Wrong Turn: Ola CXO being investigated for fraud running into millions of dollars

Cab aggregator Ola has ordered an investigation against one of its most senior executives for corrupt practices, which is expected to run into millions of dollars, according to a report.

Yugantar Saikia, the head of human resources and chief administrative officer of Ola, allegedly favoured a few vendors in return for kickbacks. As part of the investigation, Yugantar’s work assets including his laptop have been seized by the company and he has been asked not to report to work, even when he was on his notice period. The development was first reported by Factor Daily. The report stated that the company has roped in a ‘Big Four’ audit firm for the investigation.

Calls made to Saikia went unanswered, while Ola spokesperson said: “there is an internal investigation which is currently on and one cannot give further details at the moment.”

As an extension of the investigation, the hiring of nearly 1,000 Ola employees, administered by Saikia is being investigated and reviewed. Saikia allegedly siphoned off money in recruitments, which is a fee that was paid to an outfit created for this purpose, the report said.

However, the fraud, which is said to be going on for the last two years, could run deeper than recruitments to procurement, administration, and IT.

Saikia joined Ola in February 2015, and is said to have worked closely with Bhavish Agarwal, Ola’s founder.