India: Softbank-backed Ola Electric hires HR chief ahead of e-scooter launch

Ola Electric has appointed N Balachandar as chief human resources officer (CHRO) as the company continues to make key hires ahead of the launch of its e-scooter.

Balachandar is a 33-year industry HR veteran, and brings global experience to the company, having worked across India, Europe, and Asia with GE Healthcare and GE Capital in several senior HR leadership and M&A roles. Most recently, he was Group Director with the Coffee Day Group, Ola said on Thursday.

“As we work on driving growth and building a global EV company, we are ramping up our focus on building a world-class people organization. Bala’s over three decades of experience across various consumer-facing segments will help us ensure we rapidly scale up the organization’s structure, capacity, and capability to meet our global growth ambitions,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and Group CEO, Ola.

Balachandar said, “I am excited to join Ola’s mission to transition the world to sustainable mobility. Having the best talent from around the world is integral to this mission and I look forward to building a global organization that will offer a lifetime of opportunities for employees and enable them to make a difference”.

Balachandar’s appointment comes after the recent announcement of Wayne Burgess joining as head of vehicle design in Ola Electric.

Ola is gearing up to launch the first in its range of electric scooters in the coming months. The Ola Scooter is a tech-driven electric vehicle with industry leading range and speed. The electric two-wheeler will be priced aggressively to make it accessible to all and will help accelerate India’s transition to sustainable, clean and electric mobility, Ola said.

Ola Electric is building what it calls the ‘future factory’ in Tamil Nadu, and will be the world’s largest two-wheeler factory when fully operational at 10 million-a-year capacity next year. The factory will start manufacturing the Ola Scooter as soon as its first phase of 2 million annual capacity is ready this summer.

The article was first published on livemint.com.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.