Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is in India and He says Ola to Competition
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For Uber, it has been a tumultuous year with accusations of bad company culture that even led to the exit of founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. Amidst all of the wrong moves, the board at Uber brought in Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as the new CEO. Khosrowshahi who has been just five months into the job has been busy repairing the company's image throughout the world.
With India being one of the company's most important markets, Khoshrowshahi didn't waste much time to make his way to the country. On his maiden visit to India, Khosrowshahi has knocked the doors of government officials too to discuss the growth of the ride-hailing app in India.
Respect for Ola but Ready for Fight
While globally, Uber sees major competition from companies like Lyft, Grab etc., in India, its major competitor is none other than the homegrown cab-hailing app Ola. Ola has managed to create a strong base in India and is now testing waters overseas too with its first foray into the Australian market. Talking about Uber's growing competition with Ola, Khosrowshahi said that he doesn't expect the competition to die down soon. He said that he respects the fact that Ola is a strong competitor. The Uber CEO further added that the competition will only help them grow and they are confident about their position in the country.
Both Uber and Ola share an investor relationship with Japan-based Softbank which also led to rumours about the two companies merging for better growth. However, Khosrowshahi has dismissed the same saying that it's too early for a merger.
Flying Cars Soon?
That Uber has been working on futuristic innovation is not news. Before his visit to India, Khosrowshahi was in Tokyo, where he spoke about flying vehicles to eventually become an affordable method of mass transportation. While in India, he met with the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and tweeted about the same saying that they got the opportunity to discuss airport partnerships and future of commercial air travel in the form of flying cars.
Indian Market is a Model for Success
Uber in India has over 3, 00,000 active drivers doing over 10 million weekly trips, said the CEO. With a global product in hand, Khosrowshahi said that Uber will continue to invest in their business in India. He added that while they operate in various countries covering 80 per cent of the world's population, Uber still considers India as its core market. With demanding Indian consumers, Khosrowshahi believes that the Indian market will be a model for how Uber builds its product for the next 6 billion consumers.
The CEO also mentioned in an interview with a national television channel that the company will continue to invest aggressively in India. He added that in 10 years, car ownership will be a thing of the past. At an event in IIT Delhi, Khosrowshahi also mentioned that they are looking forward to collaborating with India's tech talent. This was also followed by a tweet where he wrote #wearehiring.