‘Hostile culture’: Ola employees claim CEO used Punjabi epithets on staff - Hindustan Times
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‘Hostile culture’: Ola employees claim CEO used Punjabi epithets on staff, tore presentations

By | Edited by Aryan Prakash, New Delhi
Oct 19, 2022 10:11 AM IST

More than two dozen current and former employees of Ola Electric on condition of anonymity have criticised CEO Bhavish Aggarwal's management style.

Ola Electric employees have come out in the open against what they call their company's ‘hostile’ work culture, pointing to co-founder and chief executive officer Bhavish Aggarwal's functioning.

According to more than two dozen former and current employees who chose to remain anonymous fearing reprisals, the CEO ripped up presentations due to a missing page number, directed Punjabi epithets at staffers and called the team ‘useless’. 

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO of Ola, poses for a photograph with the new Ola electric scooter during its launch at the Ola headquarters in Bengaluru in this 2021 photo.
Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO of Ola, poses for a photograph with the new Ola electric scooter during its launch at the Ola headquarters in Bengaluru in this 2021 photo.

Some executives even went on to claim that Aggarwal would lose his cool over a sentence in the memo, a crooked paper clip or even the quality of the printing paper. 

When questioned about his management style, the CEO had quipped that not everybody is fit for the company's culture, adding that there is no world standard on an ‘even, sterile work environment’. 

The disgruntled employees told Bloomberg that retention was a problem and some executives decided not to join Ola Electric days after formally accepting employment offers. A former business head who is no longer with the company, told the website that the expectations were like having to run a marathon like the world's greatest athlete Usain Bolt. 

The employees cited an incident when Bhavish Aggarwal ordered a custodial manager to run three laps around the massive electric two-wheeler plant only because the shuttered entryway was closed. 

Around three dozen executives who work at Ola Electric and ride-hailing operations company ANI Technologies, have quit the company within 1-2 years of joining. 

In an interview last month at Ola Electric's headquarters in Bengaluru, Aggarwal had said that passions and emotions run high and ‘we are not on an easy journey’.  “But I don’t want to choose an easier journey for myself or for Ola. My anger, my frustration — that’s me as a whole", he had remarked. 

 

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