India one among our top three healthiest markets says Uber CEO

Vastavam web: Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi is committed to investing further in the Indian market but also keeping a sharp eye on “eventual rofitability”, as the US-based cab aggregator ramps up operations in the country.Khosrowshahi said India is already among the top three markets (besides the US and Latin America) for Uber and accounts for 10 per cent of its trips globally.Khosrowshahi emphasised that this expansion will require investment, “but as you mature, you also want to combine that investment with eventual profitability”.

“We think we’re on a good road there, we just don’t have a specific timeline in mind (for hitting profits). If anything, we’re leaning forward in India,” he said, adding that the company is confident about its competitive position in India.Asked about a merger with Ola was on the cards, Khosrowshahi said the company will “look at any deals that can add value to its partners and shareholders, but we believe in controlling our own destiny in India”.

There have been reports about Uber and rival Ola joining forces in the Indian market. The speculations got stronger after SoftBank – an investor in Ola – joined Uber as an investor committing over USD 1 billion. Apart from India, the two now also compete in the Australian market with Ola recently launching its services in Perth and Sydney.Asked about a merger with Ola was on the cards, Khosrowshahi said the company will “look at any deals that can add value to its partners and shareholders, but we believe in controlling our own destiny in India”.

There have been reports about Uber and rival Ola joining forces in the Indian market. The speculations got stronger after SoftBank – an investor in Ola – joined Uber as an investor committing over USD 1 billion. Apart from India, the two now also compete in the Australian market with Ola recently launching its services in Perth and Sydney.”Outside the US, we know that many riders have lower-end devices and are in areas with poor networks. Historically, we’ve not done a great job building for riders with those needs. That is changing, and we are committed to doing more,” he added.

The top executive, who took over the reins of Uber in August last year, said the company is investing heavily in research and resources in the Indian market to build solutions for the local market.He cited the example of ‘Call to Ride’, a feature being piloted in Pune that lets people make a voice call to book rides (instead of the usual practice of booking rides through the app) from popular locations by providing a code displayed on a sign at a booking point. The company is also actively exploring use of electric vehicles in India on its platform, he added.