Ola enables drivers to become self-reliant entrepreneurs

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By Khyati Sharma

New Delhi, Feb 3 (ANI): In tune with the Narendra Modi government’s vision to encourage and fund start-ups to create jobs and promote the spirit of entrepreneurship among the youth, cab aggregator Ola has given wings to entrepreneurial spirit of drivers across India who had limited sources of income and long working hours.

The government has evoked much interest from the stakeholders, who feel they could well add hundreds of billions of rupees of fresh output to the Indian economy.

Prime Minister Modi had in his Independence Day address this year said the country’s youth, notably the deprived, will be given opportunities and support to become entrepreneurs in their own right.

“In the coming days, start-ups will be promoted in every corner of the country. Start up India, stand up India,” he said.

Giving an easy and affordable access to the driver community, Ola has helped the drivers to become owners. At a broader level, Ola is working with a host of partners to create a healthy ecosystem that is conducive for driving entrepreneurship.

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The company has forged partnerships with leading car manufacturers and financial institutions, which are working together to ensure that buying a new car for drivers in now easier than ever.

These partnerships have enabled easy financing, convenient loan-repayment, attractive discounts and cash-backs.

Some specific initiatives that Ola has undertaken to drive the community for a better tomorrow involves its MoU with Empower Pragati, an investee company of NSDC and Automotive Skills Development Council for training, skill development and empowerment of 50,000 women drivers on its platform.

The joint project involving Ola, Empower Pragati and ASDC will focus on women from various sections of the society focusing on supporting entrepreneurship, workforce skill development training and computer literacy.

Taking a long-term view, Ola has also launched a daily loan repayment program for drivers in association with the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) under the aegis of ‘Ola Pragati’.

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The programme was meant to benefit a lower down payment and faster clearance of loans for Ola drivers with a down payment of just 10 percent, with lowest interest rates in the market.

Committed to holistic development of its driver-partners, Ola also initiated first of its kind partnership with the Directorate General Resettlement (DGR) under the Ministry of Defence to extend an opportunity for ex-servicemen to turn entrepreneurs with Ola.

The convenience that Ola provided its drivers witnessed a sea-change in their earnings. A marginal 40 percent growth in their income along with the flexibility of logging in for duty at their own convenience encouraged the spirit of entrepreneurship.

Currently, more than 70 percent of the drivers partners associated with Ola are entrepreneurs and the number is rapidly increasing. Citing examples of a few, government school teacher Arun Kumar felt that he could make better use of his leisure when he joined Ola as an alternative profession. Enjoying flexible working hours and a better job satisfaction, Kumar earns Rs. 50,000 per month.

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However, Aditya Sadh from Delhi, who joined Ola about six to seven months back, was previously associated with his family’s garment business when he urged to do something of his own. Highly qualified, Sadh bought a CNG car and approached Ola for enough support. However, Aditya is proud of his decision and his earnings have encouraged him. He now wants to buy more cars and expand his business.

Another such example is Renuka Devi from Bangalore, who is associated with Ola for the last two and a half years. All thanks to the immense support by Ola, today she has around 10 cars all of which are attached with Ola. She is extremely happy to be associated with the cab aggregator as she has witnessed increased earnings and is satisfied with the flexibility of working hours. (ANI)

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