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Ola hires former Microsoft exec Raghuvesh Sarup as CMO

Raghuvesh Sarup

Raghuvesh Sarup

Ola, the country’s largest cab aggregator, has named former Microsoft India executive Raghuvesh Sarup its first chief marketing officer to bolster its top management.

Sarup will join Ola, run by Mumbai-based ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, in February. He will be part of Ola’s core leadership team with responsibility for marketing across categories, the company said in a statement.

An MBA alumnus from XLRI, Sarup last served as marketing director heading the sales division at Microsoft India. He has served in various capacities at Nokia with responsibilities that include brand management and marketing for large brands. He also held senior positions at Yum! Brands (Pizza Hut) and Procter & Gamble.

Ola has been strengthening its upper deck for the past few months. In December, it hired Joy Bandekar from e-commerce firm Flipkart as its corporate president to lead new initiatives. In November, it appointed Infosys Ltd’s former finance head Rajiv Bansal as its chief financial officer.

In July last year, the company brought in former Lazada Indonesia managing director Sundeep Sahni as its vice president of new initiatives. Sahni is also part of Ola’s core leadership team. The same month, Ola named former Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin an independent director.

Ola was founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. It competes with San Francisco-based Uber for India’s burgeoning ride aggregation space. Ola has a network of about 3,50,000 vehicles on its platform and operates in 102 cities.

In November 2015, Ola completed its Series F funding round by raising $500 million from Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford and China’s Didi Kuaidi, besides some existing investors.

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