"India will lead the world."
Ola will open a new factory in Tamil Nadu, approximately 150 km from its Bengaluru headquarters, and it will be run entirely by women, more than 10,000 of them at full scale.
Co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal had posted a video of himself addressing a group of employees.
He said: “It will be the largest all-women factory in the world.”
In a blog post on Ola Electric’s website, Mr Aggarwal added:
“India’s women will bring the EV revolution from India to the world.
“When women are equal participants in India’s economic growth, India will lead the world.”
Aatmanirbhar Bharat requires Aatmanirbhar women!
Proud to share that the Ola Futurefactory will be run ENTIRELY by women, 10,000+ at full scale! It’ll be the largest all-women factory in the world!!?
— Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash) September 13, 2021
This is the first in a series of initiatives Ola are taking to create a more inclusive workforce and provide economic opportunities for women.
Mr Aggarwal said the company had invested to train and upskill female employees in core manufacturing skills and they would be responsible for the production of every vehicle manufactured at what the company has dubbed Futurefactory.
He continued: “Enabling women with economic opportunities improves not just their lives but that of their families and indeed the whole community.”
Mr Aggarwal said studies had shown that just providing women parity in the labour workforce could increase India’s GDP by 27%.
He added: “But this requires active and conscious efforts from all of us, especially in manufacturing where participation remains the lowest at just 12%.
“For India to be the world’s manufacturing hub, we must prioritise upskilling and generating employment for our women workforce.”
Ola is joining an increasing number of Indian companies that are seeking to hire more women and also provide more opportunities for women to resume work after career breaks.
The likes of Infosys, Wipro and HCL have announced plans to increase the number of women in their organisations.
But more efforts are needed to improve India’s overall record for female participation in the workforce.
India’s Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said female workers only made up 17.9% of the total workforce in the quarter ending December 31, 2020, compared to 19% a year ago.
On the other hand, male workers made up 66.7% of the workforce.
Saundarya Rajesh, founder and president of Avtar Group, a consultancy focused on workforce diversity, says that over the last few years, many organisations had previously seen a diverse workplace as a corporate social responsibility activity.
They have now started to realise the economic and financial benefits that a diverse workplace brings to the company.
She added: “It is no longer a favour, there is a ton load of benefits which the business as a commercial entity accrues.”
Avtar started as an initiative to help women get a chance at another career opportunity.
It now works with nearly 400 companies and organisations, advising them on diversity and inclusion.
Reports by McKinsey & Company show that there is a significant relationship between a more diverse leadership team and better financial performance.
A May 2020 report titled Diversity wins: How Inclusion Matters concluded that companies in the top quartile for possessing more gender diversity within their executive ranks were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.