Uber’s ride has somewhat been a bumpy one in India since its launch. After major initial hurdles with government regulations and controversies, Uber has managed to expand its presence in 27 Indian cities., with massively high customer satisfaction rate.
And while Uber’c China wing claims it will be the market leader soon, its the India CEO Amit Jain this time, who has claimed to be on par with rival Ola with a market share of 50% in terms of number of rides.
We are as big as Ola with a 50% market share (in terms of trips completed by the two companies). However, we are driven by more ambitious goals. Internally, our team looks at the total number of rides in a city and compares what percentage of those are Uber rides,
said Amit in an interview given to the ET. He also added that Uber aims to be more than just a taxi company and wants to be the transportation provider of choice and replace car ownership.
The company claims to have witnessed a 26 times growth in India in the year 2015. It counts India as its third largest market in the world after the US and China. And it has invested heavily in the country as well, first pumping in $1 billion in July last year for expansion and then reportedly putting an additional $500 million earlier this year.
Amit Jain agreed on the same and said that the company was in investment mode in India. Talking about the investment plans , Jain told the ET,
We will continue to invest to grow our driver supply base, add more product features, and ramp up our India-focussed technology team to more than 100 people. We will invest heavily in maps to make them smarter and better.
Moreover, Uber has just raised $3.5 billion funding and according to Amit, a “substantial portion” of this amount would be invested in India. These funds will also be utilised to launch its operations in five new cities this year and expand further in existing markets.
As far as profitability is concerned, Amit said that they were not yet profitable and they were currently focussing on growth, supply efficiency and investment in India for future. However, he added that Uber was already profitable generating $1 billion profits from top 30 cities of Uber.
We are a for-profit company and there is a definite path to profitability. I will not be able to talk about the time it will take to get there.
One could say that Uber is engaged in a fierce competition in two of its biggest outside US markets at present — China and India. While in China, Didi Chuxing definitely seems to have an upper hand for now according to many experts, both by number of rides and the number of cities, in India too, Uber is indirectly fighting with Didi which has backed and formed a strategic alliance with Ola. However, it is difficult to access competition status in India, mainly due to the contradicting statistics often put forward by the two companies.
Both companies have time and again claimed to be leading taxi provider in India with Uber. Earlier this year, Eric Alexander, president of business in Asia for Uber had claimed in an interview that Uber was on its way to 50% market share in India and would beat Ola within a month.
On the other hand, Ola’s Chief Marketing Officer Raghuvesh Sarup had recently told Bloomberg in an interview that Ola Micro alone might become bigger than Uber India within a month.