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Rejig at Ola: Ankit Bhati to become CEO as Bhavish Aggarwal gearing up for Group CEO


In recent days, there have been several reports of exits and rejig in the top rung of managers of several formidable startups, and the ride-hailing major – Ola – is also swimming in the wave.

The top management at Ola is set for a rejig, whereby the popular cofounder Bhavish Aggarwal, currently CEO of the company is expected to become group CEO, and another co-founder Ankit Bhati will take up the role of CEO.

In past few months, nine top-level execs including Chief Operating Officer Vishal Kaul, Chief People Officer Susheel Balakrishnan, Marketing Director for Australia and New Zealand Natasha Daly, Chief of Staff, Akshay Alladi, several other vice presidents and product managers have taken an exit from the firm owing to reasons including change in job descriptions and mounting work pressure.

The market for cab aggregators, especially Ola, in the tier 1 cities has reached a certain level of saturation minimising the scope for increase in scale, which is the most important prerequisite for raising funds.

While spreading its wings on the lines of global peer Uber, Ola forayed into the next hot as well as aligned segment – online food ordering.

The Tiger Global-backed firm is bullish on Foodpanda that it incorporated as a subsidiary in May this year, creating the way to a group company business model similar to Flipkart. Several employees including the ones on the top level have been shifted to work the Foodpanda agenda, something that they didn’t sign up for.

Further, as reported by Business Standard,  besides its core business, the company has set its focus on food delivery and grocery. With spreading up its portfolio, Ola is up in arms with the likes of Swiggy, Zomato, and UberEats and would be competing against Bigbasket and Grofers as well.

Hence, the numerous exits have created key positions vacant that the company requires to fill. In the wake of the new structure, Aggarwal will be focusing on the fundraise, while Bhati to emphasise on refilling the top positions and managing backend.

When it comes to running the business Ola and Flipkart boasted of two of the best managing teams in the startup ecosystem. What is happening at Flipkart is public, and Ola seems to be following in on the exit-rejig trend.

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