Uber in India is seven years old. As we celebrate our journey, we’re also celebrating drivers, who are at the very heart of what we do.
Since we launched, we’ve been innovating and doing our best for drivers. More recently, take the launch of UberMedic during the early days of the pandemic which transported frontline healthcare workers, while also providing earning opportunities for drivers.
Within days of our announcement, hundreds of drivers had proudly signed up, including 24-year-old Pooja Kumari: “I’m glad they chose me as the first batch of women drivers to be out there. It feels good to do my bit in this small way.”
Understanding the impact of a lengthy lockdown on drivers’ livelihoods, we went one step further and didn’t charge drivers commission for Covid-related services such as Uber Essential, the last mile delivery of goods and UberMedic.
We realize the coming months will be challenging. Our business can only recover as fast as cities start moving again. We have started seeing green shoots of recovery, and our business was stronger in August than it was in June. Some products, like Auto, are recovering faster than others. In Delhi, for example, our Auto business has bounced back to almost 80% of pre-COVID levels and Jaipur and Chandigarh are also performing very well. This augurs well for drivers because growth means we can continue to create sustainable livelihoods for them so they can support their families.
Besides earnings, the safety and well being of drivers is equally important. We’re providing financial assistance to drivers diagnosed with COVID-19, or who’ve been quarantined by health officials. Recently, we’ve introduced new safety measures, such as a mandatory mask policy for riders and drivers, an updated cancellation policy, and distributed over 3 million masks and 400,000 bottles of disinfectants and sanitisers to drivers, free of cost. To further protect them we’re scaling up the installation of our roof-to-floor, plastic safety screens in 40,000 cars and; in partnership with Bajaj, in 100,000 auto-rickshaws, across India.
In 2018, we launched Uber Care, an industry-first comprehensive platform for drivers, which has so far benefitted over 100,000 drivers:
- We have already facilitated INR500 million in micro-loans to drivers.
- Our partnership with IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation Limited) and Paytm has also facilitated discounted petrol, diesel and CNG worth INR 387 million.
- 120,000 drivers have signed up with DocsApp for free medical consultations, subsidised prescription medicines, and lab tests.
- All Uber drivers receive free on-trip accident hospitalization insurance.
- Additionally, drivers have access to Ayushman Bharat’s health insurance scheme, which provides INR5 lakh worth of free emergency medical insurance a year for them and their families.
When Delhi-based Uber driver Atul Gupta was unable to put his 6 year-old son, Mayank, to school we worked with an NGO to help him get admitted. So far, our efforts have already facilitated the admission of 600 children to schools, so they can fulfil their dreams.
We recognize it’s the spirit of drivers, like differently-abled Mukesh Bharti, who continue defying all societal odds, that have made Uber the powerhouse it is today.
To all the incredible drivers like Pooja, Atul and Mukesh, who have selflessly put our communities’ needs above their own, we salute your spirit.
Uber will always have your back!