India is one of top three markets, won’t let Ola decide our destiny: Uber CEO

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Emphasising India as its one of core markets globally, Uber Chief Executive Officier (CEO) Dara Khosrowshahi said that ride-hailing firm would like to control its destiny in the country rather than the other way round.

“Uber will look at any deals that can add value to its partners and shareholders, but we believe in controlling our own destiny in India”, said Khosrowshahi when asked about its possible merger with its rival Ola to PTI.

Uber has recently sold its South East Asia business to the Singapore-based company reportedly in exchange for a 27.5 per cent stake. This is the second defeat, third globally, for the San Fransico-based company in the Asian market after surrendering business to Didi Chuxing in China.

There have been talks of Uber might merge with Ola after the common investor in both the ride-hailing firms recently led staggering $7 billion funding in the former.

After SEA region, India is the only hope for Uber, besides the local market (the USA).

Earlier, on his maiden India visit Khosrowshahi said that they would not sell Uber business to Ola, however, he admitted Ola’s supremacy in India.

“It will help us double down on our plans for growth as we invest heavily in our products and technology,” said Khosrowshahi on the latest business handover to Grab. Ola has scored a substantial 16 percent lead over former in terms of market share.

In December 2017, Ola has witnessed a rise in market share from 53 per cent in July 2017 to 56.2 per cent. Meanwhile, Uber market share decreased by about 2.4 per cent from 42 to 39.6 per cent during the same period.

Uber claims over 3 lakh active drivers and over 10 million weekly trips in India. It aims to increase by 5X or 10X over the next 10 years.

Uber has been pumping in substantial funds to fuel its growth in India. Khosrowshahi, keeping an eye on eventual profitability, plans to invest further in the Indian market.

In addition to its 2015 announcement of $ 1 billion investment, Uber is putting in huge investment in research and resources in the Indian market to build solutions for the local market. The company has also invested $50 million to set response and support centre in Hyderabad.

The company is also planning to explore the use of electric vehicles on its platform. It has tied up with automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra to supply electric cars. Uber aims to become profitable before 2022.

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Jitendra has spent more than seven years in journalism. He had been founding-member of content startups such as Newzstreet, Indiasamvad and iamwire. Prior to that he did long, deeply reported feature stories for The Indian Express and handled desk at IANS. Born in Bokaro, he holds a Bachelor of Mass Media (Journalism) degree from ISC, Pune. He currently resides in New Delhi, where he moved nearly seven years ago. Among the things that excite him is wonder about life and its creative potential in every sphere.

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