At Urban Company, the safety and well-being of our service partners is of paramount importance to us. To ensure that we stand shoulder to shoulder with our service partner community during these times, as well as help them bounce back strongly, we have implemented several initiatives over the past few weeks under the umbrella of Project Vishwas for partner welfare.
1. Monetary Assistance: We have taken several measures to help our partners monetarily.
a. We approved interest-free advances for 22,000 partners of INR 5,000 each (Total corpus of INR 11 Cr.) in the first week of the lockdown. We have disbursed INR 8.5 Cr till now. To ensure that our partners didn’t face any difficulty in applying for this advance, we had made it readily available via our app. The partner simply needed to ‘opt in’ on the app and the money was credited to their bank account. This timely disbursal has helped our partners sustain themselves during the lockdown period.
b. We have negotiated interest-free periods / EMI moratoriums with our financing partners for our service partners with working capital loans to reduce liquidity pressure.
c. We have refunded INR 2 Cr of partner money deposited with us as credits to ensure there was no liquidity crunch at our partners’ end.
Further details are mentioned in this INC42 article.
2. COVID-19 Health Insurance and Income Protection Plan: We have also offered all our partners a free COVID-19 specific health insurance and income protection plan, in addition to our existing life, accidental and health insurance plans. Details about this can be read in this Economic Times article.
3. Relief fund with Srinidhi Foundation: We also set up a relief fund with the Srinidhi Foundation to support service partners who are most impacted medically and/or financially. So far, we have collected nearly INR 1.5 Cr. in the fund from contributions by the founders, employees, investors and other well-wishers. More details about the relief fund are given in this ET article, and well-wishers can donate to the relief fund using this link.
4. One-on-one counselling: We have also individually counselled all of our 27,000 service partners, to help them remain motivated and bounce back strongly. We have used these sessions to patiently listen to their anxieties and concerns, and do the best we can for them, starting with being an empathetic listener.
The coming few weeks and months won’t be easy. However, Urban Company is committed to standing by our partners, and helping them deliver the safest, most hygienic and highest quality services to consumers, while making a living with dignity.