Uber sees India as its innovations hub

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on October 22, 2019 Published on October 22, 2019

(Left) Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber and Dr Mangu Singh, MD, DMRC addressing a press conference

India core to Uber’s strategy for the future, says visiting CEO Dara

Ride hailing company Uber on Tuesday said that India is a fundamental part of the plans going forward and a lot of innovations were happening out of the country, which are being replicated in other developing countries now.

The company also said that safety of its commuters are top priority and there are more than 100 engineers working on to make Uber a safest mode of transportation.

Speaking at an event here, Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Executive Officer, Uber said, “What my prediction is that India is going to be a significant source for innovation and innovation that is unique in developing markets. One example of that is the Uber Light that we provide and has been developed here in India. It's a team in India that developed this app, and essentially its designed for low bandwidth and for phones that have less memory, less speed now it's been expanded in many markets in the Middle East and Africa.”

He said Uber was a digital company and connecting digital with the physical world, and India plays an important role in developing many new ideas.

“India gas a lot of talent and I am confident for India — not only on profit but for long term growth. The profitability characteristics of our business here are improving and what's really important here for us is, we think that there's a market that's a big market. But, it's also a market that we need innovation gateway for us into the rest of the developing world…if it’s about growth over the next 10 years, its going to be defined by markets like India, Africa, the Middle East, more so than the developed markets such as the US and Europe,” Khosrowshahi said.

That is why the Uber has engineering centres in India (Bengaluru and Hyderabad) where he is visiting too in a couple days and these are set up so that local innovations can happen here, he said.

“What we see in the Indian market is, it's a very competitive market with consumer that's quite demanding. They want great prices and great service as well. So, to the extent we can build services here in India, and then export all around the world with local talent, in partnerships with public services as well,” he said.

Speaking about millenials using app based transport services rather than buying one, the Uber chief said, “One of the enemies of innovation is the established protocols and established industries. I think that our new role is moving from a world where ownership was promised to a world of services, and the newer generation you know their dream isn't on par. Their dream is to have freedom to essentially be able to have any kind of service on demand.”

He added that it was inefficient that a car is parked at a station for example, for a whole day which is generating more congestion.

Meanwhile, the company launched ‘Public Transport’ which will give riders the ability to plan their transit journey with real-time information and end-to-end directions right in the Uber app. It will allow commuters to call for a ride at the tap of a button and solve first and last mile connectivity challenges from nearby Metro stations in New Delhi.

Tie up with DMRC

This comes after Uber won a public bid to offer its mobility services across 210 Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) stations.

“The Metro network today spans over 377 km with 274 Metro stations covering not only most parts of capital city but also the NCR cities like Gurugram, Faridabad, Ballabgarh and Bahadurgarh in Haryana and Noida and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. This new initiative integrating public transport with mobility operators like Uber will certainly boost first and last mile connectivity solutions for around six million passenger journeys performed in the system daily,” Mangu Singh, Managing Director, DMRC, said.

He said other service providers like Ola are also welcome in future for providing such solutions.


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Published on October 22, 2019
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