US- based taxi hailing company Uber on Wednesday said that India has become the second largest market for the company after US and it is looking to expand into more cities.
Speaking to FE on the sidelines of an event here, Christian Freese, general, manager, Bangalore, Uber said the company is looking at creating critical mass in order to sustain the momentum as far as Indian market is concerned. The company will be looking at creating new costumer segment such as parents of existing app users, and will deploy innovative ways to grow the entire market.
“We are now in close to 30 cities in India and will grow deeper into the existing service areas first. In the next phase, we will expand further into more cities, which will happen in the mid –end of the next year,” he said, refusing to name the cities.
Uber is also aggressively planning to add more number of driver partners.
According to him, the Indian market contributes around 12% of the trips globally, on a monthly basis. It has 4 lakh drivers and roughly around 5 million riders per month in India.
Uber had in August this year announced that its has decided to merge its China operations with local rival Didi Chuxing, ending a pitched battle for market share in the world’s second-largest economy. Post the China development, Uber had set its eye on Indian market with view to expanding its horizons. Like in China, in India, Uber has locked in price war with home-grown arch rival Ola.
Christian Freese, the new general, manager of Bangalore, Uber has been appointed at a time when taxi hailing firms have been facing tough market conditions. “I am the first non-Indian GM of Uber to be hired in the country,” he said in a lighter vein.
In a setback to likes of Uber and Ola, the Karnataka High Court on November 10 had upheld rules framed by the state government to regulate fares by taxi aggregators.