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Ola lays off 1,400 employees as revenues fall by 95%

The cab aggregator cited massive revenue drop due to the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason behind the sacking. In an open letter, CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said business ahead is uncertain as the Covid crisis has prolonged

Cab aggregator Ola has decided to lay off 1,400 employees in a bid to downsize operations. An e-mail about the move was sent out to employees and posted on the company’s blog. The company has promised that the employees will receive the minimum financial pay-out for the next three months.

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“I write to all of you with the toughest decision I have ever taken – the need to downsize our organisation and let go of 1,400 of our valued employees. We had all hoped in the beginning that this would be a short-lived crisis and that its impact would be temporary. Over the past couple of months, all members of our extended leadership team have taken significant salary cuts to be able to help the organisation delay tougher people decisions as we waited for the situation to evolve. But unfortunately, it’s not been a short crisis. And the prognosis ahead for our business is very unclear and uncertain,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO, Ola.

The company has declared revenue drops of 95% in the last two months. “Most importantly, this crisis has affected the livelihoods of millions of our drivers and their families across India and our international geographies,” it said.

“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,” the note said.

The company announced extensive measures to help affected employees through these times such as providing insurance to them and their families. The company will also provide placement support.

In the letter, Aggarwal clarified that this will be a one-time exercise. “No more Covid-related cuts will be done after this,” he said. With this, Ola joins the list of startups such as Swiggy, Zomato and Curefit that have resorted to similar measures.

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