Indian ride-hailing firm Ola to cut 10% engineering jobs

FILE PHOTO: An employee speaks over his phone as a private security guard looks on at the front desk inside the office of Ola cab service in Gurugram

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India's Ola will cut about 200 engineering jobs to reduce redundancy across its two main businesses of ride-hailing and electric vehicle manufacturing, the SoftBank Group-backed company said on Monday.

The company said it is focussed on being a "vertically integrated mobility company" and is centralizing operations to build a structure to strengthen relevant roles and functions.

"Ola is building on common capabilities and synergies across functions as it strengthens its play across two-wheelers, four-wheelers, cell research and manufacturing," the company said in a statement.

To that end, said Ola, it plans to boost its engineering workforce to 5,000 over the next 18 months from around 2,000 currently, as part of an "influx of hiring" for roles in vehicle engineering, sourcing, product management and data science.

Ola, which pipped Uber Technologies to take a majority share of India's ride-hailing market, started manufacturing e-scooters last year and plans to start producing electric cars in 2024.

However, its scooter business came under scrutiny earlier this year when Ola recalled more than 1,400 of the vehicles after one of them caught fire.

The company also postponed plans to go public in the first half of this year, possibly due to volatility in the market and lacklustre listings of other domestic start-ups.

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)