Ola Vs Uber: The two companies are not fighting over pricing but over nationalism


New Delhi: We have often seen two companies fighting over price, predatory pricing, market monopoly, unfair competition etc. Rarely have we seen companies fighting over nationalism.

But Indian ride-hailing startup Ola has done it. Hitting out at its San Francisco-based rival Uber,  Ola COO Pranay Jivrajka wrote in a blogpost, “It is a shame that our competition has to fan a debate of nationalism to hide their identity of being a multi- national, with serial violations of law as a business strategy, not just in India, but globally. This debate in our view is not about foreign vs local but who is respectful of the local laws and who is disrespectful”.

“Over the past couple of days, there has been an irrelevant debate around organisations operating in the country being national or international. Isn’t a company like Alibaba, run by a local entrepreneur like Jack Ma, ‘Chinese,’ despite having a majority of its shareholding from international investors? Aren’t the cutting edge technology solutions, high value jobs and Internet ecosystem that Alibaba has built, invaluable assets for China?,” Jivrajka wrote.

The blog was reportedly written in response to a blogpost by Uber’s general manager of South and West in India Bhavik Rathod.

Rathod wrote, “What makes Uber ‘foreign’? The fact that we are established in San Francisco but have a hyperlocal team solving problems that are locally relevant? Or that, just like our competitors, we received most of our funding from ‘foreign’ investors? … ‘Let’s keep Bangalore moving’.