Ola fires 1,400 staff amid 95% rev­enue drop

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTBUSINESS - Sal­man SH sal­man.s@livemint.com

EM­PLOY­EES IN THE UK, AUS­TRALIA, ELEC­TRIC MO­BIL­ITY UNIT WILL NOT BE AF­FECTED

BEN­GALURU: Cab-hail­ing plat­form Ola fired more than a third of its em­ploy­ees, as the na­tion­wide lock­down has se­verely hit the mo­bil­ity and travel busi­nesses.

As many as 1,400 of Ola’s 4,000 em­ploy­ees lost their jobs, said a per­son aware of the com­pany’s op­er­a­tions ask­ing not to be iden­ti­fied. The cur­rent lay­offs have im­pacted busi­ness roles across its In­dia mo­bil­ity unit, fi­nan­cial ser­vices arm, and food de­liv­ery busi­ness, the per­son said. Ola’s em­ploy­ees in over­seas mar­kets such as the UK and Aus­tralia, as well as its elec­tric mo­bil­ity unit, won’t be af­fected, the per­son said.

Ola will of­fer a three-month sev­er­ance pay, ex­tended health in­sur­ance worth ₹2 lakh to fam­i­lies of em­ploy­ees af­fected by the lay­offs and ca­reer sup­port to help find a new job out­side Ola, ac­cord­ing to an in­ter­nal email sent to staff on Wed­nes­day by chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Bhav­ish Ag­gar­wal. Mint has re­viewed a copy of the let­ter.

Ola is also re­duc­ing the vest­ing pe­riod of ESOPs, or em­ployee stock own­er­ship plans, held by its out­go­ing em­ploy­ees to the clos­est quar­ter so that em­ploy­ees can re­deem ESOPs ear­lier. For those who are let go and may not have com­pleted a year, the com­pany will per­mit a ‘pro-rated’ vest­ing sched­ule ac­cord­ing to the time spent by the em­ployee at Ola.

“This will be a one-time ex­er­cise and will be com­plete by the end of this week for our 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,” said Ag­gar­wal in his email to em­ploy­ees.

The com­pany is also in­creas­ing in­vest­ment and hir­ing for new roles in R&D units and en­gi­neer­ing, even as its rev­enues have dropped by 95% in the last two months, Ag­gar­wal said.

The “prog­no­sis” for mo­bil­ity and travel seg­ments is un­clear and un­cer­tain, said Ag­gar­wal.

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