In his maiden visit to India, Barney Harford, COO, Uber said that the company is doubling its investment in the Indian market by pumping in funds to expand its products, partnerships and technology headcount in the country. “India is absolutely a core market, now and in the future. Uber’s success is hard coded to India’s success. We are doubling our investments in this country like never before,” he spoke to the media while attending the launch of the Boston Consulting Group’s study “Unlocking Cities: The impact of ridesharing across India”.
While Harford did not reveal company’s investment plans in India but it is likely to expand its technology resources to develop products for India and the world.
Uber recently announced its deal with Grab in South East Asia with open resources to up its investment in India. “SouthEast Asia is a very different market when compared with India. While we are open to talks in India we have a leadership position, and we are not interested in any minority stake deal in India or any other market. We are deeply committed to India and we are looking forward to a long and successful future here,” said Harford.
Within a short span of three months, Harford said that he has set some priorities, to move from short term to long term loyalty structure of working with driver partners and rider base. “With 3 million drivers working with Uber, we have always found out ways to ensure that their learning capabilities match the quality of service committed to its customer base. The best thing about Uber is that it combines local and global so with every market being different, we are understanding the entrepreneurial skill set of teams and learning to make it sustainable on large scale in the long run,” he added.
Barney is on a three-city tour in India— Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai and will also be visiting Cairo, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh and Dubai to meet government officials as well as business leaders and discuss ways how Uber can better serve riders, drivers, and cities.
Unveiling the report that Uber commissioned BCG, Barney explained that Indian cities are 149% more congested than comparable cities around Asia. According to the report, ridesharing has the potential to reduce congestion by 17-31 % in the country. “Up to 89 % of people plan to buy a new car in the next five years. However, over 79 percent would refrain from buying a car if ridesharing matches car ownership for affordability and convenience. In these circumstances, ridesharing would reduce private cars by 33-68 per cent. By reducing private cars, increasing vehicle utilisation, improving public transport adoption, and optimising infrastructure planning, ridesharing could reduce congestion by 17-31 per cent,” it said.