On the day kaali-peeli taxi drivers in Mumbai went on a strike against cab aggregators, Uber just got a little more aggressive on India.
The company announced that it has started cash payment option in Delhi, Bangaluru and Kolkata from yesterday, in a clear bid to snatch market from the old-economy taxis.
“We’re thrilled to enable cash as a payment option for our riders today, especially on a day (strike) when commuters across India might find it difficult to get around in their cities. With cash as another payment option, riders have more choice in terms of payment, in order to help them move easier from point A to point B,” Bhavik Rathod, GM, Uber Bangalore, has been quoted as saying in media reports.
Meanwhile, Gagan Bhatia, GM, Uber Delhi, said that the company is committed to keeping cities moving.
"...We’re working tirelessly with our driver partners to ensure that there are enough Ubers available at the push of a button and no commuter is stranded,” he said, announcing the launch of the services in Delhi.
In a press release, the company assured the commuters in Kolkata that if the riders did not see a cash payment option on their apps immediately, it will be rectified in a few weeks' time.
The company already has this option in 22 cities in India, its second largest market outside the US. Now, with the roll-out in three more cities, Mumbai is one major market where it is yet to start cash payments.
According to a report in The Financial Express, the company will kick off this service even in Mumbai shortly.
The move is in line with the company's plans to get aggressive about it plans for India. In July, the company said it is planning to invest $1 billion in India and set a target to reach 1 million daily rides by March 2016.
Amit Jain, president of Uber India, said the company was "extremely bullish" on the Indian market and that it continues to see a 40 percent monthly growth.
"We're committing an additional $1 billion to India in the next six to nine months, so that we can expand and improve our operations, grow into newer cities, develop new products as well as payment solutions, and establish a great support network," Jain has been quoted as saying in a report in the Business Standard.
A report in The Times of India yesterday said the company is planning to develop its own mobile payment wallet for the country and also will apply for a licence with the RBI.
According to the source quoted in the report, a semi-closed mobile wallet, if it indeed gets the RBI approval, will be a further boost for its India plans.
The company has also been roping in Indian investors of late. Tata Opportunites Fund recenlty became the second Indian investor in the company when in invested about $100 million in Uber. Earlier, Times Internet had invested Rs 150 crore in the company.
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Updated Date: Sep 02, 2015 12:12:12 IST