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Ride-hailing firm Ola ropes in former Cognizant exec as info chief
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian ride-hailing firm Ola on Wednesday roped in industry veteran and former Cognizant executive Rakesh Bhardwaj as its chief information officer (CIO), as it embarks on a hiring spree across its businesses. 

The appointment comes amid several other hires by the company as it looks to expand its business verticals globally.  

Ola last week brought in new leaders for its electric mobility division, with N Balachandar joining as chief human resources officer and Wayne Burgess as head of design. 

Bengaluru-based Ola said Bhardwaj will provide strategic direction to its information technology (IT) initiatives covering information systems, tools, security, IT infrastructure and assets across global operations and businesses. 

Bhardwaj, who has nearly three decades of experience in building and managing global IT teams, has previously held CIO roles at Nasdaq-listed IT major Cognizant, medical diagnostics equipment manufacturer GE Healthcare and aircraft engine supplier GE Aviation and Transportation. 

“As Ola scales up further and expands into new areas such as connected manufacturing, intelligent charging infrastructure, and sophisticated global supply chain, having a robust IT infrastructure enabling this growth is imperative,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and chief executive of Ola. 

The company, backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group, has been gearing up to launch electric scooters. In December, it had planned to invest Rs 2,400 crore to set up a factory in the southern state of Tamil Nadu to produce the scooters. 

The plant will have an initial annual capacity of two million scooters and will create nearly 10,000 jobs, it had said at the time.  

The factory will now start manufacturing scooters as soon as the first phase is done, the company said. 

Founded in 2010 by Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola serves more than 250 cities across India, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Its employee count stands at over 7,000. 

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