Netizens have criticized co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal in response to claims of an abrasive management style at Ola. Experts have criticized Aggarwal for promoting a problematic management style, including Dr. Nilesh Khare, a visiting professor of strategy at IIM-Sambhalpur, and former director of product management at NASSCOM Saurabh Saha.
According to a recent news report, Aggarwal's “relentless pace and management style” have upset both board members and employees. According to the news agency report, Aggarwal embarrassed the Ola personnel with Punjabi epithets and termed the teams there useless. He is also said to have rushed through meetings over unimportant things such as a page number that was missing, the printing paper's quality, a paper clip that was crooked, or a redundant sentence in a memo.
Another instance involved a shuttered entryway that was left open, and Aggarwal allegedly instructed a worker to run three laps around the Ola Futurefactory.
In a post on LinkedIn, former NASSCOM officer Saha stated, “If this is true then Ola might be one of the most toxic places to work. Somehow, it’ll take a decade or two before Indian startups get what culture means. Till then the employees would be at the receiving end of such brutalities. I don’t think we as Indians understand the importance of respect in workplace. It’s become a breeding ground for disrespectful behaviour lately…”