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Uber looks to step up investments in India

Uber plans to build India specific and global innovations at the Bengaluru center in order to scale up growth and engineering team in the country

Uber Technologies Inc., the cab hailing giant is looking to step up investments in the country and build more India specific innovations through its presence in the country. It aims to rapidly scale up growth and the engineering team in the country as it looks to move on from the scandals and controversies. Uber’s global head of product, Daniel Graf mentioned that India was among the company’s most significant markets globally and it would do whatever it takes to succeed in the rapidly growing internet economy. For Uber, India became the most important international market after it sold its China business to rival Didi Chuxing last year. He further mentioned that Uber has had a long term sustainable business in India and they know that the fundamentals of the business are very healthy. In some of the markets were Uber is still in hyper growth mode, they have put in extra investments in order to get to a place where they are still in a sustainable phase. The company will be investing with technology in India. 

Markets like India, Philippines, Indonesia and Brazil are growing markets and important for the company. Hence, they are putting in a lot of engineering resources in the country with 150 engineers at Hyderabad and Bangalore. The commitment to India as a technological center is very important for the company. They are developing global solutions and are going to invest and grow the teams in the future. He mentioned that Uber had been affected by controversies which have proved to be a major distraction for the internet startup, but the company had put most of its struggles behind it.

Succeeding in India has become a top priority for Uber, given that it was forced to accept defeat in China. Nevertheless, this will not be easy given it is up against a well-funded local rival in Ola. Ola raised $1.1 billion in a fresh funding from Tencent and Softbank in October and Uber is currently set to raise fresh funding from SoftBank . Both the companies need massive amount of capital as they are locked in a battle for market share.

Uber is currently looking to improve its pricing algorithm which has drawn flak recently after it revealed that it used a “route based pricing” system where it charges the customers based on the predictions of the algorithm. Graf mentioned that Uber has introduced “Upfront Pricing”, which takes real time and real world conditions into account. This model has scope of improvement but its upfront pricing is good. If two individuals sign up on Uber at the same time and both are taking the same ride, they will both see the same fare. There will be no difference in fares for any reason in such cases. 

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