Ola May Fire 50% Workforce, Stops Appraisals, Salary Hike Due To Slowdown In Revenues
Ride hailing app Ola has started laying off employees, as many as 500 from its nearly 1,100-strong workforce, across verticals in a cost cutting exercise.
Ola said that it will now look to “leaner and consolidated teams and capabilities” and scale in a manner that keeps its profitability intact.
Shuffle at the top
It’s not just regular employees but also the top brass which are either stepping back or leaving the company.
Shikharr Sood, the head of Ola’s Talent Acquisition, and in charge of talent acquisition for the entire Ola Group, has put in his papers.
Yashwant Kumar, who is Senior Director and Business Head for Charging Networks at the company, has decided to move on, as reported on July 4.
Last month, Ola Electric’s Director HR, Ranjit Kondeshan also chose to move on.
According to a source, at least 50 percent of the company’s key executives have quit in the last two years.
Beset by troubles
Several former executives said that “product complaints, unit closures and ‘act fast, think later’ culture has led to recent Ola troubles.
Ola Electric in particular has been at the centre of several incidents of e scooters catching fire around the country.
It is facing a government probe into battery fires along with other EV players.
Toxic work culture
Former employees say they were expected to be available for work seven days a week and around the clock.
When working in a startup, a demanding environment is expected.
However, in this particular case it was also toxic with internal politics and misbehavior by top execs.
A former Ola Cabs employee spoke about Bhavish Aggarwal’s hostile behaviour during meetings and a spot termination culture, and that public terminations are common.
Unreasonable targets, impatience
Some senior officials have said that they were pressured to deliver unreasonable targets in mere months, which established automotive companies deliver in a 3-5-year cycle.
For example, Aggarwal wanted Ola Cabs, a mature business to grow 4X in six months.
A former Ola Cabs employee said that Aggarwal does not have the patience required to nurture a business.
He also said that it is the company’s tendency to expand into other businesses and then pull out.