Strengthening its advisory board, Ola, one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, named Gautam Bambawale as Senior Advisor for Corporate and International Affairs. A retired bureaucrat, civil servant and executive, Gautam has played multiple diplomatic roles during his 34-year career with the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).

He has served as India’s Ambassador to Bhutan and China as well as the High Commissioner of India to Pakistan between 2016 and 2017. Gautam also held a number of positions where he was directly involved with advancing India’s relations with Japan, China and South Korea amongst other countries. With his extensive experience in international relations, Gautam will play a key role in advising Ola on its Corporate Affairs initiatives across India and the global markets in which it operates.

Speaking on his appointment, Gautam Bambawale said: “Ola has driven transformational growth for India’s mobility ecosystem and created deep social and economic impact in its journey of just under a decade. As the company builds on its endeavour to build mobility, not just for India but for consumers globally, Ola’s philosophy of collaborating with local governments and communities will only help it build more relevant and sustainable solutions for users and drivers. I am excited to join Bhavish and the Ola team in this journey of becoming an institution that is globally respected and is a hallmark of collaboration.”

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola, said: “I am very excited to welcome Gautam as a Senior Advisor to Ola. His experience in international relations and diplomacy from his three decades of service to the nation will play an invaluable role in Ola’s next phase of growth across global markets.”

He added: “In our mission to build mobility for a billion people, we also have the opportunity to build a global brand that every Indian can be proud of. I look forward to working closely with Gautam as we build Ola into a globally respected mobility company.”

Apart from serving in multiple diplomatic roles, Gautam was India’s first Consul General in Guangzhou (China) (2007-2009); the PMO (2002-2004); and served as the Joint Secretary for East Asia, MEA (2009-2014). Currently a Professor and a member of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, at the Symbiosis International University, Pune, Gautam earned his M.Phil. in Economics from Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune.