Two of the sources indicated Jain could continue being associated with Ola Electric in some capacity, most likely in an advisory role. According to them, Ola is bringing in a top executive at its electric-mobility division and Jain’s move could be in response to this decision. A fifth person added that the company is still trying to retain him. “It is not a closed conversation yet.”
An Ola spokesperson declined to comment on Jain’s exit.
The development is significant as Jain, who is on the board of Ola Electric and is also its co-founder with a stake in the company, was seen as the driving force behind Ola’s electric-mobility project. Anand Shah, another co-founder, had left a year ago, immediately after the funding round led by SoftBank that made Ola’s EV arm a billion-dollar startup pretty much at the drawing board stage itself. Shah, however, had been continuing with the company as an advisor.
If Jain chooses to leave the top deck of the company that is yet to start its operations in any meaningful way has become leaner. This comes close on the heels of a series of exits including that of Ola Electric’s chief business officer Sanjay Bhan who left last month after spending merely seven months in the company. Ola’s characteristic instability came back into focus of late with chief operating officer Arun Srinivas, its third in two years, quitting last month.
Jain, who had joined Ola in early 2016 from McKinsey, was instrumental in setting up in-cab entertainment solution Ola Play before he started working on the electric- mobility project. Jain was one of Aggarwal’s contemporaries in IIT Bombay and among a handful of people including co-founder Ankit Bhatti, Pallav Singh, and Pranay Jivrajka who were seen as the inner circle of Aggarwal’s management team at Ola. While Bhatti and Singh have already left, Jivrajka was elevated as a co-founder a few months ago.