New Delhi: India’s largest cab-hailing firm Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) has appointed Simon Smith as managing director to strengthen its presence in Australia, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Smith, who is responsible for building Ola’s leadership team in Australia, was chief executive officer (CEO) at eBay Australia. He also had stints at Servcorp and McKinsey.

“I relish building organisations from the ground up and I am delighted to join the ranks at Ola. It’s rare to find a brand like Ola that has built its success on a community-first approach, and that is committed to giving driver-partners a better deal with industry-leading commissions," said Smith, speaking of his new position at Ola, effective from July 2018.

Smith’s appointment comes after the ride-hailing platform launched in Australia in January. Currently it’s available in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and the Gold Coast and will shortly launch in Adelaide.

Ola, the first-ride sharing company in Australia to offer daily payments to driver partners, competes with other cab-aggregators including rival Uber, Australia-based GoCatch and a recent entrant Taxify.

Founded in 2011, the Bengaluru-based start-up that joined the unicorn club in 2015, reported a 70% surge in revenues to 1,286 crore for 2016-17. Recently, the Soft Bank-backed Ola has also been in news for talks about a potential merger with rival Uber. Softbank is the largest investor in both the cab-aggregators.

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