In addition to all the Government fiasco surrounding Uber, the US upstart is now also fighting against the joint alliance of its biggest competitors globally — namely India’s Ola, US-based Lyft, China’s Didi Kuaidi and Malaysia’s Grab Taxi.
On a financial front, Uber is perhaps more than just being sound — it has already planned another $2 billion from Tiger Global which are expected to be largely focussed on investments in India and China, in addition to those $$$ already gobbled up by the ride-hailing app.
However, to make sure that it takes its competitors head on, on tech sectors as well, Uber is planning to open its first engineering office in India at Bengaluru to customize local solutions for the Indian transportation market.
Uber is dedicated to advancing transportation in India and we feel that an important part of that strategy means that we create a local engineering team that can focus 100% on India,
said Satish Shah, head of India recruitment at Uber.
He further added that the primary aim of the team will be to optimise Uber’s operations in the country so that they are able to serve more people across all of India. They aim to give high impact projects and considerable autonomy to the company here in order to effectively tackle the India-specific challenges.
At present, there are engineering teams travelling to India on a regular basis. But once the Bengaluru team gets established, they will be working closely with Uber’s on-ground operations teams and its product engineering team in San Francisco. The company is looking for software engineers and product managers for its India team.
Apart from India, Uber already has its engineering offices in San Francisco, Amsterdam, Sofia in Bulgaria, Aarhus in Denmark and Vilnius in Lithuania. It employs around 4000 people globally.
Before this, in addition to giving heavy discounts and free rides to users, Uber had also made many changes in its strategy as well. It partnered with government entities to capture a market as big and as diverse as India. Thus aptly, some of these changes are even exclusive to the Indian market, such as having a company President for operations or introducing cash based payments — a system soon to roll out globally.
Opening an office in India makes sense as there is a long way to go for Uber to really make its presence felt across India. So far it is present only in 20-25 cities as opposed to its rival Ola — which now has a gargantuan 102 cities presence. Moreover, Ola’s acquisition of its closest home rival Taxi For Sure earlier this year has further led to its strength and expansion in the Indian region.
Ola too has enough cash, and remains one of the most heavily funded startups in India having recently raised a fresh funding of $500 million from SoftBank, Tiger Global and Didi Kuaidi taking total capital raised by the company to $800 million in total so far.