Mahindra in strategic alliance with cab aggregator Ola

Automaker Mahindra and Mahindra and online cab aggregator Ola have entered into a strategic alliance to empower 40,000 driver partners across the country over the next two years.

Under the smart mobility entrepreneurship initiative, Mahindra will supply cars in an integrated package comprising Mahindra cars, financing, insurance and after-sales services to targeted partners by 2018.

Through this strategic alliance, they aim overall vehicle sales and financing of over Rs2,600 crore ($400 million).

Ola's driver partners can now avail of an integrated and attractive 'Mahindra-Ola' package, which will include Mahindra cars at special prices, attractive financing with zero down payment, and the best NBFC interest rates, subsidised insurance premiums, comprehensive maintenance packages, as well as exclusive benefits on the Ola platform.

''This unique alliance, which brings together two of India's most prominent brands, seeks to encourage micro-entrepreneurship amongst drivers, to address India's growing mobility needs,'' a Mahindra release stated.

Mahindra and Ola also plans to explore other areas of joint collaboration to build the next generation of mobility solutions, including those for unique transportation use cases.

"This is an initiative whose time has come, one that meets the current and future needs of Indian consumers, particularly younger ones who prefer shared mobility solutions. It also has a positive social impact on the lives and prospects of at least 40,000 driver owners, and their families. To me, this is an important strategic alliance for the Mahindra Group, one that I believe will change the contours of our industry, while giving us the first mover advantage in the fast growing Sharing Economy of India," Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group, said.

"We are delighted to work with an iconic Indian brand like Mahindra to further our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians. As part of the strategic alliance between the two companies, we have created a unique solution to help tens of thousands of aspiring driver-entrepreneurs realise their dreams. Our alliance with Mahindra will help build significant scale by innovatively building more mobility options and newer use cases in the time to come," Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola, said.

The Mahindra-Ola package will also help financial inclusion by empowering driver partners who otherwise may not be able to invest in a car, to purchase one at a highly affordable price, and at near zero down payment.

Besides, it will support drivers with accident insurance and scholarships for their children.

''This aligns with Mahindra's Rise philosophy of empowering people with the right products and services to enhance the quality of their lives, and Ola's focus on building an ecosystem that supports the entrepreneurial growth of driver-partners across the country,'' the release stated.

This strategic alliance is expected to create immense synergies for the two companies while addressing the country's growing need for mobility, the release added.

Operating in key industries and enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership, the $17.8 billion Mahindra Group already provides employment opportunities to over 200,000 people in over 100 countries.

In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong presence in the agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel, commercial vehicles and two wheeler industries.

Founded in Jan 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, operating under the trade name Ola (formerly Olacabs), is India's most popular mobile app for personal transportation.

Using the Ola mobile app, users across 102 cities can book from over 450,000 vehicles across cabs, auto-rickshaws and taxis. Ola has also introduced a range of shared mobility services on its platform like Ola Shuttle and Ola Share for commute and ride-sharing respectively. The app is available on Windows, Android.