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business | IST

IPO-bound Ola's COO and CFO to exit the company

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Nitin Gupta, who was the CEO of Ola Financial Services, also resigned last year, while Ola's chief business officer Sanjay Bhan, also left the company in less than a year.

Ride-hailing app Ola's Chief Financial Officer Swayam Saurabh and Chief Operating Officer Gaurav Porwal are leaving the company, in what comes as crucial exits for the company ahead of its plans for a public listing.
While Ola and Porwal denied plans to exit last week, an Ola spokesperson was yet to respond to Moneycontrol's queries on Saurabh. While Saurabh took charge as CFO only in April 2021 this year, Porwal was the COO of global mobility at Ola since last year, with interim charges of Ola Foods and Ola Fleets.
Sources told Moneycontrol that both these exits happened in the last week, the latest in a series of top executives who have quit in the last year. Other exits in the recent past include Ola's founding member Pranay Jivrajka, Ola Electric's co-founders Ankit Jain and Anand Shah. Nitin Gupta, who was the CEO of Ola Financial Services, also resigned last year, while Ola's chief business officer Sanjay Bhan, also left the company in less than a year.
While employee churn is not unusual in fast-growing startups amidst a huge demand for tech talent, it is somewhat more pronounced at Ola, where sources say the average employee tenure has come down to 1-1.5 years, due to its hard-charging and aggressive work culture.
Its founder Bhavish Aggarwal is the founder of two unicorns- the ride-hailing business Ola and Ola Electric, which has ambitious plans to disrupt the electric two-wheeler market. Its much-anticipated electric scooter S1 was launched symbolically on 15th August, India's Independence Day.
Ola's core ride-hailing unit is also planning to list on stock exchanges soon, for which it raised $500 million from Warburg Pincus and Temasek, giving early backers Tiger and Matrix a part exit from their stake in the company. While the company has hired bankers for its IPO, it hasn't disclosed by when it plans to go public.
While COVID-induced lockdowns battered this business in the last year, it has been making a recovery of late as India has opened up significantly in the last few months.
"Over the last 12 months, we have made our ride-hailing business more robust, resilient, and efficient. With a strong recovery post lockdown and shift in consumer preferences away from public transportation, we are well-positioned to capitalize on the various urban mobility needs of our customers," Bhavish Aggarwal, who is the group CEO for Ola, said in a statement in July.
In September, he tweeted stating that the gross merchandise volume (GMV) for Ola crossed pre-COVID levels, adding that the recovery from the second wave of COVID-19 has been three times as faster compared with the first wave.