Careem, the internet platform of the greater middle east and Pakistan, has announced initiatives to support their captains called ‘BE CAREEM’ in these unprecedented times as mobility through ride-hailing becomes restricted, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Captains are self-employed individuals earning daily-wages through Careem’s platforms and they will be requiring meaningful support in these challenging times. Since the crisis started unfolding in the region, Careem has been on the frontline with captains working to solve their challenges and introducing some initiatives to minimize the impact, including:
Facilitating Health Insurance
Careem has partnered with MicroEnsure to facilitate Careem captains’ health insurance in Pakistan. The low-cost insurance policies start from PKR 163/- to 569/- per month and cover hospitalization and ICU admission in case the captain or their family members are tested positive for COVID-19 or are diagnosed with any other disease.
Captain Sick Pay Policy – financial support
Careem has announced financial support as “Sick Pay Policy’ for two (2) weeks to any Careem Captain who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in individual quarantine by a public health authority For more details, click here.
Financing Support for captains
Careem is leading discussions with financial institutions to provide flexibility to captains for car loan payments and is actively engaging governments on fee and stimulus programs.
Distribution of safety gear and ration packs
Careem has partnered with leading NGOs to help distribute ration packages across the most affected communities in the country including captains until mobility restrictions are relaxed. Not only this, but teams have also distributed free sanitizers and masks where they were able to procure them
Awareness for Customers and Captains’ communication
Careem is in constant communication with its captains and customers regarding precautionary measures that need to be taken in their personal lives as well as when using services. Customers are regularly advised to keep clean, minimize contact, protect the wider community and be community-minded in their daily lives, while captains are given specific instructions on how to handle ride-hailing and deliveries where they are operational.
To further these efforts team has also established an Information Bot on Careem Facebook page for an easier flow of awareness regarding COVID-19 for Careem community.
Extraordinary circumstances, exceptional new policies
Keeping in view the extraordinary circumstances, In cities where operations are ongoing, Careem has provided flexibility to captains to choose any ride as per their comfort and safety. Captains can use cancellation features at their discretion to avoid any rides they are not comfortable with.
Giving Captains tips on their past trips
Careem has recently launched an awareness campaign urging customers to tip captains of future and past rides generously via its app. A tip is a generous way of appreciating captains. Captains can be tipped after every ride via cash or card. To learn more, click here.
Careem colleagues give contributions
Remarkably, Careem colleagues across the network, have donated generous sums of personal money to captains. Some have even contributed their salaries for the rest of the year. Zeeshan Hasib Baig, Country General Manager Careem Pakistan, commented, “Captains are the heart of what we do at Careem, and we appreciate and value their selfless service to our customers and communities in these unprecedented times. We understand that many of our captains rely on Careem as a single source of income to provide for their loved ones, and we are here to support them and their families in times of need to the best our ability”
Despite all the efforts made, it may simply not be enough, as highlighted in an open letter to relevant governments, financial institutions, businesses and the general public by Mudassir Sheikha, Careem Founder and CEO to help Careem help captains in their time of need. The letter states, amongst other things: “There is no easy way to describe it: our captains are in grave danger of losing everything. If we focus just on Careem’s half a million active captains and assume they need just $500 a month as a bare minimum to cover their most basic financial needs, the captain community needs the financial support of $250 million per month. It is not feasible for Careem or any other company to fill this gap on its own.”
Careem’s COVID-19 Response Team continues to closely monitor and follow the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and are in touch with local government and public health authorities for any latest developments.