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Is Toxic Work Culture And Abusive, Arrogant Behaviour Of Bhavish Agarwal The Reason Behind Top Executives Leaving Ola Electric?

Toxic Work Culture, Abusive, Arrogant Bhavish Agarwal The Reason Behind Top Executives Leaving Ola Electric?

Two high-ranking executives at Ola Electric have recently stepped down from their roles, with Saurabh Sharda resigning as the head of partnerships & corporate affairs and Slokarth Dash departing from his position as the strategy head within the company.

Both Sharda and Dash have been pivotal figures at Ola Electric, a notable entity within the electric two-wheeler market in India, and are also among the most longstanding employees of Ola Electric, a prominent manufacturer of electric two-wheelers and part of Bhavish Agarwal’s leadership. Their journey within the Ola Group began in the taxi business, later transitioning into key roles within Ola Electric as the company evolved.

In parallel, two additional senior executives are reportedly in the process of leaving the company, according to individuals familiar with the matter. These executives are currently engaged in discussions with Ola Electric about their departure, which is anticipated to occur within the next one to two months. While these executives have refrained from commenting on the situation, an official spokesperson from Ola has confirmed that they are not exiting the company.

Toxic Work Culture, Bhavesh Agarwal, Ola

Ola Electric’s swift rise to prominence within the Indian electric two-wheeler market has not been without its challenges, particularly concerning the attrition rates at the upper echelons of leadership.
This phenomenon certainly appears to be associated with the company’s culture, which places significant emphasis on speed, aggressive timelines, and meeting unprecedented targets.

Amidst these developments, Ola Electric is actively progressing in its plans to file draft IPO papers, with aspirations of going public in the early months of the coming year. The company has enlisted the services of Goldman Sachs and Kotak Mahindra Capital to facilitate a potential initial public offering in early 2024, as revealed by individuals with knowledge of the situation.

Responding to the recent news and speculations, an Ola spokesperson offered a rebuttal, characterizing the narrative as an attempt to create a misleading depiction. The spokesperson emphasized Ola Electric’s commitment to establishing a world-class, highly accomplished leadership team, having successfully recruited over 50 seasoned professionals in the past year alone, hailing from distinguished Indian and international corporations such as Tesla, Apple, and LG.

The spokesperson also lauded Ola’s prominence as the largest electric vehicle company in India, attributing its success to the contributions of its dedicated team. In addressing the departure of Sharda and Dash, the spokesperson conveyed appreciation for their seven-plus years of service, extending well wishes for their future endeavours.

Toxic Environment

Reports have emerged from both current and former employees that depict a grim picture of Ola’s work environment. Bhavish Aggarwal, a co-founder known for his ambitious drive, has been accused of subjecting his staff to anger outbursts and irrational punishments.
The toxic atmosphere is said to be perpetuated by his incessant demands for perfection, irrespective of the situation’s gravity. The CEO’s alleged penchant for calling meetings at absurd hours, such as 1 am, has further contributed to employees’ distress.

Incidents of Aggressive Behavior
Employees have recounted a series of incidents where Aggarwal’s behaviour was anything but congenial. The CEO’s alleged tearing of presentations due to a missing page number and using derogatory language towards staff members have fueled the perception of a hostile work environment.

Employees also claim that Aggarwal’s anger extends to trivial matters like the quality of printing paper or a crooked paper clip.
Aggarwal’s Strain on Workforce

The pressure on Ola’s employees appears to be relentless. Aggarwal’s imposition of unrealistic deadlines and unscheduled meetings during the wee hours has left employees feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. A former employee revealed that the CEO’s decision to cut deadlines for product rollouts placed undue stress on engineers, compromising the quality of their work.

Executives Leaving in Droves
The toxic work culture has reportedly led to a significant number of top executives leaving the company. Notable departures include the Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Head of Quality Assurance, and Chief Operating Officer. The aggressive management style and alleged lack of respect for employees’ time have seemingly pushed these executives to seek greener pastures.

Aggarwal’s Response
When confronted about his management style, Aggarwal defended his behavior, citing the ambitious journey the company is on. He expressed that he is committed to a culture of high execution and quality, which he believes might not be suitable for everyone.

Public Outrage and Criticism
The allegations of Ola’s toxic work culture have triggered a public outcry. Commentators have criticized the reported behavior, stressing the importance of respectful workplace environments. Some experts have lamented the prevalence of disrespectful behavior in Indian startups and called for a cultural shift.

The Viewpoint
Time at Ola Electric, the memories may be tinged with a mixture of frustration, exhaustion, and a sense of helplessness that only a toxic work culture can evoke.
The promising domain of a startup, once filled with visions of innovation and camaraderie, could very well have turned into a battlefield of aggression, unrealistic expectations, and emotional turmoil.

The allegations surrounding the CEO’s behaviour are not merely words on paper; they represent the harrowing reality many may have endured; the work environment could be nothing short of being in a pressure cooker with Bhavish Aggarwal’s aggressive management style at the helm.

As reports suggest, Bhavish Agarwal‘s angry outbursts, irrational punishments, and arbitrary demands became a daily reality, and the smallest mistakes could lead to public humiliation, tearing apart confidence thread by thread.

Unpleasant personal encounters and narrations have found their place in the media: instances of presentations torn apart for trivial reasons, Punjabi epithets hurled, and the absurdity of running laps for a minor oversight, what may have started as a passion for work for many may have quickly transformed into a constant struggle for survival within the company’s walls.
The toll on mental health could surely be relentless, unreasonable deadlines, unscheduled meetings that stretched into the early hours of the morning, and the perpetual fear of stepping on a landmine of anger is enough to chip away at one’s resilience.

The tragedy of a toxic work atmosphere is like an anchor on emotional well-being, dragging into a vortex of anxiety and stress. The once exciting challenges of the startup world now overshadowed by a sense of dread, where the looming uncertainty of the next mistake overshadows accomplishments.

The impact on self-confidence may be equally devastating; Aggarwal’s irrationality extended to minutiae, such as the quality of printing paper or a redundant sentence in a memo; this relentless scrutiny over the trivial is enough to erode one’s sense of self-worth.

When leadership operates in a way that belittles employees’ efforts, it becomes a breeding ground for self-doubt; achievements may feel trivial, skills inadequate, and voices silenced under the weight of a domineering demeanour.

Thus, the exodus of top executives doesn’t come as surprising as many may have watched colleagues, once passionate about their roles, succumb to the toxicity and leave in search of healthier work environments.

The psychological cost of working in such conditions isn’t just a matter of professional dissatisfaction—it seeps into personal lives, affecting relationships, happiness, and even physical health.
It’s a chain reaction, and as more people depart, those who remain find themselves trapped in a cycle that threatens to consume their own well-being.

The consequences for mental health and confidence are undeniable. The whispers of self-doubt, the inability to escape the shadow of aggressive behaviour, and the erosion of a once-strong sense of self lead to a deterioration that transcends the workplace. While Aggarwal may defend his management style as a necessary pursuit of excellence, the toll it takes on human minds cannot be ignored.

The startup realm thrives on innovation, determination, and a shared vision. Yet, a toxic work culture poisons these foundations, replacing them with fear, anxiety, and doubt.

Ola Electric’s Future
These allegations and high-profile departures have marred Ola Electric’s rapid rise in the electric vehicle market. The company’s intent to go public is met with scepticism, as its internal turmoil raises concerns about long-term stability. While Aggarwal defends his aggressive management style, critics argue that fostering a respectful and supportive work environment is crucial for sustainable success.

The allegations of toxic work culture and aggressive behavior by Bhavish Aggarwal at Ola Electric have cast a shadow over the company’s accomplishments. As the company navigates through the controversy, it faces challenges in retaining top talent and establishing a conducive work environment.


As a seasoned writer with a flair for opinion writing, I have dedicated my career to dissecting the nuances of current events, social issues, and political events. My work thrives on a foundation of in-depth research, balanced perspectives, and compelling narratives that not only inform but also engage and provoke thoughtful discourse among readers. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering the stories behind the headlines, I strive to offer insights that challenge conventional wisdom and spark meaningful conversations. Through my opinion pieces, I aim to illuminate diverse viewpoints, giving voice to underrepresented perspectives and a deeper understanding of the complexities of our world.


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