Ola’s new CEO takes the wheel: Moonlights as a cab driver. Know more

Ola's new CEO takes the wheel: Moonlights as a cab driver. Know more

Ola's new CEO takes the wheel: Moonlights as a cab driver. Know more

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In a unique move, Hemant Bakshi, the recently appointed CEO of Ola Cabs, has disclosed that he moonlights as a cab driver by night to gain firsthand insight into customer experiences and expectations. 

Bakshi, a former Unilever executive, took the reins as Ola’s CEO as the company undergoes a reorganization into three units: ride-hailing and mobility, financial services, and logistics and e-commerce. 

This restructuring led to the founder and incumbent CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal, stepping down to streamline operations.

Helming the ride-hailing operations, Bakshi recognizes the unparalleled value of firsthand experience. To understand the customer’s perspective more deeply, he takes his car to offer ride-hailing services across Bengaluru on weekends. 

This unconventional approach is aimed at staying connected with the ground reality of Ola’s services and ensuring a more empathetic leadership style.

Interestingly, Bakshi is not the first CEO of a ride-hailing service to don the role of an undercover driver. In April 2023, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi revealed that he spent months incognito as an Uber driver and delivery agent to comprehend the challenges faced by drivers and address them effectively.

Hemant Bakshi, an alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad and IIT-Bombay, joined Ola just four months ago, bringing his extensive executive experience from Unilever. 

While Bakshi focuses on strategy and operations, founder Bhavish Aggarwal reassures that he will remain “fully involved” with the business, emphasizing a collaborative partnership to drive innovation and explore new ideas. 

The dynamic combination of Bakshi’s operational expertise and Aggarwal’s entrepreneurial vision positions Ola for continued growth and adaptation in the competitive ride-hailing landscape.

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