Ola Cabs brings back Ankush Aggarwal to its ride-hailing biz – ET Auto

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Ankush Aggarwal

Ola Cabs founder Bhavish Aggarwal’s brother Ankush Aggarwal, has moved back to the ride-hailing business, people in the know of the development said. He was previously involved with Ola Electric Mobility.

Ankush is part of the senior leadership or what is being internally referred to as a “CXO team”, amid a broader shift and restructuring at the ride-hailing firm following the exit of chief executive Hemant Bakshi.

Ankush — similar to his role at the electric vehicle maker — is expected to delve into several aspects of the business along with being made the chief executive of Ola Financial Services, the people said. He was the chief business officer at Ola Electric.

A spokesperson for Ola Cabs confirmed his appointment as the CEO of Ola Financial Services. Ola Cabs and Ola Financial Services are part of ANI Technologies, while Ola Electric Mobility is a separate company founded by Bhavish Aggarwal.

Besides Ankush, whose lending startup Avail Finance was acquired by ANI Technologies in 2022, the CXO team includes executives like chief financial officer Kartik Gupta and chief business officer Sidharth Shakdher. Both Gupta and Shakdher have been with Ola Cabs for less than one and a half years.

After these changes, Bhavish Aggarwal himself is expected to spearhead the business and is said to be focused on turning a net profit.

“It’s essentially he (Bhavish Aggarwal) who is back looking at the daily numbers of the ride-hailing business, and the existing team at the company will work with him,” a person aware of the changes said.

Former CEO Bakshi resigned last month. He had joined Ola Cabs from Hindustan Unilever around September 2023, but the company made it public only in January this year.

“While there is no new CEO at Ola Cabs, Bhavish is back fully and essentially running the business on a daily basis. The focus is to get to absolute profitability and that’s where a lot more of Ola’s Krurtrim AI will be integrated,” another person aware of the goings-on at the firm said.

The spokesperson said at Ola Mobility, “our focus remains on enhancing profitability and accelerating the growth of our businesses in India. Our India Mobility business turned profitable in FY23, and we aim to continue this momentum across all our business verticals.”

Profitability and competition

For FY23, Ola Cabs parent ANI Technologies reported a INR 1,082 crore loss, just over one-third compared with the year before. Revenue grew 58% to INR 2,135 crore.

Bakshi, in January, had said that the firm had made a positive Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of INR 250 crore in FY23.

The unlisted company has yet to file its FY24 numbers with the registrar of companies.

Bakshi’s resignation was preceded by the firm’s exit from all of its international markets — the UK, Australia and New Zealand — in April, and coincided with the layoff of about 200 employees as part of a restructuring to bring costs down.

The shift in the top deck comes as competition intensifies for Ola from rival Uber, Swiggy-backed Rapido and ONDC-backed Namma Yatri in key markets like Bengaluru and Delhi.

  • Published On May 14, 2024 at 07:47 AM IST

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