India’s Uber Drivers

This blog focuses on life of being a Uber driver or an Ola driver in the country.

Note: On every occasion where Uber is mentioned also mentions Ola taxi application.

Previous post showed how Uber as a company changed the way people travel in the country. But as in every story, this one has another side too.

Uber, Ola and most of the online taxi applications had to show the drivers that it can bring them more profit than normal means to actually bring them into the system and make them drive for them. Incentives were given in large numbers to drivers. Drivers made more money than engineers in the country. On an average, an Uber driver earned about Rs.4000 per day (values on 2016) approximately and that is after debiting Uber service fees and petrol costs.

Large number of people signed up for being a Uber partner. Problem ? Uber is a capital-less company meaning it is not interested in investing on cars in India. And India on the other hand had less number of rental cars. Finance companies came into play. Uber helped to arrange loans for buying cars. Drivers took loans ranging anything from 3 lakhs to 10 lakhs to buy car just to enter the system and it paid them well.Initially, when drivers rode for about 8-9 hours, they earned anything from Rs.3000-Rs.4000 per day and made from Rs.60000-Rs 1 lakh per month in profits. That is more than average salary of IT professional in the country.

Initial days are the sweetest as in any relationship. Relationship with Uber and Ola became tense when the companies cut the initiatives and the revenues dropped 50-60%. Now, drive 8-9 hours a day, you earn from Rs.1000 – Rs.2000 on average. Drivers claim that with current policies that its hard to meet ends. They can hardly bear family expenses and pay the huge debts that they got for their cars.

To be fair, is Uber and Ola’s prices so cheap ? No. They are not. Government norms charge Rs.18 per km in Chennai and these applications charges more than that on normal hours. It’s not the amount that Uber charges you that it pays to the drivers. Uber pays the driver on hourly basis. Ride for more than 10 hour a day, daily for 7 days a week (Information from Uber Driver), you get bonuses.Or you get the normal hourly pay. Normal Uber driver gets paid about Rs.200 for every hour they drive. And that brings to about Rs.2000 for a day. Take of the fuel charges, everyday an Uber driver earns approximately Rs.1000-Rs.1500.

Note: The calculations are approximate and not to be considered as actual values.

Is Pay the Problem Here ?

It’s not the pay for a day, its the pay they get for driving 10 hours a day. Normally before the time of Uber, a normal cab driver drives for 2 or 3 clients a day, pick them up, stay with them and drop them. At end of the day, you earn about Rs.1000- Rs.1500. Not higher than Uber, but had far less workload.

Uber drivers are starting to leave the system. Many drivers are forced to sell their cars and look out for alternative jobs. Many still in debts. Do you think the system is fair? What changes you think that should be bought into the system ? Comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.