India's largest taxi-aggregator, Ola has bid adieu to its TaxiForSure (TFS) business, laying off almost 700 employees in the process. Though Ola hasn't revealed how this will affect employees, reports claim between 700 to 1,000 employees have been laid off.
The move comes almost a year and half after Ola acquired its crosstown rival TaxiForSure for $200 million to gain market leadership against rival Uber, the most-valuable startup in the world.
At present, there are over 350,000 cabs and 100,000 auto-rickshaws and taxis on Ola's network covering over 100 cities, including driver-partners who came on board after TFS buy. The company will cease to exist as a separate entity, and its services have been integrated into the Ola app. Numerous top-level executives of TaxiForSure left the company after the takeover. This reduced traffic on TFS, thus resulting in the said shut down.
Of the total 1300 TaxiForSure employees, only 250 have been retained from three major cities and 30 each in the smaller cities.
"TaxiForSure has contributed immensely towards Ola Micro's success within a short span of time".
"The move to shut TFS can be seen as a move by Ola to rationalise the cost", said Arvind K. Singhal, Chairman and Managing Director, Technopak. While Ola refused to disclose the number of employees being laid off, the cab aggregator said it has absorbed "as many TFS employees for open roles in Ola to support our growth".
Earlier this year, SoftBank-backed Ola had launched "Micro", its low-priced AC cab service, which has now been expanded to over 90 Indian cities. "This has helped us achieve our objective of building an economy mobility offering for millions of users across the country", it added.
Ola has been facing problems from both ends this year. In April, Ola said the Micro category was doing more rides per day than all of Uber India's segments combined.