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Anand Mahindra (L), chairman and managing director of Mahindra Group, and Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO and co-founder of Ola  Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar

Anand Mahindra (L), chairman and managing director of Mahindra Group, and Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO and co-founder of Ola Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar

 

 

 

Ola, a ride-hailing firm, and Mahindra & Mahindra, an automobile firm, have announced a tie-up, to raise the fleet strength on Ola's platform by 40,000 vehicles over the next two years. The addition will primarily be the Verito, earlier called the Logan.

“This is not just a tie-up between Ola and Mahindra Auto but the entire group,” said Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group.

Ola drivers will be eligible for Mahindra financing, where they would get up to 100 per cent financing on new and pre-owned vehicles. The services of Mahindra’s insurance arm would be offered to drivers; Ola drivers would come under M&M’s corporate social responsibility scheme.

Mahindra stressed this was not an exclusive tie-up, leaving the door open for alliances with Ola’s big rival in this country, Uber. The financial incentives are exclusive.

Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and chief executive, Ola, said there would only be a conventional fuel car exchange for now but saw the possibility of soon adding Mahindra’s electric vehicles to the fleet. “This is an initiative that meets the current future needs of the the Indian consumer, particularly the young who prefer shared mobility solutions,” said Mahindra. Sources said Ola had been working on this deal for a few months and hastened to close it once Uber and Tata announced their partnership.

The latest alliance does not give Mahindra a stake in Ola, valued at $5 billion (Rs 33,000 crore).

This is not the first time a fleet company has tied up with an automobile maker. A few weeks earlier, as mentioned, Tata had announced a similar partnership with Uber. In America, Lyft has an alliance with General Motors, with the latter owning a significant portion of the third biggest taxi fleet company in the world and had recently tried to buy out the start-up at a $6 billion valuation. The claims were officially denied by both parties but reports filtered out that Lyft held out for a bigger valuation.