Ola expands ESOP pool to Rs 3,000 crore ahead of IPO

ola esops, ola founder, Ola Electric Scooter, ola, Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola Electric, ola ipo, had bought shares, Shuttl was looking to be acquired, laid off, had laid off, recently opened bookings, signed

Bengaluru: Ride-hailing company Ola announced on Wednesday it was expanding its employee stock options pool (ESOP) to Rs 3,000 crore and giving employees an additional Rs 400 crore in stocks in the run up to its initial public offering (IPO).

“The allocation rewards Ola’s high-impact employees and will lead to long-term wealth creation for them,” the company said in a press statement.

“Our expanded ESOP programme, along with the fresh stock allocation of Rs 400 crore, enables our key talent to participate in long-term wealth creation opportunities. It will also reinforce their sense of ownership and align their growth with that of the company,” founder Bhavish Aggarwal said.

The company announced earlier this month that private equity firm Warburg Pincus and Singapore government’s investment fund Tamasek had bought shares worth $500 million from existing investors.

The mobility sector has been severely affected by the pandemic. Last month, ET reported that app-based bus aggregator Shuttl Shuttl was looking to be acquired, having laid off around 40 employees and cut salaries. In February, scooter-rental firm Bounce laid off 40-60% of its staff. Its rival Vogo, which is backed by Ola, had laid off 50-55 employees in March 2020.

After the first wave of the pandemic last year, ride-hailing volumes had begun to increase but were again severely hit by the second wave. The mobility sector had clocked around 78 million rides in March 2021, 69% of pre-Covid-19 levels in 2019, according to consulting firm Red Seer.

ola esops, ola founder, Ola Electric Scooter, ola, Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola Electric, ola ipo, had bought shares, Shuttl was looking to be acquired, laid off, had laid off, recently opened bookings, signed
ETtech
Graphic: Rahul Awasthi

Ola is also venturing outside ride-hailing. Ola Electric, which is manufacturing electric scooters at a 500-acre site in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu, recently opened bookings. The company signed a $100-million, 10-year debt financing agreement with Bank of Baroda to fund the first phase of the factory, which is expected to eventually have an annual capacity of 10 million vehicles.

In the electric vehicle segment, Aggarwal, who is also Ola’s chief executive, had opposed the views of US-based Tesla and Korea’s Hyundai for import duties in India to build a local market for electrified vehicles.

He said India should have confidence in its ability to build electric vehicles indigenously while also attracting global manufacturers. “Let’s have confidence in our ability to build indigenously and also attract global OEMs to build in India, not just import. We won’t be the first country to do so,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

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