In a fresh round of layoffs, cab aggregator and electric two-wheeler manufacturer Ola handed over pink slips to 200 of its staff from its 2,000-strong engineering workforce. Most of these staff were working on developing different aspects of the Ola app. The company termed the move as “a restructuring exercise” to minimise redundancy.
“Ola Electric has been increasing its focus on non-software engineering domains with a clear focus on building engineering and R&D capabilities across vehicle, cell, battery, manufacturing and automation, autonomous engineering streams and others,” the company said in a statement on Monday. “In light of these efforts, the company is centralising operations and is undertaking a restructuring exercise to minimise redundancy and build a strong lateral structure that strengthens relevant roles and functions,” it added.
The company had earlier laid off around 1,000 employees due to the closure of its pre-owned car business, Ola Cars, and quick commerce business, Ola Dash.
Apart from Ola, several other startups, mainly in the edtech sector, have been laying off staff since early this year as funding has dried up.
Ola said it is looking to increase its engineering talent pool to 5,000 over the next 18 months and therefore, certain redundancies need to be minimised. The company recently has said that its ride-hailing business is “very profitable” and it is also looking at expanding its EV offerings. It recently also said that it would launch an electric car and announced the new Ola S1 electric scooter too.
However, sporadic fire incidents in the past and other negative commentary have dragged the company’s electric scooter sales lower at a time when sales in the overall industry have been increasing. In August, EV two-wheeler companies sold a total of 50,346 units, up roughly 13% month-on-month, out of which Ola’s contribution was a mere 3,421 scooters.
The company does not figure in the top five, and has lost its market share to Hero MotoCorp-backed Ather Energy, among others.
In a bid to boost its sales, Ola recently announced it would have over 200 experience centres, or physical stores, by end of this financial year.