Ola has decided against laying off its engineers for now. Senior officials at the ride-sharing and mobility company apologised to their respective team members for the anxiety caused due to the sudden layoff plans and said there would be “no cuts”, two sources familiar with the matter told DH on condition of anonymity.
The managers reassured their teammates that they would instead find ways to reskill them so that they could meet Ola’s changing requirements, one of the sources said.
“The Big Boss (Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal) asked the managers to apologise and calm the nerves of their teams,” one of the two sources quoted above said.
During a town hall on Thursday, Ola’s senior officials told their respective teammates that they were sorry for the “stress and tension” caused due to the news. When asked about the town hall, Ola admitted its decision had made employees anxious.
“The way we were managing the productivity assessment was probably not as effective as we would want it to be”, Ola told DH, adding that it was trying to “find a better way of managing this process”.
This came just three days after the company claimed it would lay off as many as 10 per cent of its engineers as part of a restructuring move.
The sudden layoff decision had made the employees panic, the other source quoted above said.
“People were panicking. There was no transparency and we were not aware,” said the source, who is on Ola’s payroll. The person added that the company confirmed there would be no cuts and that they won’t be “firing immediately”.
The managers informed their teams that “we need to realign and need to do a better job”, the first source quoted above said, adding that they would now meet their teams separately to discuss the upskilling strategy.
While Ola confirmed that the 200 job cuts it had talked about were “not happening at the moment”, it did not rule out the possibility of redundancies happening at a later point of time based on its re-evaluation of productivity assessment.
The company, backed by SoftBank and Tiger Global, has faced weak demand for its electric bikes and seen many high-profile exits from the founder’s leadership team.