OLA to lay off 1,400 employees, says revenue down 95% in 2 months

New Delhi (IANS) Ride-hailing major OLA has decided to lay off 1,400 employees amid the coronavirus crisis.

Outlining the severe impact of the pandemic on the industry and the company, in an email to the employees on Wednesday, co-founder & CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal on Wednesday said OLA'a revenue over the past two months has come down by 95 per cent.

"In these circumstances, today I write to all of you with the toughest decision I have ever taken -- the need to downsize our organization and let go of 1,400 of our valued employees," Aggarwal said in his mail.

The CEO said the crisis has affected the livelihoods of millions of the partner drivers and their families across India and in the international geographies.

"In this moment, various teams across the group have pursued, in spite of the many constraints, to serve drivers, citizens, and the nation at large," the note from Aggarwal said.

He said this will be a one-time exercise and will be complete by the end of the week for India mobility business and by the end of next week for Ola foods and Ola Financial Services. No more COVID related cuts will be done after this exercise, the mail added.

The CEO, in his mail to the employees, noted that this crisis necessitates the need to conserve cash aggressively so that we are able to invest in opportunities in the future.

"While we restructure our organization to the new realities of our business, we are also going to recommit ourselves to strengthening our operational excellence and leverage a lot more technology to improve efficiencies and reduce cost across all parts of our business. We are increasing our investments and adding people capabilities in R&D across the group through this crisis to double down on innovation and engineering".

He said during Wednesday-Saturday, the HR team will have one-on-one conversations with each and every one of the impacted employees, adding the company has tried to bring together a comprehensive benefits plan that will ensure that every single team member affected is given maximum support on all fronts -- financial, healthcare, emotional, and career-support.

Every affected employee will receive a minimum financial payout of three months of their fixed salary, irrespective of the notice period. Beyond this, those employees who have spent significantly more time with OLA will be eligible for higher payouts depending on tenure, according to Aggarwal's mail.

Further, all eligible ESOPs will vest forward to the closest quarter. For those who may not have completed a year, as an exception, the company will enable pro-rated vesting for the period of time spent with it.

All affected employees will be able to continue using their medical, life and accident insurance cover for themselves and their families up to December 31, 2020 or the start of their next job whichever is earlier, to help minimize the financial burden of health and other risks.

"We have taken a decision to offer medical insurance for up to 2 parents (or in-laws) to each employee. This parental insurance will cover parents for all pre-existing ailments up to the age of 90, for a sum of Rs 2 lakh. This insurance will continue for all our departing colleagues till 31st Dec 2020 or the start of their next job whichever is earlier," he told the employees.

Further, the Ola Talent Acquisition team would help regarding outplacement support for as many people and in helping find suitable roles for them outside Ola.

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