Bengaluru-based cab aggregator Ola has come across allegations that one of its most senior executives has been involved in corrupt practices. According to a report by FactorDaily, it has ordered an investigation into the alleged corrupt practices, which is estimated to be running into millions of dollars.
The executive involved is Ola’s head of human resources and chief administrative officer Yugantar Saikia. He is reportedly being investigated for allegedly favouring vendors and in return receiving kickbacks. As per the report, a ‘Big Four’ audit firm has been roped in to help with the investigation.
Yugantar’s work assets including his laptop have been seized by the company and he has been asked to not report for work.
Yugantar reportedly told FactorDaily that he hasn’t been notified about any action by the company.
When contacted, Ola responded saying, "There is an internal investigation which is currently on and one cannot give further details at the moment."
As per the report, Yugantar quit the company and was serving his notice, his last day being end-March. FactorDaily quotes sources as saying that he was abruptly asked to leave and his laptop computer was seized.
An Ola spokesperson told TNM that for the purpose of the investigation Yugantar is still on the rolls of the company.
As part of the investigation, the hiring of nearly 1,000 Ola employees is being investigated and could be reviewed. A source told FactorDaily that the amount earned through just recruitment could be around Rs 5-6 crore, which is a fee that was paid to an outfit created for this purpose.
The fraud is said have been going on for at least two years and could be beyond just recruitment and could involve procurement, administration and IT and the estimated value of the fraud could be a few million dollars.
Yugantar joined Ola in February 2015 from data analytics firm FICO, where he worked for over 10 years. As per LinkedIn, he worked at financial services company American Express before that.