Marking its largest international geographical expansion in its history, US-based taxi-sharing app Uber is set to launch operations in 7 new cities in India as it takes on rival Ola in a highly competitive market.
With the upcoming launches in Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Indore, Mysore, Nagpur, Surat and Visakhapatnam simultaneously, India is now officially Uber's largest market outside the US. In fact this is also the first time that Uber is moving outside larger urban centres to tap into "tier 2" cities, where pricing is key for growth, which is why perhaps the company will only offer only its low-priced services Go and X.
“The demand that we’ve seen in 3-4 of the new cities is more than what we saw when we launched in Bombay,” said Neeraj Singhal, head of expansion for India and the subcontinent, Uber. He added that "rapid 40% month-on-month growth we continue to see in India is unprecedented and it is not surprising that some of the fastest growing cities in the world are also here. Our data already shows that residents and visitors in each of these new cities have been eagerly waiting for Uber for sometime now and we expect to see a similar response here."
Uber is already present in 11 Indian cities and the new launches tomorrow will take its total operations in India to 18 cities. However, Ola covers 100 cities. Ola offers 150,000 vehicles while Uber’s vehicle numbers are estimated to be in the region of 50,000.
"This is the largest number of new international cities Uber has ever launched simultaneously, and underscores its commitment towards transforming urban mobility across India," Uber said in a statement.
Uber's new expansion drive comes just a month after it roped in Rent.com’s Amit Jain to head its India operations in a bid to improve relations with regulators.
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