Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal claimed this will be the world’s largest women-only factory and the only such automotive manufacturing facility in the world
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NEW DELHI :
Ola Electric on Monday said a team of 10,000 women will exclusively operate its upcoming factory in Tamil Nadu by the time it runs at full scale.
Chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal claimed this will be the world’s largest women-only factory and the only such automotive manufacturing facility in the world. He said the company is upskilling its workforce as its factory is far more advanced than what most of the automotive workforce is used to right now. “This is the first in a series of initiatives we are undertaking at Ola to create a more inclusive workforce and provide economic opportunities for women across the board. We have invested significantly to train and upskill them in core manufacturing skills, and they will be responsible for the entire production of every vehicle manufactured at Ola FutureFactory," Aggarwal said in a blog post on Monday.
The ride-hailing company, which has been aggressively promoting its upcoming consumer electric scooters, announced a ₹2,400 crore investment last year to set up what it calls a FutureFactory. In the first phase, the factory is expected to start with an annual production capacity of 1 million units and will double it to 2 million if demand grows. It is expected to have a capacity of 10 million units, according to Ola.
The company’s website claims the factory is highly automated. It has over 3,000 robots powered by artificial intelligence (AI), which enable it to make each scooter in just “2 seconds".
“Women-run factories are becoming common, especially in the manufacturing of two-wheeled EVs. Women have been found to be more adaptable in the EV manufacturing sector, particularly when it comes to installing power electronics like sensors and motherboards in the assembly operation of EVs, as such jobs require delicate handling of components," said Piyush Chowdhary, analyst–smart mobility, CyberMedia Research (CMR).
“An EV typically contains only 20 moving parts, compared to 2,000 for an equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. As such, automation of EV manufacturing processes is comparatively easier in comparison to ICE vehicles," said Chowdhary. “Most EV makers buy battery packs from a handful of suppliers. Battery pack manufacturing does not take place in EV manufacturing plants. All this means it’s easier and more cost-effective to automate EV assembly," he added.
Experts said employing women in automotive factories is common in south India. “Some auto component firms employ women, and it’s increasingly becoming common in assembling functions in the South," said an industry professional, who is a consultant with some auto firms, seeking anonymity.
The industry expert cited above said Ola’s workforce should be smaller than a traditional factory at the same scale as EV manufacturing can accommodate more automation than traditional vehicles. “The EV assembling process, especially for scooters, requires several modules to be put together. It is like a regular assembly line, but it is less complex because it has fewer parts," he added.
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