Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal tore papers, punished employees: Report
Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal, who aims to be India's answer for ElonMusk with his cheap electric cars, has found himself in the midst of criticism, as a Bloomberg report said that many past and present employees have revealed his abrasive and unsparing behaviour which upset board members and managers.
According to the Bloomberg report, the people whom it interviewed asked for anonymity retribution.
They said meetings scheduled for an hour would be cut short to 10 minutes, as Aggarwal would lose his temper over issues like sentence construction and sometimes even over the quality of the paper itself.
They also claimed he tore presentation papers.
There were instances when he would hurl Punjabi epithets at staff and tell teams they were useless.
"Not everybody is a fit for our culture," Aggarwal told Bloomberg when asked about his management style. "There's no world standard on an even, sterile work environment."
In another incident, he asked an employee to run three rounds of the Ola Futurefactory spread over multiple acres as a punishment for keeping an entryway shuttered that should have been kept open.
Aggarwal told Bloomberg that anger and frustration were "me as a whole".
“Passions and emotions run high and we are not on an easy journey,” he said. “But I don’t want to choose an easier journey for myself or for Ola."
With Ola Electric, Aggarwal ventured into EV manufacturing, carrying the brand name to a business entirely different from the ride-hailing business he started his journey 10 years ago.
Around three dozen senior executives working across Aggarwal's two billion-dollar companies - Ola Electric and ANI Technologies Pvt, which runs Ola's ride-hailing operations - have quit within a year or two of joining, a higher turnover rate than peers.
Aggarwal has big ambitions for Ola Electric to rival the likes of Elon Musk's Tesla and Chinese conglomerate BYD Company.
Earlier this year, Ola had unveiled the concept images of its first electric car. The company did not reveal its name but said it would become commercially available in 2024.
"Our car is going to be one of the fastest cars in India – (will accelerate) 0 to 100 (kmph) within 4 seconds (and) it will have a range of more than 500 kilometres per charge," Aggarwal had said.
He said that the perception that India was not ready for world-class technologies needed to change.
"We deserve a car that defines this new India. Our car is made in India, by Indians and for the world,” he added.
Few people in the world can afford a Tesla electric car that starts at $50,000, the situation. This presents an opportunity to lead the EV revolution with four-wheeler options in the range of $1,000 to $50,000, Aggarwal said.
The company's foray into electric scooters has been rather bumpy with production delays due to supply chain disruptions. It had to recall some scooters and apologize on Twitter after some customers alleged that the batteries used in the two-wheelers were faulty and the software used caused accidents.
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