by Elton Gomes
Bengaluru-based ride hailing company, Ola has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government to boost entrepreneurship opportunities for youth and women in the state. The MoU was signed between Ola and the state government in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Through the MoU, Ola aims to skill more than one lakh youths as independent driver-entrepreneurs within the next five years. Additionally, Ola will be working with the Maharashtra state government to expand its network of driver-owned cabs across multiple categories. It aims to do so by providing enhanced access to training, technology, and revenue for those interested in becoming driver partners.
In turn, the state government will help the ride-hailing company by providing adequate training infrastructure and a technology framework to make an impact on the present employment scenario in the state.
Pranay Jivrajka, chief operating officer at Ola, told news agency ANI, “As India’s most preferred mobility platform, we are committed to building a favorable ecosystem that will enable skilled professionals who can further transform into driver entrepreneurs.”
Jivrajka added, “The government’s focus on development and skilling is very encouraging and we are thrilled about this partnership to help thousands of youth in the state, grow as entrepreneurs and advance our mission of enabling mobility for a billion Indians.”
Ola’s latest initiative is along the same lines as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of skill development. “In line with the Prime Minister’s vision, [the] government of Maharashtra has also prioritised the Skill Development mission and set a vision of equipping 45 million Indians with employable skills, by the year 2022,” Aseem Gupta, principal secretary of the Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Development told PTI.
Gupta said that such initiatives will “mobilise” people and help improve their livelihood. Ola has also been instrumental in launching such entrepreneurial campaigns in Assam, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Haryana. The company’s partnership with the Maharashtra government can be traced back to when Ola became the official mobility partner of the government’s ‘Visit Maharashtra 2017’ campaign.
Ola’s initiatives in India
In February 2018, Ola signed an MoU with the government of Assam to pilot an app-based river taxi service in Guwahati. The MoU was signed in an attempt to bring water taxis onto Ola’s online platform. The river cabs were reportedly machine-operated boats that are faster and safer than the conventional ones. Ola looked to pilot high-speed taxis on the Lachit Ghat aong the North Guwahati route, reducing commuting time from 45 minutes to 5 minutes.
Taking significant efforts to realise its goal of nurturing micro-entrepreneurship in India, Ola signed an MoU with the Madhya Pradesh State Skill Development Mission (MPSSDM) in March 2017. The MoU was reportedly focused on training, skill development, and empowerment of 25,000 driver partners within the next two years. In addition, the ride-hailing company was to work with Madhya Pradesh’s Skill Development Department in providing appropriate training infrastructure and a technology framework that would improve the employment scenario in the state.
In January 2017, Ola joined hands with the West Bengal Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (WBTIDCL) and signed an MoU to create 5000 entrepreneurial opportunities in the state. Under the MoU, Ola aimed to provide 5,000 new cabs to unemployed youth who have enrolled in the Employment Bank of Labour Department, Government of West Bengal. “The permits of these cabs and driver partners will be issued by the State Transport Authority, West Bengal, under the Fleet Taxi Operators Scheme, 2018. The cabs will be allotted in a phased manner within a year, at an investment of INR 300 crore,” Ola said in its official statement.
Ola proposed to invest Rs 350 crore in Haryana in 2016. The company also signed an MoU with the Haryana government in an attempt to create 10,000 entrepreneurs. Ola reportedly looked to introduce innovative and customised mobility solutions such as Ola Auto, Ola Bike, Ola Share, and Ola Shuttle in Haryana.
Ola’s recent initiative with the Maharashtra government is sure to find takers. As India’s very own ride-hailing app looks to expand its operations, such entrepreneurial opportunities are an excellent way to add to Ola’s reputation.
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