Bhavish Aggarwal is an Indian entrepreneur and founder of the ridesharing company Ola Cabs and electric two-wheeler manufacturing company Ola Electric. He is one of the youngest and most influential Indian entrepreneurs. He was featured on the 30 under 30 list of Forbes India in 2014 and featured as a pioneer on the 100 Most influential people in the world in 2018 by TIME magazine.
Bhavish Aggarwal was born on Wednesday, 28 August 1985 (age 37 years; as of 2022) in Afghanistan. His zodiac sign is Virgo. He spent his childhood in the United Kingdom and his family came back to Ludhiana, India when he was ten years old. Later, he went to Kota in Rajasthan to prepare for the IIT entrance exam; however, he could not pass the exam and came back to Ludhiana. He prepared for one year at his home and passed the IIT entrance exam. From 2004 to 2008, he pursued a bachelor in technology degree in computer science and engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Weight (approx.): 70 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
He was born into a Punjabi family.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Naresh Aggarwal, and his mother’s name is Usha Aggarwal. His father is an orthopaedic surgeon, and his mother is a pathologist. He has a brother, Ankush Aggarwal and a sister named Arohi Aggarwal. Ankush is the founder of an online lending platform, Avail Finance, in which Bhavish was an angel investor.
Wife & Children
He married his longtime Tamilian girlfriend Rajalakshmi in 2014. They met in 2007 in Bengaluru and dated for 6 years before their marriage. As of December 2022, the couple does not have any children.
He follows Hinduism.
He belongs to the Bania caste.
He worked at Microsoft Research India as a research intern from May 2007 to June 2007. After graduating in 2008, he joined Microsoft Research India as a research associate in July 2008 and worked till July 2010. He filed two patents and three papers, which were published in international academic journals.
He found the ridesharing company Ola Cabs as a subsidiary of ANI Technologies on 3 December 2010 with his college friend Ankit Bhati.
In an interview, he shared the story behind Ola Cabs and said he was travelling via a taxi from Bengaluru to Bandipur in 2010 when the taxi driver stopped the taxi on the road and demanded more money than what was initially agreed. When Bhavish denied to pay more money, the taxi driver left him on the road, and he had to find another taxi. This incident inspired him to find the company Ola Cabs. He invested Rs 5 lakh, which he saved during his previous job, and in the first round of funding, Ola secured Rs34 lakh from Snapdeal founder Kunal Bahl, Rehan Yar Khan, and Anupam Mittal. He established Ola’s first office in a 1BHK space in a mall in Powai. The company started operating through its website Olatrips.com and later switched to its application for booking rides.
In July 2014, Ola got 10,000 rides a day which was its first major milestone. As the CEO of Ola Cabs, he launched different subsidiaries like Ola Fleet, launched in January 2015, mobile payments and wallet service via OlaMoney, launched in November 2015, grocery delivery service Ola Dash, launched in July 2015 and shut down in June 2022, and car-selling platform Ola Cars, launched in October 2021 and shut down in June 2022. Ola Cabs launched a food delivery service under the name Ola Cafe in March 2015, which was shut down in 2016; however, Ola Cabs acquired the Indian subsidiary of food delivery company Foodpanda in December 2017 and entered the food delivery industry after this acquisition. In April 2022, he resigned from the position of CEO of Ola Cabs to focus on Ola Electric. As of December 2022, he owns a 6.7% stake in Ola Cabs.
Ola Electric Mobility Private Limited
Bhavish Aggarwal launched Ola Electric on 26 May 2017 under ANI Technologies and launched a pilot project in May 2017 in Nagpur, Maharashtra by setting up charging stations across the city and procuring electric cars, electric buses, and electric rickshaws from manufacturing companies. He purchased a 92.5% stake in Ola Electric from ANI Technologies for Rs92,500 between December 2018 and January 2019. He acquired a 500-acre land in Pochampalli, Krishnagiri District in Tamil Nadu in January 2021 to set up the world’s largest electric two-wheeler manufacturing factory and named it Futurefactory. In September 2021, he announced that Ola Electric’s Futurefactory will employ only women as its employees and will give employment to more than 10,000 women at a time. As of December 2022, Ola Electric sells 3 electronic two-wheelers named Ola S1, Ola S1 Air, and Ola S1 Pro. On 20 June 2022, he showcased Ola Electric’s first electronic car, which is to be released in 2024. He also announced the setting up of the company’s battery innovation centre (BIC) in Bangalore, which will be Asia’s largest Cell R&D facility.
Work Culture at Ola Electric
A controversy arose in October 2022 regarding the work culture he promotes at Ola Electric when upon spotting a closed entry door which was supposed to be open, he asked a manager to run three rounds across the compound of the Ola Electric manufacturing plant. This incident seemingly upset other employees of the factory; however, he said that he is a very passionate person, and wants to promote a culture of merit and hard work among his employees.
Sued by a Bengaluru Man
On 18 January 2023, a consumer court ordered Bhavish Aggarwal to pay Rs. 10,000 to a Bengaluru man as compensation after the Bengaluru man named Vikas Bhushan reached the court against Bhavish Aggarwal’s cab-providing service, Ola, seeking compensation for the malfunctioned air condition in a cab that he booked for a journey of 80km on 18 October 2021. Earlier the customer had tried to reach Bhavish Aggarwal and the customer care representatives to lodge his complaint, but he didn’t receive any favourable response from them. In its verdict, the court also directed Bhavish Aggarwal to bear litigation expenses of Rs 5,000 of the complainant, apart from refunding his trip fare of Rs 1,837 with interest.
Awards & Honours
- InBillionth award South Asia in 2013
- Global Growth Company Award by World Economic Forum in 2014
- Innovation in Transportation Award by Frost & Sullivan in 2014
- Startup of the Year Award by Economic Times in 2015
- Leadership Award for Outstanding Startup by Forbes India in 2015
- Consumer Internet Company of the Year Award 2015 by VC Circle
- Unicorn of the Year Award by NDTV in 2016
- Young Turks e-Vangelist – CNBC-TV18 in 2016
- Unicorn of the Year Award by NDTV in 2016
- 30 under 30 Award by Forbes India in 2016
- Startup of the Year 2016 by Business Standard
- Mobility Leader by Express IT Awards in 2016
- Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Economic Times in 2017
- Disruptor of the Year Award by Asia Business Leader Award in 2017
- ID Person of the Year 2018 by Cybermedia ICT Business Awards
- Recognized as a Pioneer by TIME magazine as part of TIME’s 100 Most influential people in the world in 2018
- CEO of the Year Award by SABER Awards South Asia in the year 2019
As per the IIFL Wealth Hurun India 40 & Under Self-Made Rich List released in September 2022, he has a net worth of Rs11,700 crore.
- He secured 23rd rank in the IIT entrance exam in 2004.
- His aim is to provide electric cars to the public between $1000 to $50000.
- He is a pet lover and has three office dogs in Ola Electric’s headquarters in Bengaluru named Happy, Husky, and Fatty.
- He likes to do photography and owns a photography blog.
- He drove a taxi occasionally when he started Ola Cabs and addressed customer calls.
- It took him three years to convince his wife Rajalakshmi to ride in an Ola taxi.
- He set up Drive the Driver Fund during the covid-19 lockdown and contributed his one-year salary to the fund.
- His favourite book is the biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
- He wakes up around 7 am in the morning and goes to bed around 1 am in the night.
- He likes to play squash and do cycling.
- He was the youngest person listed in the 30 under 30 list by Forbes India in 2016.
- His parents did not think much of his success until their driver left the job and bought a car to enrol himself as a driver in Ola Cabs.