Bhavish Aggarwal: Driving Innovation and Transforming Transportation

Bhavish Aggarwal: Driving Innovation and Transforming Transportation
Bhavish Aggarwal - OLA

India witnessed a drastic change within a very short period recently. You can now order groceries from the internet, food that reaches your doorstep, and also reach the farthest corner of your city without pressing a gas pedal. 

OLA Cabs co-founded by Bhavish Aggarwal has helped a number of its clients solve a major issue of standing in queue, sometimes for hours, or getting ignored by Autowalas in India. Moreover, it has made travel safe for women at any hour of the day. 

The photography enthusiast had a big dream, to serve Indians with a secure and reliable cab service. All that became possible with the efforts he made at a young age. Aggarwal while being the co-founder and CEO of OLA, is also the sole founder of OLA Electric. 

The successful cab service at first was experimented on the streets of Delhi. Bhavish Aggarwal founded OLA along with Ankit Bhati and the rest is history. 

Let's get to know this legend who changed the face of commuting in India, in a way you never have before. 

Bhavish Aggarwal- Biography

Name Bhavish Aggarwal
Birthplace Ludhiana, Punjab
Born 28 August 1985
Nationality Indian
Education B.Tech (IIT Bombay)
Position Co-founder and CEO of OLA Cabs, Founder of OLA Electric

Bhavish Aggarwal - Early Life
Bhavish Aggarwal - Career
Bhavish Aggarwal - Personal Life
Bhavish Aggarwal - OLA Cabs
Bhavish Aggarwal - Journey So Far!
Bhavish Aggarwal - Investments
Bhavish Aggarwal - Controversy
Bhavish Aggarwal - Awards
Bhavish Aggarwal - Unknown Facts
Bhavish Aggarwal - Top Quotes

Bhavish Aggarwal - Early Life

Bhavish Aggarwal often confused with a Marwadi is a Punjabi, who was born and brought up in Ludhiana. He is part of a loving family who supported his childhood just as every family does. Aggarwal completed his UG in 2008 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in computer science and engineering.  

During the early days of his career, Aggarwal worked for Microsoft which turned out to be two of his glorious years. 

Bhavish Aggarwal - Career

The mind behind OLA's's success was a research intern at Microsoft in the year 2007. Then a year later, Aggarwal was absorbed by the company to be the Assistant Researcher. In this position, he spent more than two years at Microsoft. 

At Microsoft, Bhavish Aggarwal filed two patents and published three papers in international journals, however, he left Microsoft in July 2010. Not so further shortly, in September of the same year, Bhavish came up with the planning of OLA. By January 2011 he along with Ankit Bhati founded OLA Cabs.

Ola Founder Bhavish Aggarwal On 'Krutrim': Willing To Invest Whatever It Takes To Build AI For India

Bhavish Aggarwal - Personal Life

Bhavish isn't the only child of Naresh and Usha Aggarwal. His father, an orthopedic surgeon, and his mother a pathologist have another son Ankush Aggarwal. Ankush is the founder of Avail Finance an online money lending platform for which Bhavish has been an angel investor. 

Bhavish Aggarwal married his girlfriend Rajalakshmi in 2014. The Tamil-origin girlfriend and Bhavish first met in Bangalore in the year 2007 and have been dating for nearly 6 years. There is no information about the couple having any kids as of yet.  

Bhavish Aggarwal - OLA Cabs

Every ease today we feel is possible because of a horrible event that pushed Aggarwal to establish OLA. 

While traveling from Bangalore to Bandipur in a car, the driver stopped and started negotiating the previously fixed deal and travel fare with Aggarwal. Worried and annoyed, the founder of OLA Electric was stranded in the middle of nowhere. And that is how he came up with the inspiration behind the magnificent works of OLA. 

Following the event, in 2010, Bhavish established This was known as a trip-planning company at first. A year later, looking at the growing demand for cab services Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati launched Olacabs. This time it was a taxi aggregation platform. 

In the initial years, the cab booking firm had its users booking cabs via phone calls. Soon, in June 2012, Olacabs launched a mobile app. And by 2015, OLA had the biggest market share. 

Today OLA has its range of Electric Vehicles, which was again founded by Bhavish Aggarwal, a man with big dreams.  

OLA Financials (FY20-FY22)
OLA Financials (FY20-FY22)

Bhavish Aggarwal - Journey So Far!

Bhavish had to face several hurdles while introducing OLA to the Indian audience. Not just once, but every time he came up with something new or aimed for a new market, there had been struggles. 

In the initial years, local big shots such as The Radio Traffic Services and FastTrack were tough to compete with OLA, but that didn’t stop Bhavish from aiming higher. These obstacles encouraged Aggarwal to think differently and come up with something odd yet problem-solving. This is when OLA started hiring drivers who had an All India Permit, and launched its inter-city travel feature. 

Similarly, Bhavish kept on introducing newer features in OLA such as OLA Mini, and OLA Auto, which went on to win awards. 

Next is his venture, Krutrim AI which recently raised USD 50 million at a valuation of USD 1 billion. With this raise, Krutrim AI became India's first-ever startup unicorn of 2024. Not just that but Krutrim AI is also the first homegrown artificial intelligence firm.  

Krutrim: India’s First AI Unicorn Hits Billion-Dollar Milestone
OLA co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal’s “Made for India” Krutrim AI, hits a $1 billion valuation with $50 million funding, becoming India’s first unicorn of 2024 in just a month.

Bhavish Aggarwal - Investments

With being an angel investor in his brother's firm Avail Finance, Bhavish has even invested in several other firms over the years. 

Company Date Industry
O' Be 1 May 2022 Beverages
Karkinos 12 Feb 2022 Clinics/Outpatient Services
O' Be 23 August 2021 Beverages
Avail Finance 28 June 2019 Other Commercial Banks
Avail Finance 14 March 2018 Other Commercial Banks
Avail Finance 1 Feb 2017 Other Commercial Banks
OfBusiness 13 December 2016 Media and Information Services (B2B)
SuperSuit 8 June 2016 Electronics (B2C)
Tork Motors 18 April 2016 Automotive
Hashlearn 23 March 2016 Educational Software

Bhavish Aggarwal - Controversy

OLA Cabs has most of its time been into controversy, sometimes due to the protests by Auto Walas or due to strikes by its drivers over less percentage of share. 

However, in 2022 it was reported that Aggarwal presented ruthless behavior that had upset the employees as well as board members. In this report, several OLA employees stated that inside OLA Electric, the culture has turned hostile.

Bhavish Aggarwal - Awards

  • Bhavish Aggarwal along with his company OLA received South Asia’s mBillionth award in 2013
  • In the same year, he and his company won Best Startup of The Year, which was presented by IAMAI
  • In 2017, he was bestowed with the ET Awards: Best and the Brightest by The Economic Times

Bhavish Aggarwal - Unknown Facts

Bhavish Aggarwal is regarded as the youngest and the wealthiest entrepreneur in India, but with all of that, he even has a few more sweet little passions. 

Underneath the tight corporate suit, he likes to ride his bicycle and play squash. He is also into photography and is known to maintain a popular photoblog. 

Bhavish Aggarwal - Top Quotes

If we launch a new product, we have to time it right. It's not about how soon you can do it but how well we can do it. 


Who is Bhavish Aggarwal?

Bhavish Aggarwal is the CEO and co-founder of OLA Cabs. 

Does Bhavish Aggarwal own another firm?

Yes, Bhavish Aggarwal has also founded OLA Electric. 

What is OLA about?

OLA is India's largest mobility platform and one of the world's largest ride-hailing companies, serving 250+ cities across India, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Must have tools for startups - Recommended by StartupTalky

Read more