Ride-hailing platform Ola has said it has elevated Balachandar N as its Group Chief People Officer. Balachandar was the acting Group CPO (Chief People Officer) for the past four months.
In an e-mail to employees, Ola founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said: “Bala has been our acting Group CPO for the past four months. Bala has raised the bar on execution in HR. The all-women factory, the scale-up of our sales, ops, and GTM (go-to-market) orgs across our consumer businesses, and an increased pace of hiring across key tech orgs are key contributions of the HR team in the past couple of quarters”.
He added that the company’s headcount has gone up from 4,500 to 8,000 in the last five months, given the growth across all businesses.
“I am delighted to announce that he will be assuming the Group CPO role permanently and will continue to provide HR leadership across all our businesses.
“We’re amongst the largest mobility platforms in the world and continue to attract top global talent as we build a fast-paced and impact-focused org across our businesses including Mobility, EVs, Vehicle Commerce, Quick Commerce, and Financial Services. Bala and the HR team will be key to accelerating this so we can realise the opportunities that lie ahead,” he said.
An Ola spokesperson confirmed the development.
Earlier this month, Ola had announced key leadership appointments across its financial services, electric mobility and vehicles sales businesses.
PV Harinarayan has joined as Vice President Lending at Ola Financial Services, while V Ramesh has joined as Head of Operations at Ola Futurefactory.
Priteesh Mahajan has been named as Head of Two-wheeler Programme Management and Product Planning at Ola Electric.
Over the past few months, Ola has also seen a number of exits of senior executives, including that of Swayam Saurabh (Ola Chief Financial Officer) and Gaurav Porwal (Chief Operating Officer) and Sandeep Chowdhury (General Counsel).
These exits come ahead of Ola’s plans to go for an initial public offering (IPO).
In October, Ola had also restructured the organisation and expanded roles for some of its top leaders.
The Bengaluru-based company has made many appointments as well, including that of Arun Sirdeshmukh (Ola Cars CEO) and Vinay Bhopatkar (Head of Delivery business).
Ola has also been accelerating hiring across all levels to build a deep bench strength of talent and leadership pipeline across roles, strengthening the company’s world-leading capabilities in AI, big data & analytics, app development and IoT, digital and software technologies that have been built on the back of its existing businesses.