What with multiple regulatory challenges and supply side disruptions, 2016 was a challenging year for the industry. However, according to RedSeer Consulting, demand growth from has been consistent and enabled the industry to tackle all these challenges successfully, emerging triumphant by delivering 500 million rides in 2016, up from around 130 million in 2015.
An important point to note is that 2016 wasn’t always rosy for the industry; this look back proves that. It only gives the industry hope that Ola-Uber driver protests and Ola devaluations will be minor irritants in an industry spurred on by real need from the masses.
Here’s a look back at how the industry fared in 2016:
January 2016 - A good start to the year
Industry experiences M-o-M growth of 9 percent at the beginning of the year, starting it off on a high note.
We are skipping February 2016 - it was an uneventful month.
March 2016 – Introduction of pocket friendly options
Major players introduce cheaper options for customers (rides at Rs 6/km), rapidly driving up customer adoption.
April 2016 – Regulatory hurdles
States put a blanket ban on surge pricing as state police starts impounding vehicles, affecting payouts and operations.
We are skipping May 2016 as well - it was an uneventful month.
June 2016 – Ola diversifies portfolio
Becomes first player to offer options like rentals and outstation taxis.
July 2016 – Battle intensifies, Ola gets leaner
Uber leaves China to intensify battle in India. Ola integrates TaxiForSure into the brand. Industry sees layoff of around 700 employees.
August 2016 – Curb on driver frauds
Crackdown begins on drivers engaging in fraudulent ideas leading to disruption in supply.
September and October 2016 – Carpooling takes centre stage
Carpooling adoption grows rapidly with continued service expansion across cities and slashing of prices and introduction of ridesharing passes.
November 2016 – Demonetization, a small hiccup
No major consequences due to demonetization as number of rides remain largely unaffected. Non-cash transactions increase 20 percent.
December 2017 – Year ends on a high note
While a drop in incentives leads to driver strikes in some cities, overall the sector experiences boost with relaxation of surge pricing and other regulations by the government and strong growth in rides in December.