Ride-hailing major Ola on Monday clarified that nearly 200 engineers, including some in the software vertical, have been asked to go from its 2,000-strong engineer workforce — 10 per cent of the headcount — as part of a larger restructuring exercise towards its electric dream. The company denied sacking 500 employees, adding that it is “centralising operations and is undertaking a restructuring exercise to minimise redundancy and build a strong lateral structure that strengthens relevant roles and functions”.
CNBC first reported that nearly 500 employees are being laid off from the various software verticals of ANI technologies which operates Ola Cabs. “The company currently has around 2,000 engineers and aims to increase its engineering talent pool to 5,000 over the next 18 months,” said the ride-hailing company. The Bhavish Aggarwal-run company has nearly 1,100 employees in its core ride-hailing business.
Earlier restructuring exercises impacted employees across product, marketing, sales, supply, tech, business, and operations verticals at the company, affecting nearly 500 employees that “were a result of restructuring in the Cars and Dash businesses”. The ride-hailing major recently shut down its used vehicle business Ola Cars, as well as its quick-commerce business, Ola Dash, as the company shifted focus on its electric two-wheeler and car verticals.
Ola said it plans to hire 5,000 engineers as it doubles down on new engineering verticals and strengthens capabilities across vehicle, cell, battery, manufacturing and autonomous streams.
However, Ola Electric’s sales are diminishing and it sold 3,421 EV (electric vehicle) two-wheelers in August, a drop from 3,862 units the company sold in July.
More than half a dozen senior executives have quit Ola Electric in recent months while over 30 senior executives have left Ola in the past two years. Recently, Ola Electric’s head of advanced battery engineering, Ashok Saraswat, moved on. Saraswat, who joined SoftBank-backed Ola last year, is reportedly joining a company that is entering the battery business.
As EV two-wheeler sales drop amid battery fire fears, Okinawa Autotech, PureEV and Ola Electric recalled 6,656 vehicles after the battery explosion incidents increased in the country.
The government has said it is extra vigilant about the safety standards of EVs and experts are on the job.