India’s largest unicorns, it seems, are having a tough time keeping hold of its senior level executives. India’s homegrown e-commerce giant and the very unicorn, Flipkart, has witnessed the most management exodus with shortest tenure periods in 2016. Now, Ola is parting ways with its vice president of new initiatives Sundeep Sahni after just one and a half year, reports Techcircle.
Earlier in July 2015, the Indian ride-hailing giant had roped in Sahni, who was Lazada Indonesia’s co-founder and Managing Director at the time. His appointment for Ola had come at a point when it was aggressively scaling its services to put pressure on its American arch-enemy Uber — who was steadily gaining market with its prompt service and discounted prices. He had been brought in to help Ola capitalize on the thriving transportation ecosystem of the country using new and innovative tech solutions.
Now, Sahni is moving ahead from his position at the ride-hailing giant after a 1.5-year long stint to yet again work on a new venture, report sources aware of the development. He is reportedly planning to move back abroad to start working on the same.
Until Thursday, the day he was relieved of his duties, Sahni had been heading the following businesses at Ola: bus sharing service Ola Shuttle, Ola Auto, Ola e-rikshaw and Mumbai-exclusive city taxi service Ola Kali-Peeli. Kalyan Josyula, director and COO of the Shuttle service will now take over the bus aggregation business, say sources.
In addition, Sahni holds an MBA degree from INSEAD France/Singapore and his bachelor’s degree in Finance and Computer Science from the reputed Boston College USA. He is also a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA). Also, prior to starting his own venture in the form of Lazada, he was working with Egyptian private equity firm Watheeqa Capital.
This exit from Ola comes at a time when the company is fighting to stand its ground against Uber amid a funding crunch. Though it a larger presence across the country, it is still hungry for compensations and separate laws for startups within the country — which is shameful for a company of this stature to say on stage at an event. The ride-hailing giant is planning to add fresh capital to its coffers at a down valuation to keep up the pace of competition.