Cab hailing company Ola today said it has appointed Ben Legg as managing director of its UK operations.
Earlier this month, Ola had said it has obtained licences to operate in Greater Manchester and South Wales. It is slated to launch its operations in South Wales in the coming weeks.
Legg will lead and develop the senior leadership team, drive strategy and operations and establish a UK nationwide presence by the end of 2018, Ola said in a statement.
He joins Ola from AdParlor, the New York-based global marketing technology company, where he was CEO for two years. Prior to this, he was Group CEO of Adknowledge and has also worked as chief operating officer for Google Europe. He also held senior roles at Coca-Cola and McKinsey, the statement said.
“Ben has a diverse set of experiences that span strategy and operations and is best placed to drive the development of the business in one of the world’s most evolved transportation markets,” Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said.
Ben Legg said the company is committed to working in partnership with policymakers and regulators in all local markets in the UK.
“I, for one, don’t own a car and strongly believe that through innovative services like Ola working in conjunction with local authorities we can help to reduce traffic congestion and pollution, improve mobility, and eventually redesign our cities, towns and public spaces for the better,” he added.
The UK is the second international market after Australia for the Bengaluru-based company.
In Australia, Ola offers its services in seven major cities including Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and claims that over 40,000 drivers have registered with it since the launch in February in the country.
Ola has previously said it will be the only ride-hailing app in the UK to offer passengers the option of Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs) and Black Cabs through one app, which will see additional transportation options being incorporated in the future.
In the UK, ride hailing apps that currently connect commuters with black taxis include Gett and Mytaxi.
Ola will also compete with US-based rival Uber. The two companies, which count SoftBank as a common investor, have been locked in an intense battle in the Indian and Australian markets.
The UK is an important market for Uber but the company has also faced criticism over issues like passenger safety and treatment of drivers.
Transport for London (TFL) had stripped Uber of its licence last year but a court granted Uber a 15-month extension on its London licence last month.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.