Taxi-hailing app Ola has roped in former Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin on its Board as an Independent Director. "Sarin will contribute in an advisory role to Ola's overall business strategy that will further drive growth and leadership in the market", Ola said in a statement.
"Arun brings a global perspective and a strong understanding of emerging markets like India. His experience in management and in growing large companies is invaluable to Ola", Ola Co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said. "Sarin is globally respected as a business icon and Ola will stand to benefit from his mentorship and guidance", he added.
On his appointment, Sarin said Ola is creating immense value in the transportation and mobility space in India. The company has scaled rapidly to benefit customers and partners using technology and innovative business models. "Bhavish is an outstanding entrepreneur with a good team around him", he added.
Sarin served as the Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Group Plc from 2003 to 2008. He was the driving force behind expansion into emerging markets like India, Turkey and Africa and growing the data and internet business of the telecom giant globally. He began his career as a management consultant before joining Pacific Telesis Group in 1984. He held various senior management positions with Pacific Telesis and went on to become the President of AirTouch Communications after the demerger from Pacific Telesis Group.
Sarin has served on numerous Boards including The Gap and The Court of the Bank of England and also served as a Senior Advisor to KKR, a global private equity group. He is currently a non-executive director of Cisco, Charles Schwab and Blackhawk Networks.
He received an Honorary Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in 2010. Ola (formerly Olacabs) was founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. It has operations in over 100 cities and its app is available on Android, iOS and Windows platforms.