● Fund launched under Ola Foundation and will look to help auto-rickshaw, cab, kaali-peeli and taxi drivers and their families who are currently facing restricted income
● Ola Group and employees contribute initial capital of 20 Cr to the fund; Co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal to forgo salary for 1 year
● Launches crowdfunding campaign to allow citizens to contribute to the fund; Intends to raise upto 50 Cr.
Kolkata, 27 March, 2020: Two days after the nation-wide lockdown which has left the country’s drivers without any daily income, Ola, one of the world’s largest ride-hailing platform, today announced the launch of ‘Drive the Driver Fund’ under the aegis of its social welfare arm, Ola Foundation. The fund aims to support auto-rickshaw, cab, kaali-peeli and taxi drivers, through contributions from the Ola group, investors and via a crowdfunding platform for citizens and other institutions. The proceeds of the fund will help towards the welfare and upliftment of drivers and their families who have been affected by the restrictions due to the Covid- 19 pandemic.
The mobility industry has been brought to a grinding standstill during these stressed times, and the driver community has been finding it hard to pay for their family expenses without a source of income. Ola’s initiative aims to bring together multiple stakeholders in the ecosystem such as customers, investors and partner organisations to participate in supporting millions of drivers and their families. The Ola group and its employees will contribute 20 crores, while Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO, Ola will forgo 1 year’s salary, both of which shall go towards the fund.
This initiative will focus on key areas such as emergency support and essential supplies, which are of utmost importance to drivers during these challenging times. Drivers and their families will also have access to free medical consultation. In due course, Ola Foundation will also take up initiatives to support drivers in areas such as aid for children’s education amongst others.
Elaborating on the measures, Anand Subramanian, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, Ola, said, “The crisis at this time has left thousands of drivers who form the backbone of shared mobility without an income. To support them in this testing time, we are launching the ‘Drive the Driver’ fund which will provide bare-necessities to all driver partners, across auto-rickshaws and kaali peelis in the form of essential supplies and free medical and emergency support. To this effect, the Ola group has come together to contribute the initial capital for the fund, which can be used to provide immediate aid.”
He further added, “Millions of drivers and their families have been affected, and even a humble contribution can have a lasting impact on their wellbeing. We invite all the stakeholders of the mobility industry to join us in every way you can, and support the people who move us in this difficult phase. We will be stronger together.”
Ola has undertaken a number of proactive measures to help its driver-partners and customers through the Coronavirus outbreak. Last week, the company announced a special COVID-19 insurance cover exclusive for their driver partners and their spouses. Additionally Ola fully waived lease rentals, akin to an EMI, for driver partners who operate vehicles owned by Ola’s subsidiary, Ola Fleet Technologies under its leasing program. It has also formed a robust task-force consisting of members from various internal departments to ensure continuous monitoring and 24×7 availability of partner care and safety response teams for any concerns.
To contribute to the Drive the Driver Fund, citizens can log on to https://ola.foundation/donate
Ola is India’s largest mobility platform and one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, serving 250+ cities across India, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. The Ola app offers mobility solutions by connecting customers to drivers and a wide range of vehicles across bikes, auto-rickshaws, metered taxis, and cabs, enabling convenience and transparency for hundreds of millions of consumers and over 2 million driver-partners.
Ola’s core mobility offering in India is supplemented by its electric-vehicle arm, Ola Electric; India’s largest fleet management business, Ola Fleet Technologies and Ola Skilling that aims to enable millions of livelihood opportunities for India’s youth. With its acquisition of Ridlr, India’s leading public transportation app and investment in Vogo, a dockless scooter sharing solution, Ola is looking to build mobility for the next billion Indians. Ola also extends its consumer offerings like micro-insurance and credit led payments through Ola Financial Services and a range of owned food brands through India’s largest network of kitchens under its Food business.
Ola was founded in 2011 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati with a mission to build mobility for a billion people. For more details, visit www.olacabs.com/media