Ola Electric on Monday said a team of 10,000 women will exclusively operate its upcoming factory in Tamil Nadu by the time it runs at full scale.
Chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal claimed this will be the world’s largest women-only factory and the only such automotive manufacturing facility in the world.
He said the company is upskilling its workforce since its factory is far more advanced than what most of the automotive workforce is used to right now.
“This is 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. We have invested significantly to train and upskill them in core manufacturing skills, and they will be responsible for the entire production of every vehicle manufactured at Ola FutureFactory,” Aggarwal said in a blog post on Monday.
The ride-hailing company, which has been aggressively promoting its upcoming consumer electric scooters, announced a ₹2,400 crore investment last year to set up what it calls a FutureFactory. In the first phase, the factory is expected to start with an annual production capacity of 1 million units and will double to 2 million if demand grows. It is expected to have a capacity of 10 million units, according to Ola.
The company’s website claims the factory is highly automated. It has over 3,000 robots powered by artificial intelligence (AI), which enable it to make each scooter in just “2 seconds”.
“Women-run factories are becoming common, especially in the manufacturing of two-wheeled EVs. Women have been found to be more adaptable in the EV manufacturing sector than men,” said Piyush Chowdhary, analyst—smart mobility, CyberMedia Research (CMR).
“An EV typically contains only 20 moving parts, compared to 2,000 for an equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. As such, automation of EV manufacturing processes is comparatively easier in comparison to ICE vehicles,” said Chowdhary.
Industry experts also point out that employing women in automotive factories is quite common in south India.