Home >companies >TaxiForSure to move its key technology team to parent Ola

Bengaluru: Cab-hailing service TaxiForSure plans to restructure its operations by moving all of its engineering and product employees to its owner Ola, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Additionally, TaxiForSure’s three senior-most technology executives—engineering head Amol Patil, chief technology officer Amitava Ghosh and product management head Nitin Pulyani—as well as marketing head Randeep Singh have quit the company, the three people cited above said.

Their exits add to those of co-founders Aprameya Radhakrishna and Raghunandan G., chief financial officer Ganesh Venkataraman and human resources head Hari T.N., all of whom left TaxiForSure immediately after it was acquired by Ola for $200 million in March.

Since then, TaxiForSure has been headed by its previous chief operating officer Arvind Singal.

TaxiForSure also plans to cut the number of branch chiefs, who oversee city-specific operations, to 10 from more than 20 to consolidate control over operations, the people cited earlier said.

Ola and TaxiForSure didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.

The exodus of senior executives as well as the shift of its key technology team to Ola prompted analysts to again raise the prospect of a potential closure of TaxiForSure as an independent business over the next year.

Ola has integrated operations with TaxiForSure more closely than was the case in other large mergers among Indian start-ups. Flipkart has kept Myntra largely independent; ditto, Ibibo and RedBus.

Snapdeal and Freecharge are planning to cross-sell but they do not sell competing products or services.

Last week, Ola said it will allow users to book TaxiForSure cabs on its mobile app, in what was seen as the first move towards a potential closure of TaxiForSure as an independent service.

While Ola said then that the move will expand supply and improve brand awareness of TaxiForSure, analysts said it will reduce the need for customers to use TaxiForSure’s independent mobile app service.

“(It has) to happen because the reason Ola bought TaxiForSure was to become a bigger competitor to Uber. The only logic of the deal was it should be a bigger aggregator. I see it as a natural extension of the deal," said Sharad Sharma, co-founder of software products think tank iSPIRT.

The merging of the technology teams may be a step forward for Ola to close down TaxiForSure as it does not make sense to keep two competing brands, said Nitin Agarwal, director at Equirus Capital, an investment bank.

“It is very expensive (to have two separate businesses) and would not be of great help unless they create a big differentiation," he said.

Ola and TaxiForSure, on their part, have denied any plans to shut the latter.

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