Big expansion, more jobs: Uber plans $1 bn push into India, eyes 1 mn daily rides
The company plans to expand its service beyond the 18 cities in which it operates, the largest number in any country outside of the United States.
Despite the troubles taxi aggregators are in in India, they are here to stay and thrive. That is the indication one gets from the latest announcement from Uber, the multi-national taxi-hailing app
Uber Technologies Inc is set to invest $1 billion in India, which will bring its investment on par with that in China, Reuters report citing the The Financial Times.
Uber said that the move would help its service reach 1 million daily rides by March 2016, the first time the company has set such target for India, FT said.
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, FT reported.
Jain also added that the company will expand service beyond the 18 cities in which it operates, the largest number in any country outside of the United States.
"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.
The investment will support 200,000 more jobs, the report said.
On Wednesday, Uber launched its own auto leasing subsidiary in an effort to sign up more drivers, injecting the fast-growing ride services company directly into the financial services sector for the first time.
Earlier this month, a Delhi court revoked a government ban imposed on Uber, clearing the way for the company to operate in the capital city and reapply for a licence.
Its home-grown rival Ola Cabs is still banned in Delhi. On Tuesday, the Delhi high court had admonished Ola for not complying with the ban imposed on it by the state government, and directed "strict" enforcement of the order which has been "violated with impunity".
Though the latest court action was aimed at Ola, an Economic Times report said it is likely to impact Uber as well.
According to the report citing a senior official in the Delhi transport department, the multinational company, which operates in 57 countries, has been asked to respond to the order in two weeks. Uber, meanwhile, has said it is working with authorities to resolve the issues.
India asked unregistered web-based taxi services to halt operations in December after a driver contracted with Uber was accused of rape. Uber applied for licences in New Delhi but kept operating while approvals were pending.
One of the fastest-growing sharing-economy companies, Uber operates in 57 countries, with an estimated value of more than $40 billion. It has also tangled with transportation authorities across the globe, along with attorneys seeking to deem Uber drivers employees entitled to benefits.
With inputs from Reuters
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