Hyderabad: Ola will soon be competing with food chains as the ride-hailing firm has taken up the khichdi business. As part of its new strategy to enhance revenue, Ola is planning to develop its own food brands in India.

Ola Foods will be available on food delivery apps such as Zomato and Swiggy. Its products will also be catered through restaurants, cloud kitchens, food trucks and pop-up kiosks. It has decided to set up a massive kitchen infrastructure and will create several brands in the food business, said officials.

The food business has enormous potential. People used to go out for food once in a while. But the trend has changed. Eating at restaurants or ordering food from outside has become a daily schedule for many, particularly working couples.

Pranay Jivrajka, CEO (food business) at Ola, is keen on building a national presence of the company in the domestic food business. He aims 80 per cent penetration in top markets. “Ola is keen on desserts, biryani, rice bowls and other Indian foods. We’ll have a brand in every space of the food business. Ola’s brand biryani and other foodstuffs will be a reality very soon.” Jivrajka said only a few food brands have a national presence.

Ola has a network of cloud kitchens in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Pune. The company wants to expand its infrastructure to 80 cities in India by December 2020.

The company is facing a challenging situation after acquiring Foodpanda, a food delivery firm, in December 2017. It has planned to invest $200 million to strengthen Foodpanda. However, with acute competition in the food delivery business, Ola seems to be focusing on developing its own food brands.

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