Ola To Lay Off 1,400 Staff, CEO Says Pandemic Hit Revenues

Ola Layoff: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit Ola's revenues, CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said in a note to employees.

Ola To Lay Off 1,400 Staff, CEO Says Pandemic Hit Revenues

Ola Cab Layoff: The company will give a minimum three months of fixed salary to the affected staff

Cab aggregator Ola said on Wednesday that it will lay off 1,400 staff - which is about 35 per cent of its workforce - in a one-time exercise, due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has led to a drop of 95 per cent in Ola's revenues in two months, co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said in a note to employees that was published on the company's blog. Bengaluru-based Ola Cabs joined a list of start-ups including SoftBank-backed WeWork, restaurant aggregator Zomato and food delivery service Swiggy that have laid off employees to cut costs.

Here are 10 things to know:

  1. "Unfortunately, the COVID crisis continues to unfold all around us causing unprecedented economic and social destruction... The world is not going to revert to the pre-COVID era anytime soon," Mr Aggarwal wrote in the note. (Read full letter here)

  2. The Ola CEO said the one-time exercise will be completed by the end of this week for the company's mobility business in the country, and by the end of next week for Ola Foods and Ola Financial Services.

  3. "No more COVID-related cuts will be done after this exercise," he said.

  4. Ola will give a minimum financial payout comprising three months of fixed salary to the affected employees, irrespective of the notice period.

  5. The departing employees will be able to continue using their medical, life and accident insurance cover, and medical insurance cover up to Rs 2 lakh for parents till December 31, according to the company note.

  6. The company said its lease rental waivers have provided a relief of up to Rs 25,000 per month to more than 30,000 driver partners, and zero interest loans through its Ola Sahyog initiative provided support to more than 2 lakh families.

  7. "The fallout of the virus has been very tough for our industry in particular... Most importantly, this crisis has affected the livelihoods of millions of our drivers and their families across India and our international geographies," Mr Aggarwal said in the note.

  8. Earlier this week, rival Uber Technologies said it will cut 23 per cent of its global workforce in an attempt to become profitable amid the coronavirus crisis.

  9. On Tuesday, Ola resumed services in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru and Hubballi-Dharwad in Karnataka, after the state government allowed its drivers to operate three- and four-wheelers with precautions. 

  10. The country is in the fourth phase of a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has pushed the economy into a standstill and forced many businesses to trim operations. Last week, the government extended the lockdown with few exceptions till May 31.


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