Ola ‘Sahyog’ brings interest-free micro-credit through Avail Finance to driver-partners to help them tide through ongoing liquidity crunch

Ola, India’s largest mobility platform, today announced the launch of ‘Sahyog’, an interest-free micro-credit, which will help driver-partners and their families get instant access to cash in their bank accounts. This unique offering is tailor-made for Ola driver-partners and will help address immediate liquidity needs of over 100,000 driver-partners and their families pan India. This move follows Ola’s multiple initiatives focused on the well-being and economic upliftment of the driver community, who have been one of the worst hit due to the Covid- 19 pandemic.

The loan will aim to supplant the incomes of hundreds of thousands of driver-partners who haven’t had a steady source of income due to the nationwide lockdown. All eligible driver-partners will be able to access loan amounts of upto INR 1200 per week, disbursed over the course of three weeks. Driver-partners can use the credit amount to pay for their planned household expenses or repayments. The credit shall be set off against earnings on the platform over a period upon return of normalcy in business. This micro-credit is available for all Ola driver-partners in India across all categories including Ola Auto, Ola Rentals and Outstation and will be distributed using the microfinance lending platform, Avail Finance.

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Speaking on the initiative, Anand Subramanian, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, Ola, said, “The financial well-being of our driver-partners and their families in these challenging times is of prime importance to us. There is an immediate need for access to instant cash to pay for household expenses which they are unable to foot, given the loss of income due to the ongoing lockdown. ‘Sahyog’ enables them to access micro-credit instantly, in their registered bank accounts, allowing drivers and their families to tide through these difficult times with much needed liquidity. We are committed to doing everything we can to reduce the economic burden and safeguard the interests of our driver-partners and their families through these unprecedented times.”

Ankush Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of Avail Finance said, “We are very happy to extend the Avail platform to deliver the ‘Sahyog’ micro-credit solution to Ola driver-partners. Avail’s platform will help Ola identify eligible driver partners as well as to manage disbursement of credit in real-time. In these times of distress, an instant credit to meet immediate day to day expenses will go a long way in helping hundreds of thousands of families tide through this phase.”

Ola has launched a series of initiatives to enhance the well-being of driver-partners and their families. Last week, Ola launched the ‘Drive the Driver’ fund under the aegis of Ola Foundation, 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. Earlier, Ola also waived off the lease rentals, akin to an EMI, for driver partners who operate vehicles owned by Ola’s subsidiary, Ola Fleet Technologies under its leasing program. As part of the ongoing efforts to help driver partners across the country, Ola recently shared that it would cover loss of income for driver-partners and their spouses in case they test positive for COVID-19. The company has also been providing free medical support for driver-partners and their family members through free doctor consultations.

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