Support #CareemCaptains in COVID-19 crisis (Open Letter to CEO)

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Dear Mudassir,

You recently shared an open letter about the plight of your captains and as you must have noticed by now, it was not very well received. A lot of readers were disappointed to see that the best Careem had done for its captains was to announce 2 weeks paid leave for Corona infected drivers and distribute hand sanitizer. Other than co-ordinating with government agencies and banks, you turned to the customers to bail out these captains, who are the only source of revenue for Careem.

 

We feel that charity begins at home and you're the decision maker of your home (Careem). The power and responsibility to help the captains lies with you and Careem, then all it's employees and then everyone else. 

 

The larger discussion of taking care of drivers as full time employees or treating them as contractors will continue around the world but here are some tangible things that Careem can do and for which it does not have to appeal to external customers or governments or banks.

 

 

Careem has the power to do these immediately:

 

1. Careem should take ZERO percent commission from captains

The captains are already facing complete lockdown or reduced rides. Announce a 0% commission for one month, so that all fares go directly to the captains. Careem can ramp up their commission by 5% every month, so that it takes 6 months to come back to the 30% you earn right now. We will gladly pay fares and tips when we know the money is going into the captains pockets.

 

2. Rechanneling Target Bonuses

Captains receive bonuses for completing their allocated number of rides but under the current circumstances, it's not possible for them to complete the allocated targets. Careem should divide the bonus amount on a per ride basis and pay that out on the smaller number of rides they complete.

 

3. Pay cuts for full-time employees

All employee, including captains, should share the financial impact through a pay cut according to their designation. The leadership team should take a substantial pay cut (more than 50%) and the rest of the Careem staff should also contribute through pay cuts.

 

4. End of rider discounts and special packages

Careem customers will gladly support the captains by forgoing their discounts and by paying full fare when they know that Careem is doing it's part. Everyone will be hurting for the next year or more and customers will be hard pressed but they will still support the drivers.

 

The captains are respectable members of the society who choose to work hard to earn a living. They don't expect charity, rather an equal opportunity to be part of Careem family.

 

The nation stood by you and your company to support Careem when it was banned in Pakistan. We celebrated your success when Careem was acquired for $3 billion and dozens of your team members become millionaires. We will again stand by your side if you lead from the front and treat the captains like your own.