Ola Electric, the electric-scooter maker spun out of Indian ride-sharing company Ola, says it is opening a massive factory that will produce one in seven of the world’s e-scooters by next year, making it the world’s largest e-scooter factory. Also it will be exclusively operated by women: more than 10,000, which would make it the world’s biggest female-run factory.
“An Aatmanirbhar Bharat requires Aatmanirbhar women,” Ola’s founder Bhavish Aggarwal wrote today in a blog post, invoking a political slogan meaning “Self-Reliant India” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi loves to use.
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
Futurefactory’s first employees showed up this weekend, and it will continue to add more in the coming months. Aggarwal called it “the first in a series of initiatives we are undertaking at Ola to create a more inclusive workforce and provide economic opportunities for women across the board.” Giving more economic opportunities to women is key to growing the economy in India, where women still account for less than 20% of the workforce. “In fact,” Aggarwal wrote, “studies show that just providing women parity in the labor workforce can grow India’s GDP by 27%.”
Since splitting off from India’s top ride-sharing company in 2019, Ola Electric has been on something of an expansion tear. Last May, it acquired high-tech Dutch e-scooter maker Etergo to help it break into the global market. Futurefactory, just outside Bangalore, is part of its aim to produce a new scooter every two seconds, and to start building electric three-wheelers and cars, too.