Are Ola and Uber Drivers Entrepreneurs or Exploited Workers?

Aditi Surie  | 19 June 2018


Early 2017 was a difficult period for Ola and Uber drivers: Their earnings plummeted by 30 to 45 per cent throwing their economic planning and household incomes off kilter. This led to widespread protests by the drivers across the country. This period marked a significant turning point in Uber-Ola dynamics, with both companies seeking to end their competition and narrow-in on their bottom lines. Both companies had found it extremely difficult to turn profits, despite a business model that allowed them to jettison all or most operating costs. Uber and Ola typify the intra-capitalist competition that has become the hallmark of digital capitalism where growth is seen as more important than profit, making companies beholden to what investors choose to do with them.