Report9 : It’s India which has been home to a number of successful innovations for world’s biggest cab player Uber. And now, Uber is taking these learnings to other countries including Turkey, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa, Kenya and Vietnam.
In Indian market, the facilities Uber is providing like acceptance of cash, use of mobile wallets, introduction of the SOS safety feature, the concept of UberGo (lower-end cars) and most recently Wi-Fi in cabs has resulted challenges.
Karun Arya, Uber spokesperson for South East Asia and India said, “Apart from being the second biggest priority market for us, India is also an innovation hub and learning ground for Uber. When a process innovation is introduced, it leads to a product innovation as well that can be taken to other markets.”
Initially Uber opposed the idea of cash payment because it complicated the process for drivers and consumers. But in Hyderabad the percentage of preferring cash is so high like 80% was enough for the management to become convinced.
The alleged rape case happened in Delhi in cab forced the all cab player to think about more and more safety. Uber used a solution from a Delhi startup called SafetiPin that alerts the cab operator and police by sending out an SOS during a crisis. On September 17, Uber tied its knot with SafetiPin that expanded its reach to some 50 cities, including cities in Africa, South America and Asia. Wi-Fi in cabs was first a pilot project in Mumbai a month ago. Now it is expanding to all other Indian cities, and also to Manila in the Philippines.
Karun Arya said, “We always knew the potential of growth in India and we experiment with India first for many emerging market solutions. While being a global company, we have always seen the business city by city.”
Now, Uber has more than 1.65 lakh drivers and operations across 22 cities.