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Ola Electric Trims Workforce in Pursuit of Profitability

Ola Electric plans to lay off 400-500 employees to streamline operations and reduce costs ahead of a potential IPO. This move comes amid ongoing losses for the electric vehicle manufacturer.

Ola Electric Trims Workforce in Pursuit of Profitability

Ola Electric, the Indian electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, is reportedly planning to lay off around 400-500 employees across the organization in a bid to control operating expenses and steer itself towards profitability. This move comes as the company gears up for a potential initial public offering (IPO).

 

 

The news, based on sources close to the development and reported in The Economic Times, has sent shockwaves through the Indian EV industry. While the final number of layoffs might fluctuate, the leadership team at Ola Electric is currently finalizing the scale of reductions across various departments.

 

According to the report, some of the departing employees may be replaced with new hires at a lower cost. However, this is unlikely to offset the overall decrease in headcount. Several teams within Ola Electric have already determined the extent of job cuts, indicating a planned and strategic approach to workforce reduction. This streamlining effort is reportedly being driven by Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal's company-wide push to minimize costs.

 

In December last year, when Ola Electric filed its draft IPO papers, the company disclosed having 3,733 employees as of October 2023. The filings also revealed a high employee attrition rate of 47.48% for the financial year 2023. This latest round of layoffs adds to the ongoing churn within the company, which also witnessed job cuts at its ride-hailing arm, Ola Cabs, in April this year. Ola Cabs let go of approximately 200 employees, along with the exits of its CEO, Hemant Bakshi, and CFO, Kartik Gupta.

 

The job cuts at both Ola Electric and Ola Cabs reflect the broader emphasis on profitability within the Ola Group. As both ride-hailing and electric vehicles are considered growth sectors with immense potential, a focus on achieving financial sustainability seems paramount for the group's leadership.

 

 

Ola Electric, despite its ambitious plans and early mover advantage in the Indian EV market, has yet to turn a profit. The company reported a net loss of Rs 267 crore for the first quarter of FY24, with an operating revenue of Rs 1,243 crore. This follows a net loss of Rs 1,472 crore on an operating revenue of Rs 2,631 crore in FY23.

 

Industry analysts believe that Ola Electric's decision to reduce its workforce is a necessary step towards achieving financial viability. The Indian EV market is fiercely competitive, with established players like Bajaj Auto and emerging startups like Ather Energy vying for market share. Streamlining operations and minimizing costs will be crucial for Ola Electric to compete effectively and emerge as a leader in this dynamic sector.

 

 

While the job cuts are undoubtedly a setback for the affected employees, Ola Electric's commitment to profitability can be seen as a positive sign for the long-term sustainability of the company. The upcoming IPO hinges on investor confidence, and a focus on profitability will likely be well-received by the markets.

Ola Electric's path to becoming a major player in the Indian EV industry will undoubtedly be challenging. However, the company's strategic cost-cutting measures and unwavering focus on profitability could pave the way for a successful future, both for the company and the broader Indian EV ecosystem.


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