Ola is facing an external and internal crisis as drivers threaten strike and seven CXOs have exited in past eight months

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Ola is facing an external and internal crisis as drivers threaten strike and seven CXOs have exited in past eight months
BCCL
  • Ola, whose business has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, has seen as much as seven CXO level exits in 2020 alone.
  • The latest to leave the company has been Ankit Jain, co-founder of Ola Electric and reportedly one of the closest allies of Bhavish Aggarwal.
  • In May 2020, Ola had fired 1400 people as a cost cutting measure during the coronavirus pandemic.
Indian ride-hailing unicorn Ola has trouble brewing not only because of external factors led by the coronavirus pandemic but is also witnessing a spate of high-level exits in its internal operations.

Drivers of Ola and Uber in Delhi-NCR are now threatening to go on a strike from September 1 demanding a hike in fares. The drivers are also demanding an extension in moratorium for the repayment of loans, as most drivers have EMIs to pay for the cars but are seeing low number of daily rides.

Meanwhile, in 2020 alone, the company has seen seven CXO level exits. The latest being Ankit Jain, co-founder of Ola Electric, according to an ET report.

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Recent exits at Ola

Ankit Jain Co-founder, Ola Electric
Sanjay BhanChief Business Officer, Ola Electric
Arun SrinivasCOO and global chief marketing officer, Ola
Sanjiv Saddy Senior Vice President, Ola
Naroo KrishnanHead of products at Ola Mobility
Sanjay KharbVice president for engineering at Ola
Nitin GuptaCEO, Ola Financial Services

Ola declined to comment on the latest development of Ankit Jain’s exits. Jain had been with the company for over five years and according to ET, was one of the closest aides of Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal.

Jain’s exit leaves two top spots at Ola Electric, the unicorn subsidiary of Ola. Even during the pandemic in May, the subsidiary had acquired Amsterdam-based EV startup Etergo.
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Ola hits a roadblock

Until late last year, Ola was hiring top CXO executives as it was preparing for an IPO by 2021. It was adding experienced people into the fold by hiring for top management level across its subsidiary companies – Ola Electric and Ola Financial services.

The startup was also cutting down losses as its standalone losses stood at ₹1,160 crore as of March 2019 – which was half of the ₹2,676.7 crore year before.
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However, overall the ride hailing business has been severely affected due to the coronavirus pandemic. In May 2020, Ola had fired 1400 people as a cost cutting measure during the coronavirus pandemic. “Our revenue has come down 95% over the past 2 months,” Aggarwal had said in a blogpost in May.

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