Ola, Uber! Improve your service instead of using nationalism as a shield

You know civilisation is in danger when cab companies in your country go to war. We have Ola and Uber now declaring open hostilities on that rickety but for some reason suddenly popular soapbox called nationalism. So many people are clambering onto it there is no room left.

Fighting against each other. Image courtesy News18

Fighting against each other. Image courtesy News18

Ola accused Uber of being a foreign company and disobeying the laws of the land. Okay, and then Uber accused Ola of being funded by foreign companies or the other way around and the top bosses are writing these painfully garbled messages that no one quite understands. It is better to remind that they are cab companies and not the IMF or the World Bank.

And isn’t getting foreign investment all about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trips abroad and his staying awake 20 hours a day and inviting the world to make in India.

And, instead of going to court against each other, why not just compete in giving us folks a better deal. Prima donnas on wheels.

I confess I am not an authority on cabs in that if I need one I call for one and then wait nervously for it to show up. Else, I hail one and then do the standard quiz questions giving him my blood group, my PAN card number, my destination, my college degree, my s**t eating servile grin and then wait nervously while he decides whether to take me or not.

Most often not.

I also attract the most surly, unfriendly, rude (are you getting the drift) drivers in all of cab-land and therefore my relationship with the industry is tenuous at best.

That said, let’s go back to the battlefield. Why either should worry about the other breaking RBI rules is beyond my grasp. Let the RBI worry about irregularities. We have enough fiscal policemen and agencies in the alphabet soup. As far as you and I are concerned, these companies should safely drive us to our destinations and try and give service with a smile.

Nor do we need them waving the flag in our faces. You are a business. Go about it.

Here is a perfect example of two entities using the new sword in the scabbard called nationalism. Like patriotism it is another refuge for nothing else to do and offers everyone a sort of protection against retribution for being arbitrary, parochial, immature and hostile in taking on the opposition.

We are more Indian than you.
No ,we are thousand times more.
No,we are thousand plus one into eternity.
Arre, you don’t even know the national anthem by heart.
Intolerant anti-nationals.

Go fight each other on the roads of Indian cities. Stop expecting the public to get involved in your slurs against each other which, quite frankly, amount to very little. Indians don’t give a whistle in the wind if Ola is funded by jackrabbit or Uber is the most law respecting organisation on the planet.

As if their warring isn’t bad enough the Ola chief operating officer Pranay Jivrajka bungs in a company called Alibaba. This firm ostensibly has Chinese backing and asks if this doesn’t make it Chinese and shouldn’t companies run by local entrepreneurs be more valuable than foreign ones.

And Jack Ma of Alibaba must be sitting in his office thinking, hey dude, how did I get into this mess, I don't even know you.

And I am trying to wrap my head around this corporate-speak blather and thinking, hey why don’t you two bosses sit down and work out how to get a smile on the faces of your drivers and ensure they take us where to go without fear, huh! How about that?

Especially single women.

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Updated Date: Jul 01, 2016 18:32:35 IST

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