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Uber to focus on high-potential markets like India

Khosrowshahi, while talking to investors during its second quarter results announcement, said the company is “cementing its leadership position” in India.

ET Bureau|
Aug 17, 2018, 08.44 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Calling India a “highpotential market”, Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, reiterated the ride-hailing firm’s commitment to the country. Khosrowshahi, while talking to investors during its second quarter results announcement, said the company is “cementing its leadership position” in India and the Middle East.

We had another great quarter, continuing to grow at an impressive rate for a business of our scale. Going forward, we’re deliberately investing in the future of our platform: big bets like Uber Eats, congestion and environment-friendly modes of transport like Express Pool, e-bikes and scooters; emerging businesses like freight and high-potential markets in the Middle East and India where we are cementing our leadership position,” said Khosrowshahi.

Uber, which sold its operations in South Asia earlier this year to rival Grab, has been exiting unprofitable markets such as China and Russia to focus on profitable ones like the US.

According to people aware of the matter, Uber’s exit from other markets has enabled the company to focus its execution and investment into regions where it believes it “can win” and India and Middle East Africa are two of the biggest beneficiaries of the increased focus.

Pradeep Parameswaran, president, Uber India and South Asia, said with over one billion trips in India and South Asia the company is doubling down on products that can solve for low network connectivity, congestion and pollution as well as enable multiple price points. “As we gear up to deliver the next billion rides in the region, we remain focused on providing convenient, affordable ride to millions of riders and stable earning opportunities to millions of driver partners, across multiple modes of transportation.”

The company has identified long-term growth opportunities for Rides and Eats in the two markets, given large and growing urban population.

Uber is also looking to launch its Express Pool offering in India in the future. It has also introduced the Uber Lite app which operates with 1/8th the network bandwidth and works in low-network areas and enables pickups by landmark rather than street address.

Uber’s June 2018 quarter net revenue was $2.7 billion, up 51% from the same quarter last year, while gross bookings were $12 billion (41% higher year-on-year). The US-based company’s adjusted losses before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation declined 24% to $404 million in the June quarter from the year-ago period though it increased 32% on a sequential basis due to the continued reinvestment of profits into high-potential markets and products.

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