'Ola to go for IPO in 2024, investors to get healthy returns': Bhavish Aggarwal

The company on track to launch its motorcycle in the middle of 2023 and the electric car launch is scheduled for 2024.

By Amit Vijay M calendar 25 Feb 2023 Views icon13099 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
'Ola to go for IPO in 2024, investors to get healthy returns': Bhavish Aggarwal

Having called off its proposed IPO plan in December 2021, citing uncertainties, Bhavish Aggarwal founder of ANI Technologies has brought back the IPO plan on table yet again. The maker of S1 electric scooter plans to list his company on bourses in 2024, apart from expanding his companies offering beyond scooter to motorcycles and cars, said Aggarwal at the ABP Network’s Ideas of India Summit on Saturday.

In a fireside chat with Chetan Bhagat, a renowned author, Aggarwal said that unlike Tesla which is out of reach for many Indians, his car and motorcycle will create disruption and help young India to ride the EV revolution.  

“The motorcycle project is on track and will come into fruition by mid-2023, the “IPO and car will come early next year,”

Japanese major SoftBank has invested close to USD 250 million and holds a 24% stake in Ola Electric. Ola has so far raised USD3.95 billion over 26 rounds with their last funding round on Feb 22, 2022, for $20M.

The EV maker last raised Rs 150 crore in February 2022 as its Series J round from Axis Growth Avenues AIF and Arrow Multi-Asset Fund. The same was utilized to kickstart manufacturing of its “future factory" at Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu.

Enough wealth created for Investors
Sharing plans on fundraising to date and the eventual IPO which will allow investors to exit from the $5bn valuation ride, Aggarwal said: “The IPO is critical and will happen next year, but in the journey, I have created enough wealth for the people who have invested in my organization.”

Aggarwal assured that the investors continue to have faith in his plans” and he is cognizant of the Rs 42,000 odd crores riding on one of India's early unicorns.

When probed by Chetan Bhagat that does he sleep well Aggarwal remarked

“I’m a baniya (Merchant) at heart and for me my mission was clear to do something of my own that will create impact for India. “I'm fully cognizant of what I'm carrying on my shoulders is significant” he further added.

Aiming for 8X growth in productivity
Ola is now the market leader in the ride-hailing space and electric two-wheelers space.

“We will continue to make a mark and drive the future for a young entrepreneurial India. It will be powered by artificial intelligence which will speed up the rate of productivity by at least 8x to bring India at the forefront of the global mobility revolution."

Also gaining a significant leadership in the control for lithium reserves is a big priority for Ola he remarked 

India which recently found 5.9m tonnes of lithium at J&K is forced to depend on global supply chains for importing Lithium for its battery manufacturing

Aspirations are powered by dreams 
The Ola founder is confident that India can become a leader in EVs by developing core technologies, such as cell and battery

"Nothing stops India from becoming a global knowledge hub for artificial intelligence, semiconductors, EVs, and energy storage solutions. For entrepreneurs like me, our aspirations are not constrained by limitations, but powered by our dreams, “Aggarwal opined. 

Ola Electric in partnership with external stakeholders especially government support is putting together a plan to ensure a stable supply of raw materials especially lithium which goes into the making of a battery cell, he informed.

Ola recently entered into a $920 mn MOU with the government of Tamil Nadu to manufacture lithium ion cells which will give the firm a strong grip on one of the crucial components for making the battery.

The EV maker which has been eying the FTA deal with Australia for setting up is also looking at opportunities for a pact for battery-grade lithium supply along with a GOI promoted entity.

Aggarwal who believes India can going all-electric by 2025 is enthused by legacy players activity in the EV space, he says, “The traditional passenger and two-wheeler makers have suddenly become more aggressive in speeding up their EV launches, especially in the passenger electric vehicles space, which is "good for India’

Ola, which has built its $330 million two-wheeler plant with a capacity of two million electric scooters, is planning for a cumulative capacity of 10 million scooters in the next two years. Aggarwal is looking beyond India and wants to enter Europe and Latin American markets in the coming years.

“The future is to build in India, for the world by leveraging existing technologies and other technologies, that will leapfrog India into the global mobility space and take it to the numero uno position” he added

Applauding the Indian government's move to seed in the critical growth drivers for clean energy transition including green hydrogen and building sustainable cities the Ola founder said "is a step in the right direction to put the country on the global map”

Bhagat nudged Aggarwal and asked if he just like Elon Musk lives and sleeps in the factory, Aggarwal admitted that there are times, he was living in the factory and used to seldom go home, as the robots refused to work.

He said that the automobile business is the toughest and it is the cornerstone of an industrial society. “India depends on the Automotive industry. The Last 12-18 months have been very challenging” Aggarwal said.

Highlighting the cultural issues around the company, he explained that Ola is not a “9 to 5 job” and it is not meant for those who are looking at a work-life balance.

“As when you are creating a new revolution, the hunger and passion takes over the desire to bring life to the impossible,” he explained.  

Ola, which set up its factory in a record nine months, had resorted to a series of layoffs with the last one being in January 2023, where around 200 employees were asked to go.

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