HR-head in news for wrong reasons

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Ola’s HR and admin head has been accused of fraudulent activities in recruitment, procurement, administration and IT.

Yugantar Saikia, head-HR and admin at Ola Cabs, is in the news these days for all the wrong reasons. Apparently, he has been asked to leave following accusations of fraudulent activities.

According to the website, FactorDaily, Saikia’s work assets, including laptop have been seized by the company and he has been asked not to report for work.

Saikia had put in his papers and was currently serving his notice period which was supposed to end in March. This pre-empted departure was a result of Saikia having been alleged to have received kickbacks from a vendor who supplied recruits to Ola.

Though the alleged fraudulent activities are not restricted to hiring alone, the amount of kickback from hiring is estimated to be around Rs 5-6 crore, with hundreds of new hires every year. Apparently, the dishonest actions also involved procurement, administration and IT.

Ola has a hired a ‘Big Four’ audit firm to help with the investigation.

Saikia told Factor Daily, “I’m not familiar with this actually. I haven’t been notified of anything of this sort.”

When asked whether he has left Ola, he directed us to the Company’s public relations team. “The recruiting head signs the recruitment contracts. I don’t sign any of these actually. I haven’t been notified of anything that you have just mentioned,” he said, when asked if he approved the recruitments made through its vendors.

Saikia was a close associate of Ola co-founder, Bhavish Aggarwal. He joined the Company in Feb 2015, from California-based software firm, FICO, where he was senior director.

In his appointment, Bhavnish Agarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ola Cabs, had then said, “Saikia’s experience of scaling people functions is very valuable for Ola at this point in time.” He was optimistic that Saikia would be instrumental in making Ola Cabs a preferred employer of top talent in India.

Saikia, an alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur, has worked with companies, such as American Express and Ernst & Young in the past.

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