On the heels of Ola Cars CEO exit, the used cars retail business is shutting down operations in five locations — Nagpur, Visakhapatnam, Ludhiana, Patna and Guwahati — according to two sources close to the development.
Ola Cars website also did not show any car listings in Nagpur and Visakhapatnam region on May 6 morning. However, the other three cities still show 2-3 car listings.
“While Ola Cars vertical is getting business, the company’s expenses in the category are also equally high. This could be a potential reason for the shutdowns,” one of the sources told BusinessLine.
Ola has been aggressively promoting its used cars segment with discounts going up to ₹10,000 per car. Ola Cars was launched in October 2021 with 30 cities and plans to scale to over 100 cities by 2022. However, the number of cities currently listed on Ola Cars website is just 21, among which five are shutting down.
The currently listed cities are Delhi NCR, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Nagpur, Patna, Surat, and Visakhapatnam. Ola Cars also had plans to launch in international markets, but the growth seems to have slowed down in the past few months.
At that time, Arun Sirdeshmukh was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Ola Cars. He was charged with the mandate to oversee the entire sales and distribution, service, marketing, customer support, and go-to-market strategy for the business. Interestingly, Ola has confirmed Sirdeshmukh’s exit from the company earlier this week.
In a statement to a financial publication, Ola spokesperson attributed Sirdeshmukh’s exit to the fact that Arun Kumar GR has taken over his role of overseeing go-to-market function as well as Ola Cars. Arun Kumar GR is the Group CFO Ola, and CFO Ola Electric, G R Arun Kumar has recently been assigned the role to “drive the day-to-day operations of Ola group” as Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal increased focus on engineering functions, team building and product.
With plans to become a super app for Indians, Ola has launched various verticals including insurance, credit cards, grocery delivery, cloud kitchens, pre-owned cars retail, cab-hailing, and bill payments among others.
Ola did not respond to BusinessLine queries, till the time of publication.