An anonymous, in-the-know Twitter account engaged in a game of "Guess The Unicorn" yesterday evening. Which booming startup kicked off the new year by switching to six-day work weeks with mandatory FaceTime hours? If you guessed Ola Cabs, congratulations! You know your Indian mobility startups.
At the start of 2021, the rideshare company enacted a six-day work week, during which all employees must report to the office. Workers are required to have their FaceTime cameras on from 9:30 AM until 5:30 PM (at least) and every violation results in a loss of pay. Ola employees leaked this information to Twitter’s startup world insider, Unicon Baba, who shared the news in a tweet.
"What would you say about a mature startup that has taken the following steps in the last month? Zero choice and flexibility to employees," Unicon Baba tells the Business of Business, reflecting on the information. "Massive attrition already."
Ola Cabs was founded in 2010, one year after Uber went live in San Francisco. As of October 2019, Ola was valued at about $6.5 billion, backed by venture capitalists including Softbank. Last fall, we reported that company was ramping up hiring efforts as India’s COVID cases were declining. Currently, India has less than 200,000 active cases, and more than three times as many people have been vaccinated. But Ola’s job listings have plummeted 82% since October, now with just 44 openings.
As of last year, the company counts around 3,000 employees with drivers across 250 cities. This year will look a little different for Ola’s workers as the company tightens its belt in terms of new hires.
The Business of Business has reached out to Ola Cabs and will update upon response.
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