Ola's Bhavish Aggarwal Blasts LinkedIn, Microsoft Over "Woke" Policies

Mr Aggarwal in his viral post said that the mobility company has decided to move the entire workload out of Microsoft Azure.

May 12, 2024 - 10:15
Ola's Bhavish Aggarwal Blasts LinkedIn, Microsoft Over "Woke" Policies

Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of India's major ride-hailing app Ola, criticized LinkedIn and Microsoft for their 'woke' policies. This highlights the clash between the values of Western tech companies and Indian businesses. Mr Aggarwal in a post on X, announced that he plans to develop an Indian tech platform and move Ola's operations away from Microsoft's Azure cloud service.

He wrote on X that he aims to reduce reliance on Western tech platforms and foster a more "Indian" digital space.

"I'm not against global tech companies. But as an Indian citizen, I feel concerned that my life will be governed by western Big Tech monopolies and we will be culturally subsumed as the above experience shows. This is not about Ola or any of my companies. Ola is too small to make any impact against this. I want to confront this forced ideology as a free-thinking Indian and do what I can in my capacity. So here are the actions I'm taking. Putting my money where my mouth is," he wrote on X.

Mr Aggarwal pledged to work with Indian developers to establish a platform that leverages the principles of Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and Unified Payments Interface (UPI). He shared that in this framework he would prioritise user control and data ownership, placing power in the hands of creators rather than corporations.

He further announced Ola's decision to migrate its entire workload from Microsoft's Azure cloud platform to Ola's own Krutrim cloud service.

To incentivize developers seeking an alternative to Azure, Aggarwal extended a one-year free trial of Krutrim cloud services, with the stipulation of continued platform usage beyond the initial period.

Mr Aggarwal expressed concerns about the influence of Western social norms on Indian culture, particularly within the tech industry. He emphasized Ola's commitment to diversity and inclusion, highlighting their existing initiatives like the women-only automotive plant. Mr Aggarwal argued that India has a long history of inclusivity, including respect for transgender individuals, and doesn't require external guidance on these matters.

His specific point of contention was LinkedIn's introduction of pronoun options in user profiles. He viewed this as an example of Western ideology potentially overriding Indian cultural values. Aggarwal expressed broader concerns about the influence of global tech companies on Indian social norms and identity.

This builds on his earlier criticism of non-binary pronouns, which he deemed unnecessary in the Indian context. He shared an instance where LinkedIn's AI used gender-neutral pronouns for him, highlighting his disapproval of this practice.

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