Ola has appointed Vishal Kaul as its Chief Operating Officer, taking over from Pranay Jivrajka, who moves to the role of Founding Partner for Ola. Kaul was most recently the General Manager of PepsiCo Foods for Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, and had been with PepsiCo for 18 years, across operations, sales and marketing. His role will be to build on Ola’s existing operations (in over 100 cities in India), and widen its customer and driver base; this will be key for Ola’s battle with Uber. This development was first reported by the Economic Times earlier today.

Jivrajka was Ola’s first employee, and, according to the release, “has been focusing on leading key strategic initiatives in recent months”, and “will continue to work closely with Bhavish (Aggarwal; CEO and co-founder at Ola).” It appears that Jivrajka’s mandate had become fairly broad, including government policy, and Kaul coming on board allows him to focus on the key strategic initiatives that the press release mentions.

We’re awaiting a response from Ola regarding Jivrajka’s specific mandate, given that the press release wasn’t very specific, and will update in case they respond.