Home / Companies / News /  Ola to fire 200 engineers as part of restructuring

The Ola group, which runs ride-hailing service Ola Cabs and two-wheeler maker Ola Electric, said it would let go of nearly 200 engineers as part of a “restructuring" exercise to focus on building its manufacturing capabilities in its mobility business.

The group has shut down its used cars business, Ola Cars, and its quick-commerce service, Ola Dash, in an attempt to refocus its efforts on scaling up its existing electric two-wheeler business and prioritizing its pivot to an end-to-end electric mobility company.

In a statement, Ola said 10% of its workforce of around 2,000 engineers would be directly impacted by its move to “minimize redundancy and build a strong lateral structure that strengthens relevant roles and functions".

The decision will mostly impact Ola’s software engineers as it aims to remove relatively redundant skill sets in line with the group’s plan to strengthen its focus on “non-software engineering domains".

The group, led by Bhavish Aggarwal, founder of Ola Cabs and Ola Electric, has said it has ambitions to enter the electric car segment with a made-in-India product by 2024.

Last week, Aggarwal took to Twitter to announce plans to open up 200 “experience centres", or company-run showrooms for its products across the country as sales of its flagship scooter, the Ola S1 pro, have been flattening over the last few months. Ola Electric’s distribution is built on a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model, and the company had earlier stated its intentions to stay with its digital-only sales model, unlike rivals such as Ather Energy, who sell their products at offline dealerships and company-owned experience centres.

Ola Electric’s electric two-wheeler registrations dropped to 3,421 units in August from 3,862 units in July. The company now commands close to a 6.8% share of the electric two-wheeler market as of August, significantly below the peak volumes it had achieved at the beginning of the financial year as it started deliveries of its Ola S1 Pro. It had then overtaken long-reigning leaders like Hero Electric and Okinawa in terms of sales volume. Ola Electric has now slid back to the third position in the market. It is now betting on its recently launched low-cost electric scooter, the Ola S1, to revive its place in the market. Ola Electric is also working on autonomous driving technologies, vehicle design, battery and cell manufacturing and doubling down on building research and development capabilities across all these areas in India and the UK.

Ola had announced it would invest $100 million over the next five years to build a global centre for advanced engineering and automotive design in Coventry, UK.

However, even as Ola cuts software engineering jobs, it plans to “increase its engineering talent pool to 5,000 over the next 18 months".

“With a focus on being a vertically integrated mobility company, Ola is building on common capabilities and synergies across functions as it strengthens its play across 2-wheelers, 4-wheelers, cell R&D and manufacturing", Ola Electric said in a statement.

The company currently employs around 2,000 engineers and aims to increase its engineering talent pool to 5,000 over the next 18 months.

The EV maker says it will hire for roles in vehicle engineering, sourcing, product management and data science.


Alisha Sachdev

Alisha Sachdev is an assistant editor with Mint based in Delhi. She reports on the auto and mobility sector, with a special focus on emerging clean mobility technologies. She also focusses on developing multimedia properties for Mint and currently hosts the 'In A Minute' series and the Mint Primer podcast. Previously, she has worked with CNBC-TV18 and NDTV.
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