wishes of a billion Indians, mine included, are riding in his cab.
Bansal is the executive chairman of Indian e-commerce company Flipkart