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World: Uber turns to India, Africa and Middle East as losses mount

By Pamela Roi – 22: 10: 2019


Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told a news conference in New Delhi that India was a key part of the company’s expansion plans

The head of Uber said on Tuesday that the global transport services company was counting on India, Africa and the Middle East for future growth amid investors’ fears of increasing losses and a collapse in share prices.

Uber has come out of several markets, including China and Southeast Asia, to reduce losses and is in fierce competition with rival Ola in India, a market estimated at $ 7 billion a year.

Since its public offering in May, Uber’s share price has fallen by around 30%, while the company lost $ 5.2 billion in the second quarter.

“India is a key part of Uber’s growth in the future … it is one of the top 10 markets for us,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told New Delhi journalists.

“The profitability characteristics of our business are improving here. If I look at Uber’s growth over the next 10 years, it will be defined by India, Africa and the Middle East, rather than by developed markets.”

Khosrowshahi dismissed fears that the share price could fall further after the expiration of a blockade period in November, after which company employees and initial investors could sell their shares.

The managing director, who was in Delhi to unveil an updated version of Uber’s app linking the Delhi subway public transport system with his services, said he was focused on long-term prospects.

Manik Gupta, Uber's Chief Product Officer, said the company doubled its technology team in India


Manik Gupta, Uber’s Chief Product Officer, said the company doubled its technology team in India

The renewed app is part of a global campaign to attract more users.

While India is one of Uber’s largest markets – with 12 percent of its global races – the company is still lagging behind Ola in the nation of over 1.3 billion people.

He also struggled to keep up with the two biggest online food delivery players of Zomato and Swiggy.

The company has laid off staff in India as part of global job cuts in an attempt to map a road to profitability.

But product manager Manik Gupta told AFP that Uber would double his technology team to 1,000 as proof of his commitment to the third Asia economy.

“We certainly want to show our commitment in India,” said Gupta.

Uber’s third quarter results will be released in two weeks.

Uber reduces marketing personnel to reduce costs.

Source: AFP

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