ola, uber

On the heels of a recent valuation markdown by Vanguard, homegrown ride-hailing giant Ola continues to face executive exits as CFO Rajiv Bansal has stepped down from his post. This comes along with the departure of their chief marketing officer Raghuvesh Sarup.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Sarup has already filed the papers for his resignation. Pallav Singh, Senior VP and the Head of Ola Money will act as an interim CFO, till the company discovers a suitable candidate for the post.

The company appointed former Infosys CFO Rajiv Bansal as Chief Financial Officer back in November 2015. Within his short term with the cab aggregator, Rajiv channelized his understanding and 21-year expertise in the finance domain for the growth of Ola. His most significant task was leading preparation of a public listing for Ola.

Speaking on Sarup’s hiring, the latter was also introduced in January 2016. Former Marketing director for Microsoft India, Sarup created tremendous value in the process, to customers, partners and other stakeholders. He has also worked with Nokia, Yum! Brands (Pizza Hut) and Procter & Gamble prior to accepting’s Ola’s offer.

Though Singh will be taking over Rajiv Bansal’s responsibilities, no replacement for Sarup has yet been decided. Both Bansal and Sarup have previously worked towards Softbank’s investments in Ola, about a year ago.Recently, SoftBank COO Jonathan Bullock resigned from Ola’s board due to personal obligations. Further, the Japanese behemoth is presently engaged in a tough battle for market share with US-based arch rival Uber.

While few top level executives depart the company, there are other who have been elevated to the top. One of Ola’s longest serving executive and a member of its core founding team, COO Pranay Jivraj was promoted as a Founding Partner just recently. The latter was working as a chief operating officer (COO) of the company prior to being termed as the Founding Partner.

Apart from exits of two notable executives for Ola, the company today named Dr. Badri Raghavan as its chief data scientist. Raghavan will be supervising data science teams and will train those teams in machine learning, artificial intelligence, decision analysis, pattern recognition and related areas.

With an experience of over 20 years, Raghavan will overlook Ola’s operations across nearly 100 cities. He had previously worked with IBM’s Research and FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) and has also served as chief technology officer (CTO) of Boston-based FirstFuel Software. On his appointment, Raghavan delightfully commented,

Ola Share is a classic example of leveraging big data to improve matching rates and minimise deviations. With an aim to build more such solutions and add value on existing ones, I am looking forward to building a world class team, as we advance on our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians.

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