Ola Electric Mobility (Ola Electric), the ride-hailing firm's electric vehicle arm, has appointed former top General Motors executive Jaime Ardila as a member of the company's Board of Directors. An automobile industry veteran, Ardila had spent 30 years at General Motors, where he held multiple leadership roles across the globe. In his most recent role, Ardila was executive vice president and president, South America Operations, GM, being responsible for operations in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. He currently serves as the chairman of the board for Goldman Sachs BDC Inc, member of the board for Accenture PLC, Nexa Resources and is also the founder of Hawksbill Group, a diversified business and communications consulting firm.
"Mobility is going through a global transformation as we build solutions to improve air quality, make clean energy more accessible and reduce fossil fuel dependence. Ola Electric has been reimagining electric mobility for the world and has emerged as the fastest-growing unicorn,” said Jaime Ardila. “Our ambition and capabilities of fostering the adoption of electric mobility at scale will have a deep impact on the mobility landscape in India and beyond. I look forward to working closely with the team at Ola Electric on their mission to electrify mobility at scale, for the masses," said Ardila.
Experts say that Ola is wooing a lot of top industry veterans whose business experience of building global businesses and deep understanding of emerging markets and opportunities will be valuable to Ola Electric in executing their plans. The strategy is also expected to help Ola compete with rival Uber.
In August this year, billionaire Pawan Munjal, chairman of Hero MotoCorp Ltd, the country's largest two-wheeler maker, was in advanced discussions to invest in Ola Electric, according to sources. In May this year, Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, invested an undisclosed sum in Ola Electric as part of a Series A round of funding. Tata is also an early investor in Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies. The same month, Ola Electric appointed Arun Sarin, former CEO of British telecom giant Vodafone Group Plc, as an independent director on its board. Sarin also serves on the boards of Cisco Systems, Accenture, Charles Schwab and ANI
"Jaime (Ardila) is a visionary who has been at the helm of the automobile evolution across several countries in the world. As we build new and more sustainable modes of mobility, Jaime’s deep industry expertise and global experience will be an invaluable addition," said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO, Ola.
Ola Electric said it is focused on enabling sustainable mobility for a billion people. The company is currently running several pilots across India to deploy electric vehicles and charging solutions, including battery swapping stations, primarily focused on developing a viable value proposition for the end-user, said the company.