Ola names former Infosys CFO Rajiv Bansal finance chief

Ola, the country’s largest cab aggregator, has appointed Infosys Ltd’s former finance head Rajiv Bansal as its chief financial officer.

Bansal will replace Mitesh Shah, who will lead strategic finance initiatives as part of his team, the company said in a statement.

Bansal, currently an advisor to Infosys CEO Visha Sikka, will join Ola in January.

Software services major Infosys had announced in October that Bansal would move on from the company.

Ola, run by Mumbai-based ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, has been strengthening its top deck as it invests heavily to grow operations. In July, the company brought in former Lazada Indonesia managing director Sundeep Sahni as its vice president of new initiatives. Sahni is also part of Ola’s core leadership team.

Also in July, Ola roped in former Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin as independent director.

Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said Bansal’s expertise will be valuable for the company at this stage of growth and will help it adopt best practices.

Bansal said that Ola, as one of India’s most valuable startups, has a responsibility of setting an example on corporate governance and best practices in finance.

Bansal has 21 years of experience and spent a major part of his career with Infosys where he handled corporate finance, business finance, operations planning and assurance, investor relations and taxation. He joined Infosys in 1999 and was appointed as the company’s CFO in 2012.

A chartered accountant and cost accountant by qualification, Bansal previously worked in Tata Technologies, Cable & Wireless and ABB.

The taxi-hailing business in India is heating up as both Ola and US-based Uber Technologies Inc are investing heavily to entrench themselves in the country. In July, Uber India president Amit Jain said the company would invest $1 billion in India over nine months for expansion.

Ola has raised almost $1.3 billion in external funding so far. Recently, it completed its Series F funding round by raising $500 million from Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford and China’s Didi Kuaidi, besides some existing investors. In April, Ola raised $400 million in funding led by DST Global in a Series E round. In October 2014, it mobilised $210 million from investors led by SoftBank Group as part of its Series D round.

Ola also counts Ratan Tata, Matrix Partners, Steadview Capital, Sequoia India and Accel Partners US among its investors.

Founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola allows users across 102 cities to book from more than 275,000 cabs and 75,000 auto rickshaws on its platform. Ola said recently it has grown 30 times in the past year and gets about one million booking requests a day. It aims to enroll one million drivers on its platform in three years, from more than 100,000 drivers currently. It also unveiled car- and bus-pooling services recently.

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