Ola will disburse these loans via microfinance company Avail Finance to drivers across its categories including Ola Auto, Ola Rentals and Outstation.
Cab booking company Ola on Tuesday said it will address the liquidity needs of more than 1 lakh drivers on its platform by offering interest-free micro-credit under the new initiative Sahyog amid the impact of Coronavirus lockdown. The ‘eligible’ drivers will have access to a loan of up to Rs 3,600 to be disbursed over three weeks that they can use “to pay for their planned household expenses or repayments,” the company said. Up to Rs 1,200 will be given per week under the scheme, however, this credit “shall be set off against earnings on the platform over a period,” it said once the business returns to normalcy. Ola will disburse these loans via microfinance company Avail Finance to drivers across its categories including Ola Auto, Ola Rentals and Outstation. Ola, however, didn’t specify the eligibility criteria for drivers to benefit from this loan scheme.
“Sahyog enables them to access micro-credit instantly, in their registered bank accounts, allowing drivers and their families to tide through these difficult times,” said Anand Subramanian, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, Ola in a statement. “Avail’s platform will help Ola identify eligible driver partners as well as to manage disbursement of credit in real- time,” said Ankush Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Avail Finance.
Ola, which had to suspend its services due to the lockdown, had last week announced ‘Drive the Driver’ fund to support auto-rickshaw, cab, kaali-peeli and taxi drivers, “through contributions from the Ola group, investors and a crowdfunding platform for citizens and other institutions,” the company said. Ola had also waived off the lease rentals for its drivers operating vehicles owned by its subsidiary Ola Fleet Technologies under its leasing program. Within Karnataka, Ola would also give 500 of its vehicles to the state government for doctors to commute and other Covid-19 related activities.