San Francisco-based car booking company Uber Technologies has had a growth lull, but has now announced it would launch its services across seven new cities in India this week, making the country the second largest in terms of presence after its US home.
Uber will offer its services throughout 18 cities when the expansion is complete. “This is the largest number of new international cities Uber has ever launched simultaneously, and underscores our commitment towards transforming urban mobility across India,” read a company statement. The 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,“ added Neeraj Singhal, Uber expansion chief in the region. The cities, so-called Tier Two range from Bhubaneswar in the East, Surat in the West to Mysore in the South. Uber, together with its numerous rivals have brought a major revolution across the personal transportation systems in India, which is well known for its problematic infrastructure.
India is the perfect business location for car sharing services – it has an enormous population, weak public transportation systems and a massive adoption of smartphones. But Uber has also hit some potholes in the country, which allowed a home-grown cab-hailing app startup, Ola, to overtake it in terms of locations and vehicles. Uber has just 18 cities covered to Ola’s one hundred and only offers around 50,000 vehicles to the rival’s 150,000 units. Both companies want to fund major growth opportunities, with Ola claiming it will offer to customers one million vehicles by next year.