Ola ropes in former Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin; Uber expands

former Vodafone Group CEO Arun SarinBangalore-based taxi-hailing app Ola has roped in former Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin on its board as an independent director as it battles Uber which on Monday announced the setting up of its second biggest facility in Hyderabad.

Uber, an international transportation network company, on Monday announced a $50 million investment in Hyderabad to set up a facility which will be the biggest outside its headquarters in the US.

The state-of-the-art facility to be established over the next five years will house hundreds of new employees.

Ola Cabs has been slashing of fares and expanding to new territories, with operations in 200 cities, investments from Industry stalwarts and high-profile hiring.

Sarin will work in an advisory role to Ola's overall business strategy that will further drive growth and leadership in the market, Ola said in a statement.

"Arun brings a global perspective and a strong understanding of emerging markets like India. His experience in management and in growing large companies is invaluable to Ola," Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said.

Sarin is globally respected as a business icon and Ola will stand to benefit from his mentorship and guidance, he added.

On his appointment, Sarin said Ola is creating immense value in the transportation and mobility space in India.

"The company has scaled rapidly to benefit customers and partners using technology and innovative business models. Bhavish is an outstanding entrepreneur with a good team around him," he added.

Sarin served as the chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Plc from 2003 to 2008. He was the driving force behind expansion into emerging markets like India, Turkey and Africa and growing the data and internet business of the telecom giant globally.

Sarin is currently a non-executive director of Cisco, Charles Schwab and Blackhawk Networks.

Ola (formerly Olacabs) was founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. It has operations in over 100 cities and its app is available on Android, iOS and Windows platforms.