Indian cab-hailing firm Ola expands corporate travel service to international markets

India Gate. Photo: Abhidev Vaishnav/unsplash

Cab-hailing platform Ola has expanded its corporate travel product in international markets such as Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom, as the startup looks to shore up revenue after demand for urban mobility services India declined sharply due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Ola’s corporate cab hailing platform has been adopted over 10,000 users in the Indian market. The platform helps organizations cut employee travel expenses by up to 25%, due to its centralized billing system, which eliminates the need for paper-based reimbursement.

Ola Corporate clients operate the service through a personalized dashboard where they can add and manage employees. The fares are paid automatically through the company’s Ola Corporate balance and can be viewed and downloaded at any time from the dashboard.

“We have seen a 50% demand revival in ridership in the Indian market and mobility is very central to economic progress, and as more industry segments and offices upon up we will see more demand revival in certain cities we operate in. A large use case for mobility in India and in our foreign markets currently is people going to workplaces, and therefore demand for business travel is going-up,” an Ola spokesperson said.

The cab hailing firm’s decision to expand its corporate services in all its international market shortly after it laid-off more than a third of its employees globally. As many as 1,400 out of Ola’s 4,000 employees lost their jobs in May when the downsizing was announced publicly. However, Ola’s employees in overseas markets such as the UK and Australia, as well as its electric mobility unit weren’t affected by the layoffs.

Other mobility firms have also been cutting jobs to conserve cash amid a steel fall in demand. In May, Ola’s rival Uber let go more than 6,000 employees across all its operations. Uber has pledged to pay out $145 million in severance and other benefits to employees.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.