Indonesian tech giant Gojek announces $6 M fund for its driver partners in times of COVID-19
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Desperate times also manage to separate the chaff from the wheat. In these times of coronavirus crisis, the fear of job loss and salary cuts are all too real, putting the onus on organisations to choose the right path.
While Indian startups like Ola are leading by example, Indonesian tech giant Gojek announced a $6 million fund, the Gojek Partner Support Fund, for its driver partners to cope with low demand in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
Image by Ken Kobayashi.
According to Gojek co-CEO Andre Soelistyo, the money for the fund will come from a quarter of the year’s pay of Gojek senior management’s salaries and the budgeted salary increases for all Gojek employees this year.
The Gojek Partner Support Fund will be managed by a new foundation, Yayasan Anak Bangsa Bisa, to ensure transparency and good governance in the disbursement of funds, the company stated. At present, Gojek has more than 1.7 million drivers in 167 cities and districts across Indonesia.
“Transportation has seen big drops in numbers with no one going to school or working at the office. Activities on the road have declined considerably,” Soelistyo told the Jakarta press during a teleconference. He added,
“Drivers and merchants are selfless heroes. They work so we can stay at home, giving support for our daily activities.”
The company noted that the decision to donate 25 percent of senior management-level employees’ full-year salaries and all Gojek employees’ salary increases for the year was made with the consent of all Gojek employees.
The company had earlier announced an initiative to provide income assistance for drivers who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Closer home, India’s ride hailing unicorn Ola Cabs announced a few measures for its driver partners to tide over this difficult period brought about by the pandemic.
The company announced today that it has waived off lease rentals (akin to EMI) for all driver-partners who have leased a vehicle via Ola Fleet Technologies (a subsidiary of Ola). The company has offered its drivers an option to return cars owned by the company under its leasing program to the nearest designated station, and in exchange, it is waiving monthly installments retrospectively from March 15.
Ola also announced that it would cover loss of income for driver-partners and their spouses in case they test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
It is time now that governments and businesses come together and use their CSR funds to save not only the marginalised but many micro, small, and medium industries hit by this unprecedented pandemic.