Ola’s core founding member and COO Pranay Jivrajka is reportedly stepping down from his role of chief operating officer (COO) of the company. The cab-hailing app has appointed Vishal Kaul, who has previously handled the FMCG giant’s operations in Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.
Pranay Jivrajka, an IIT Bombay graduate, joined Ola founders Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati in the year 2011, around seven months after the startup was formed and was responsible for overseeing Ola’s operations. Jivrajka has been elevated as the founding partner, and the company said, he will “continue to lead strategic initiative”.
Jivrajka will work closely with Aggarwal on “strategic initiatives”, and that the organisational change will enable him to focus on these initiatives much more sharply, the co-founder said.
As for Kaul, he will look at bringing in some global expertise and a fresh dimension of marketing, scale and business operations, aspects that he has learnt by spending nearly 18 years at global packaged food and beverage maker, PepsiCo.
Speaking on the development, Aggarwal said, “He (Kaul) is a passionate and experienced business leader with a demonstrated ability to drive business towards growth and profitability. His intuitive understanding of consumer businesses, ecosystem management experience and market understanding is invaluable.”
Ola has seen several top executives quitting the company, including Rushil Goel, product lead for Ola Money, Pradeep Dodle, head of Ola’s cab category management, and Harsha Kumar, associate VP at Ola.
Currently, Ola is operating across 100 cities in India, and has been trying to strengthen its leadership team and raise fresh funds. So far, the company has raised around about $1.3 Bn in external funding.