BENGALURU: Online cab aggregator Ola has appointed former PepsiCo executive Vishal Kaul as the new chief operating officer after founding team member Pranay Jivrajka stepped down from the position. Jivrajka will continue to lead key strategic initiatives in a new role as founding partner, the company said.
Kaul, who was heading PepsiCo Foods for Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, will head Ola’s operations, and will work on strengthening Ola’s market leadership, expansion across the country and expanding the base of Ola’s customers and driver-partners, the company said. Kaul has worked with PepsiCo for 18 years and holds a Bachelors in Engineering from Punjab Engineering College and an MBA from Symbiosis Centre for Management & HRD.
“I’m thrilled about Vishal joining Ola to lead our operations. He is a passionate and experienced business leader with a demonstrated ability to drive business towards growth and profitability. His intuitive understanding of consumer businesses, ecosystem management experience and market understanding is invaluable. I look forward to partnering with him as we expand our reach and build Ola to serve the needs of every single Indian,” Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said in a statement.
Jivrajka, an early member in Ola’s founding team since 2011, recently stepped down as COO and will now focus on key strategic initiatives.
“Pranay has been a partner with Ankit and me in every single brick that has been laid since inception, from 1 booking a day to over a million bookings a day now,” Aggarwal said.
“Over the past 6-8 months, Pranay has been working with me closely on many key strategic initiatives and I congratulate him on his new role as a Founding Partner. This organisational change will enable him to focus on these initiatives much more sharply.”
This comes as the latest change in Ola’s managerial positions in recent weeks. Recently, Ola’s vice president for new initiatives Sundeep Sahni quit, followed soon by Abhimanyu Rawal, head of Ola’s luxury car business. Ola also recently appointed Shalabh Seth as the CEO of Ola Fleet Technologies, a wholly-owned leasing subsidiary. Sheth was previously managing director at SABMiller India.