Ola Switches From Google Maps To Its Own Maps, Saves Rs. 100 Crore Per Year

Over the last few quarters, Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal has been on a mission to reduce dependencies on foreign companies within his products. But apart from helping de-risking his businesses, this crusade might make financial sense too.

Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal has announced that Ola has switched from using Google Maps to its own Ola Maps for its ride sharing app. He added that the switch will save the company Rs. 100 crore per year. “We’ve now fully exited Google Maps. We used to spend Rs. 100 cr a year but we’ve made that 0 this month by moving completely to our in house Ola maps! Check your Ola app and update if needed,” he posted on X. Aggarwal also said that the Ola Maps API would be available on Krutrim Cloud, Ola’s cloud service. “Many more features coming soon – street view, NERFs, indoor images, 3D maps, drone maps etc!” he added.

Ola needs the maps feature several times when a user books a ride on the platform. Ola needs the maps feature to estimate the driver’s arrival time, to determine the route to the destination, and even to estimate the ride duration. It uses Google Maps’ API to enable this functionality, and needs to pay Google for using its services for each ride. But Ola now seems to have its own maps function, likely built over an open-source SDK, that is powering its operations. By using its own maps service, Ola no longer needs to pay Google for each ride, and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal says this will save the company Rs. 100 crore per year.

This isn’t the only measure that Ola has taken in recent times to reduce dependence on foreign firms. A few weeks ago, Bhavish Aggarwal had highlighted the “pronoun illness” in Microsoft-owned LinkedIn AI after it had referred to him as ‘they’. “Most of us in India have no clue about politics of this pronouns illness. People do it because it’s become expected in our corporate culture, especially MNCs. Better to send this illness back where it came from. Our culture has always had respect for all. No need for new pronouns,” he had said. After LinkedIn had taken down his post complaining about its AI model, Aggarwal had declared that Ola would stop using Microsoft’s Azure Cloud in its products, and switched to its own Krutrim Cloud within a week.

Bhavish Aggarwal appears to have levelled up in his entrepreneurial journey in recent years. He’d started off by founding Ola Cabs, and for years had staved off the challenge from Uber as it retained at least half of the Indian ride hailing market. But even as India’s ride hailing space has settled into a duopoly, he had gone ahead and founded Ola Electric, which has now beaten players like Bajaj and Hero to become India’s largest 2W electric vehicle manufacturer. Late last year, he’d launched Krutrim AI, which became a unicorn within 41 days of its launch, and has created AI models of its own. And most recently, Aggarwal has launched Krutrim Cloud, which allows Indian users to access GPUs at prices far below that of competing services. Aggarwal has created three unicorns from scratch — the most for an Indian founder — and seems itching to scale them even further. It remains to be seen how his newer bets fare, but there’s little doubt that there are few Indian founders dreaming as big as he is.