Ola has announced that it is cutting 1,400 jobs in India following a massive decline in revenues amidst the coronavirus lockdown. In an email sent to all company employees on Wednesday, Ola’s co-founder and CEO, Bhavish Agarwal, said that the ride-aggregator is laying off 35 percent of its workforce in India because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Agarwal, the company’s revenues have fallen 95 percent over the past two months because of the nationwide lockdown. Members of the management team have all taken significant salary cuts to help the company recover, he said. However, that alone isn’t nearly enough as the crisis rages on. Both Ola and Uber have restarted operations in many cities, including in Delhi. However, Agarwal says he doesn’t expect things to get back to normal anytime soon.
“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”, he said.
The only silver lining is that the company is offering a severance package to the laid-off employees. According to Agarwal, they will be provided with at least three months of salary. Long-term employees will also be eligible for higher payouts depending on tenure. They’ll also get to keep their employees’ health benefits for themselves until the end of the year. In addition, the company is also offering health insurance for their dependent parents and in-laws up to a sum of Rs. 2 lakhs until the end of the year.