The war in the ride-hailing space does not seem to end. It ranges across different countries, involves all possible permutations of the cab aggregators and just goes on. This time it’s Southeast Asian player Grab which has launched a trial of its services in Yangon (It starts here!). Just as the news began to surface, Uber, in all its might, announced the plans to bring its service in the capital city soon. Uber revealed the plan within an hour of Grab’s announcement.
Grab is rolling out its cab service, GrabTaxi which simply lets commuters book a licensed taxi using a mobile app. This is the seventh country the Singapore-headquartered firm is expanding to. Prior to this, Grab entered into Indonesia in 2014 and has managed to maintain a strong foothold in the nation. It has introduced a $700 million investment plan and competes aggressively with other firms.
Grab, in a statement, said it will commence the operations with a small group of taxi drivers. It is introducing the service for a limited number of beta users to strike a balance between supply and demand. ” Grab VP of marketing Cheryl Goh, in a statement, said,
We are committed to work with the taxi industry and other transport stakeholders during our GrabTaxi beta trial, and work together to test and improve our taxi service to both drivers and passengers.
While on the other hand, Uber seemed to have met government officials in January. A company spokesperson was quoted saying,
Uber is very pleased with the progress we have made towards a partnership with the government in Yangon and look forward to introducing our ride-sharing technology in the country very soon.
There’s no speculation surrounding the timeline but Uber is seeking to hire for two positions in the country. With a population of about 50 million, the scenario in Myanmar completely flipped when it came out of the military rule just a few years ago. The nation is opening up to use different technologies, and is adapting to the trend of social networking and messaging.
Ride-hailing space is yet to be fully explored. A local startup named Oway Group, which secured $3 million from World Bank investment firm IFC, operates in the market. But with both Uber and Grab stepping into the nation, it will need to buckle up to keep with the fierce competition that is slated to prevail “soon”!