Despite facing hard winds from Indian regulators and other competitors in the field, Uber managed to set up its largest business operations in India after United States. Showing further commitment to its second largest market and planning a further aggressive foray into the country, Uber has appointed Amit Jain, a former top executive at US-based Rent.com, as Uber India president.
Under his newly appointed role, Amit will be running all business strategy, operations, and growth in a market of global strategic importance for Uber.
It’s been 19 months since Uber started its India operations with three employees in Bengaluru. In no time, it has expanded to 11 cities and now has a staff of more than 100 people, led by city-based general managers.
Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO said-
I’m thrilled to have Amit on board to lead our business in India. Amit embodies the entrepreneurial spirit and culture at Uber. His experience as an operator, building and scaling world-class teams will be invaluable as we enter the next phase of Uber India’s growth. Success in India is a global priority for us, and I know Amit’s leadership and passion for Uber’s mission will be transformational as we redefine urban mobility for hundreds of millions of Indians.
Prior to joining Uber, Amit was President of Rent.com, a leading technology company in the US dedicated to giving renters a free and convenient way to find the perfect place to live. During his tenure at Rent.com, he led all operational facets.
Prior to that, he held numerous executive positions including Senior Advisor for TPG Capital, Vice President, Nexeo Solutions, and Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company.
Amit Jain said-
Uber is one of the fastest growing companies in the world and is radically changing the way people commute everyday. I am humbled to be a part of this deeply committed and passionate team that is the driving force for change for millions of Indians.
Ola, the rival taxi service in the country backed by Softbank, DST Global and GIC, plans to expand to at least 200 cities by the end of this year and already has its command over 100 cities. Uber on the other hand, stepped into top-tier cities and still continues to expand its this strategy.
Online car booking service promises a rather good future in the country. According to a Goldman Sachs report titled ‘India rising Internet’, the domestic online car rental market is expected to reach a staggering $1.4 billion by 2030.
Uber earlier faced a ban in the country due to rape charges pressed on Uber’s driver in India’s capital city Delhi which resulted in an astounding outrage across the country. Somehow, Uber managed to return back its operations after assuring of all the safety measures, though it continues to run on a ‘no-profit’ model.
Recently, Uber also launched UberAuto, its app-based Auto booking service. India is the first market where Uber launched such a service. Secondly, acknowledging the importance of cash-based transactions in India, Uber, for the first time, allowed commuters to pay to auto-ricksaw drivers via Cash.
Further assuring its ambitions of stregthening its position in India, Uber announced a critical upgrade to the SOS Alert feature it introduced a couple of months back. While the in-app SOS Alert earlier connected you directly with Police Control rooms, tapping the same button will now also feed PCRs with critical information regarding your Uber ride. The feature is ready to be rolled out across all Indian Cities.
While appointment of Jain obviously indicates how important Indian market is for Uber, it also falls in line with a new trend of Indian-origin executives coming back from the Silicon Valley to serve startups within their homeland. The trend more recently picked up pace, when Flipkart announced hiring of ex-Google and Motorola exec Punit Soni, along with several other key appointments.