As major ride sharing service providers Uber and share a prominent investor after Japanese major Softbank made a 15% investment in Uber last month, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says that Softbank has a huge amount of capital investing across various categories, and Uber will continue to compete aggressively. In an interview to ET Now, Dara Khosrowshahi said that they will continue to compete with Bengaluru-based India’s market leader Ola Cabs. Is a merger with Ola Cabs on the cards, now that they share such a prominent investor?
“It is too soon to tell but certainly fun to speculate about. Right now, my focus is on the quality of our operations and our teams – that is why I’m here,” Khosrowshahi told the channel. SoftBank’s 15 percent stake buy in Uber which comes after Singapore-based Grab and India’s Ola, has opened up the possibility of combining the US-based company with other ride-hailing assets the Japanese group Softbank owns across Asia.
Interestingly, in India’s $12 billion taxi market, Ola is currently the market leader, but it faces stiff competition from Uber which is vying for a bigger pie in the country’s growing market. Taking stock of Ola’s stiff competition, Dara Khosrowshahi said that they are a strong competitor but Uber’s driver-ride sentiment and our quality continues to be market-leading he wants to ensure he retains the position. “And SoftBank can win either way,” Dara Khosrowshahi quipped.
Uber is looking to tap into India’s complete potential by staying relevant locally, Dara Khosrowshahi said. Noting that India is one among Uber’s best markets in terms of growth rates, Dara Khosrowshahi said that the company has over 3,00,000 active drivers completing over 10 million trips on a weekly basis. As India holds such high strategic importance for the company, Dara Khosrowshahi said that it was very important for him to understand the unique needs of Indian drivers and consumers are and offer products aligned to meet those needs.