Ola hires ex-Google and InMobi execs Pranav Tiwari and Sanjay Kharb as VPs of Engineering

13th Feb 2017
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Cab aggregation major Ola made two significant appointments today, in a bid to strengthen its core technology leadership. Former CTO of Cellworks and ex-Googler Pranav Tiwari has joined the company as the Vice President of Engineering, while Sanjay Kharb, who has served as VP - Production Engineering at InMobi, signed on as Vice President of Engineering Infrastructure.

Pranav Tiwari (L) and Sanjay Kharb (R)

While Pranav will be working towards bringing in necessary efficiencies in the supply chain functions, Sanjay is tasked with making Ola’s technology infrastructure - including site operability, compliance and data systems - more airtight.

“Both Pranav’s and Sanjay’s roles are critical and essential to steer Ola to its next phase of growth. They bring in relevant and significant experience with large technology businesses, and they have an integral role to play in Ola’s aspirations to create innovative solutions that will efficiently solve for the diverse mobility needs of the country. I am excited to welcome them in joining our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians,” said Ankit Bhati, CTO and Co-founder at Ola.

A little about Pranav

Prior to joining Ola, Pranav was the CTO of Cellworks, where he led the building of computational platforms that could predict outcomes of therapy using simulation. He also worked at Google India for over 12 years, leading the engineering site at Bengaluru, which is one of the three largest Google engineering offices outside the US. Pranav has over 35 patents in his name, as a result of the path breaking work he has led in the field of web data mining and data scalability. He had also worked in the 'Maps' and data mining divisions at Google, the skillset built at which is most relevant to Ola's current mission of making nuanced technology, taking into account one-ways, shortcuts and unmapped terrains along with diversity in culture, languages and demographics.

"I am extremely excited to join Ola's mission, and am looking forward to building innovative solutions alongside the brilliant team at the company,” said Pranav Tiwari, on his joining the company.

Pranav will thus lead Ola’s team of engineers to enhance and develop the unicorn's fulfilment stack and allotment platform. They will work closely with the supply chain team to build solutions that will effectively optimise the use of vehicles on the platform, reduce deviations in routes, and improve the matching of customers with drivers, among other improvisations that will combat issues that customers and drivers face on the road today, with localised solutions. Therefore, innovations around mapping and geo-locations are extremely critical to offer a seamless experience.

Meet Sanjay

With over 20 years of varied experience across the e-commerce, mobile advertising, travel, IoT and auto industries, Sanjay led the technology infrastructure domain in InMobi. He had also worked with MakeMyTrip as the Vice President of Business Intelligence, Data platform, Data Science, Infrastructure and Security.

Coming onboard at Ola, he will be tasked with ensuring the seamless working of critical technology exchanges that form the backbone of the company, namely system stability, environment sanity and developer productivity, along with enabling the faster detection and resolution of defects.

Currently, users across 102 cities can book from over 500,000 vehicles, including cabs and auto-rickshaws, for their transportation needs. With over a million rides being coordinated on peak days, it is essential for the Ola platform to work seamlessly, enabling both consumers and driver partners to have an optimal experience. Under Sanjay’s leadership, Ola’s engineering teams will be able to deliver improved experience in managing entrenched inefficiencies and enhancing infrastructural capabilities.

“I'm extremely excited to be able to contribute to Ola's growth journey. We will be able to together evolve Ola’s platform into a self-evolving technological mammoth,” said Sanjay on his appointment.

Ola has been strengthening its leadership team across domains, including technology, over the last month. Dr. Badri Raghavan joined Ola as the Chief Data Scientist last week. Prior to this, Vishal Kaul joined as the Chief Operating Officer and Shalabh Seth was appointed the CEO of Ola Fleet Technologies.

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