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Ola signs MoU with Empower Pragati & ASDC; aims to create 50,000 women driver-entrepreneurs

Taxi-hailing app
service Ola today signed a MOU with Empower Pragati (EP), an investee company
of NSDC, and Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) for training, skill
development and empowerment of women drivers on its platform.

Senior officials
from the three organizations today signed this MoU, in the presence of Sunil
Arora (Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship) and Dilip
Chenoy (Managing Director & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation).

Taxi-hailing app
service Ola today signed a MOU with Empower Pragati (EP), an investee company
of NSDC, and Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) for training, skill
development and empowerment of women drivers on its platform.

Senior officials
from the three organizations today signed this MoU, in the presence of Sunil
Arora (Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship) and Dilip
Chenoy (Managing Director & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation).

The program will
focus on supporting entrepreneurship, workforce skill development training and
computer literacy giving women driver partners, access to a government
recognized ASDC certificate.

The joint
project will also work towards building a framework to enable safe working
environment in the industry since this is a first of its kind initiative. The
program will be rolled out initially in Delhi, followed by major cities like
Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune spanning into cities across
India in the next few months.

Speaking at the
event Arvind Singhatiya, Vice President – Corporate Affairs at Ola said, “This
initiative is in line with Ola’s mission to up-skill drivers and help them
become entrepreneurs. We believe that a better world begins with women and
empowering them to be entrepreneurs can create a balanced ecosystem in this
space. While ASDC will bring in standardized curriculum and certification
norms, Empower Pragati will help with mobilizing, designing content, execution
of the training on-ground and in ongoing counseling and handholding. Ola as a
technology platform will help create opportunities for these trained drivers by
giving them access to infrastructure, financing and continuous revenue.”

“We are all
working towards a common goal and that makes this partnership powerful. Ola
aims to add 50,000 women drivers to its platform in the next three years with
local as well as national partnerships to mobilize, train and engage women as
driver-entrepreneurs on its platform.” Singhatiya added.

Rajiv Sharma,
Managing Director of Empower Pragati said, “This is a project very close to our
hearts because of the positive impact it will have on women and their families.
We are a social enterprise specializing in livelihood skill training of
underprivileged youth and will take care of designing and implementing this
project. We will leverage on our experience of training more than 70,000 youth,
about 40% of who were women, across 20 states and 11 industry sectors since our
inception in 2010”.

“ASDC, the first
sector skill council in India, is responsible for defining industry skill
standards for various job roles in the Automotive and Transportation Industry.
There are 18 job roles in Driving including the Qualification Pack &
National Occupational Standards for Taxi Driver job role. This partnership will
help deliver training as per the ASDC norms and candidates will undergo an
assessment leading to government recognized ASDC certificate. “said Sunil K
Chaturvedi, CEO of ASDC.

Hitherto, ASDC has
enabled training of nearly 150,000 youth for various job roles. Out of these,
nearly 35,000 were women candidates including 700 women drivers. Overall there
is a big skills gap across the automotive value chain and driving skills are in
critical shortage with the associated safety challenge. ASDC has set an
ambitious target to train more than fifteen million youth by 2025.

How this works
is:

Training: Upon a successful registration for the
program, identified women will commence the training from highly trained
teachers. The training modules include – Driving theory and practice, basic
mechanic skills and map reading. Communication and spoken English classes are
given to all the women so that for improved customer experience. The focus is
to mobilize women mainly from the underprivileged sections of the society,
train them in driving, impart hard and soft skills and provide them
opportunities to work as taxi drivers. Once these candidates acquire driving
licenses and commercial badges as mandated by the government, Ola would help
them with opportunities as private chauffeurs with selected fleet operators on
the platform or assist them in buying a car directly from manufacturers with
the support of financial institutions that Ola has partnered with.

Financial independence: During this training period women will
be taught financial literacy. Once the training is completed, these selected
women will have expertise at all the stages to be a skilled driver, enabling
them to generate an income contributing to a sustainable livelihood. Through
Ola Pragati, women drivers can also take advantage of loans with daily
repayment as against the current practice of an EMI from financial institutions
like SBI, Shriram Transport Finance Company and Mahindra Finance.

Other partners: Ola has also partnered with leading
nation-wide driver training institutions as well as regional partners like All
India Women’s Education Fund Association (AIWEFA), Delhi, Association for
Non-traditional Employment for Women (ANEW), Chennai and Angel City Cab
Services, Bangalore amongst others.

In the past 2
years, Ola has come up with several initiatives to foster entrepreneurship
amongst drivers on its platform. Last year, the company had set aside a fund of
Rs. 100 crore to enable drivers buy their own cars and turn driver
entrepreneurs. Today, over 70% of the drivers on the Ola platform are
entrepreneurs themselves; many, through car purchases assisted by Ola, from
companies like Nissan, Tata, Ford, Maruti and Mahindra. Ola has also created a
strong network of manufacturers and financial institutions to enable drivers to
buy cars at better than market rates. Over 15,000 drivers, across the country,
have already benefitted from this program.

According to
NSSO, only 22%women are part of India’s workforce. Most rural women still face
more obstacles than men in gaining access to employment opportunities.
Together, Ola, EP and ASDC will generate synergies that will result in a better
future for women-driver entrepreneurs by creating sustainable careers and
livelihoods for them.

 

 

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