Bhavish Aggarwal, the co-founder and CEO of ridesharing giant Ola, has decided to take a step back from the day-to-day workings and operations of the Indian ride-hailing upstart. Instead, he will be devoting that time to focussing on future and long-term projects such as global expansion, innovations in quick commerce, and engineering, the development of new two-wheeler products, cars, and team-building of businesses like EV.
Aggarwal informed the same in an internal mail to Ola’s employees, adding that he will be focussing on building its tech center in Pune, the Coventry-based engineering and design center Ola FutureFoundry, as well as “electrifying” its ride-hailing business and on its (battery) cell R&D and factory.
“Electrifying” its ride-hailing business can be interpreted as a total shift to EVs and clean energy when it comes to ride-hailing. This would be a step towards Aggarwal’s vision of a full switch to EV two-wheelers by 2025. In the pursuit of this goal, Ola Electric rolled out its new electric scooters the Ola S1 and S1 Pro, last year, which became an instant hit.
The recent development regarding the electric scooter might be a bitter pill for Ola Electric to swallow, as an Ola S1 Pro model caught fire on the streets of Pune a few days ago, drawing heat from the government. Currently, it is also in talks to raise a new round funding round.
Coming back to the latest development, the day-to-day business will be managed by Arun GR, currently working as the group chief financial officer (CFO). His role will be expanded “to ensure that we have adequate focus on the execution of the current businesses.” He will work with all of Ola’s leaders across teams to drive the company’s key metrics, lead reviews across businesses, and key cross-team projects.
Arun joined Ola only a year ago, in May. Today, he is also the CFO of Ola Electric and interim chief of Ola Financial Services, the company’s fintech arm, and has worked across categories such as auto retail, mobility, OFS, and quick commerce. He will not be unsuitable for the role, given that he brings considerable experience to the table and has led Ola Electric’s manufacturing, supply chain, S&OP, and construction.
However, you are mistaken if you feel that Aggarwal is taking a step back from Ola as a whole. He clarified the issue, informing that he is not retiring.
“Reads like I’m retiring! Not true. Arun is a great leader and he’ll help me manage Ola’s ops. We will accelerate ambitious new projects like our car, cell, and gigafactory, and deepen our focus on tech and engineering. More soon. Doubling down on building the future here in India at Ola!” he tweeted.