Exit season: After Ola CEO, CFO Gupta resigns months after taking charge

It’s exit season at Bhavish Aggarwal-led ANI Technologies, with Karthik Gupta, the chief financial officer at Ola Cabs and Ola Financial Services (Ola Mobility), formally stepping down from his role. 

Gupta’s departure comes merely six months after assuming office, closely following Ola Cabs’ chief executive Hemant Bakshi’s resignation last month less than a year after joining the ride-hailing firm, Mint had reported. 

The developments come amid liquidity concerns, prompted by challenges with Aggarwal’s flagship business, Ola Electric, which has struggled to garner adequate investor interest for a listing before the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

Aim of the restructuring process

“As part of an ongoing restructuring, Ola Mobility CFO Kartik Gupta has stepped down. This restructuring is aimed at productivity enhancement in an AI-led era that is redefining the cab-hailing industry, globally. The restructuring will allow Ola to strengthen cost structures, focus on growth and increase its bottom line,” the company said in a statement.

According to people in the know, Bakshi had joined the company in September 2023, but a formal announcement was made only in in January, the Mint report said.

Aggarwal has informed employees via email that the Bengaluru-based firm plans to lay off 10% of its staff as part of a larger restructuring initiative. The move, expected to impact nearly 200 employees, is aimed at enhancing profitability, preparing the company for its “next phase of growth,” Aggarwal added.

Also Read: ‘Will be sharing some actions…’: Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal criticizes LinkedIn for deleting his post second time

In April, Ola shut down its ride-hailing operations in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, to sharpen its focus on expanding its electric fleet in India.

In April, Ola shut down its ride-hailing operations in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, to enhance focus on expanding its electric fleet in India.

Now, the company is planning a $500-million public market listing, which is likely to value Ola Cabs at $5 billion, according to a Reuters report. 

The company aims to achieve profitability for two quarters before filing its drat papers for the initial public offering (IPO), a person in the know said seeking anonymity.

Also Read: Bhavish Aggarwal vs LinkedIn: Ola CEO lashes out at Microsoft-backed platform for ‘bullying Indians’

In March, Mint reported that Ola Electric was nearing the signing of anchor investors for its IPO, marking a first in India’s electric vehicle space. The company highlighted its cutting-edge battery technology, which is under development, as the unique selling proposition (USP) during its road shows.

Singapore-based Eastspring, a subsidiary of Prudential Plc, and UK-based Pictet have shown interest to come on board as anchor investors. However, the company is yet to garner enough investor interest for the IPO to go through, people in the know said. The company’s challenges have escalated in recent times following the government’s decision to reduce incentives on e-two-wheelers, besides concerns surrounding the sustainability of Ola’s market share.


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Published: 16 May 2024, 08:53 PM IST

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