Ride-sharing firm Ola follows Uber with 1,400 job cuts as COVID-19 takes its toll on the industry

Ride-sharing firm Ola have announced 1,400 job cuts as COVID-19 forces downsizing decision.

In a blog addressed to Ola employees, co-founder & CEO Bhavish Aggarwal confirmed the company’s plans to let the employees go, explaining the impact the coronavirus has had on the economy and meaning they have no other choice but to say goodbye to around 35% of their workforce.

Indian-based Ola has been competing with Uber for dominance within the ride-sharing business for years in a number of countries around the world. It currently operates in India, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, partnering with around 2.5 million drivers.

Uber employees have faced the same fate as Ola’s over the past few weeks after the company announced the termination of nearly 7,000 employees.

Bhavish Aggarwal addressed his team saying: ”Ever since my last email to you 6 weeks ago, I had hoped to write again soon in better times. Unfortunately, the COVID crisis continues to unfold all around us causing unprecedented economic and social destruction. It has also become evident that the coronavirus will not be eliminated any time soon. We will rather have to learn to live with the virus and resultant implications.

“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 1400 of our valued employees.

“The prognosis ahead for our business is very unclear and uncertain. It is going to take a long time for people to go out and about like before. With more companies preferring to have a large number of employees work from home, air travel limited to essential trips and vacations being put off for better times, the impact of this crisis is definitely going to be long-drawn for us. The world is not going to revert to the pre-COVID era anytime soon. Social distancing, anxiety, and an abundance of caution will be the operating principles for everyone.

“Between today and Saturday, our HR team will have 1:1 conversations with each and every one of the impacted individuals. While nothing can take the emotional trauma away for those of our colleagues who will be leaving, we have 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.

“I’m filled with a lot of emotion and sadness as I write this email, but also with strong hope and resolve to rebuild our business, and create the future that we envision, together.”

Image credit: Ola media

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