Ola Appoints Ex-GM of Pepsico Vishal Kaul as Chief Operating Officer

Industry Watch | January 24, 2017 | News


Ola, one of India’s most popular mobile apps for transportation, yesterday announced the appointment of Vishal Kaul as its Chief Operating Officer. Vishal is a PepsiCo veteran, who has been with the company since the start of his career in 1999. He has held key leadership positions across Operations, Sales and Marketing in his career spanning 18 years with the company. Vishal was most recently the General Manager of PepsiCo Foods for Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

As COO, Vishal will head Ola’s operations, strengthen Ola’s market leadership, expand its reach to nooks and corners of the country and widen the base of Ola's customers and driver-partner fraternity, in line with its mission to build mobility for a billion Indians. The mobility opportunity is massive with over 300 million trips happening every single day in urban India.

Pranay Jivrajka, Ola’s first employee who has been focusing on leading key strategic initiatives in recent months, has been appointed as Founding Partner and will continue to work closely with CEO and Co-Founder Bhavish Aggarwal.

On the appointment, Aggarwal said, “I’m thrilled about Vishal joining Ola to lead our operations. Vishal’s energy is palpable and I have really enjoyed my interactions with him since we began interacting a few months ago. He is a passionate and experienced business leader with a demonstrated ability to drive business towards growth and profitability. His intuitive understanding of consumer businesses, ecosystem management experience and market understanding is invaluable. I look forward to partnering with him as we expand our reach and build Ola to serve the needs of every single Indian.”

Vishal Kaul added, “I am delighted to join Ola and be part of solving for the mobility needs for a billion Indians. Ola has redefined the mobility experience in every way for Indians in all walks of life. Bhavish, Ankit, Pranay and the entire team at Ola have built something that has immense impact on our country and what excites me even more, is the immense opportunity to build from here and create lasting national value. Bhavish's inspiring vision, boldness in thinking and agility in execution, drew me to Ola. My family and I are looking forward to returning to India and I’m very eager to join this fantastic team in this mission!”

Vishal has worked with PepsiCo across various functions and roles for over 18 years. As a global senior business leader with experience of scaling multi-country P&L growth with experience of leading large multi-cultural cross-functional teams, Vishal has a track record of driving profitability in complex markets. Vishal holds a Bachelors in Engineering from Punjab Engineering College and an MBA from Symbiosis Centre for Management & HRD.

Speaking on Pranay Jivrajka’s new role, Bhavish Aggarwal said, “Pranay has been a partner with Ankit and me in every single brick that has been laid since inception, from 1 booking a day to over a million bookings a day now! Over the past 6-8 months Pranay has been working with me closely on many key strategic initiatives and I congratulate him on his new role as a Founding Partner. This organisational change will enable him to focus on these initiatives much more sharply.”

Vishal was most recently the General Manager of PepsiCo Foods for Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

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