In a bid to curb the transmission of novel Coronavirus, India suspended public transport services and enforced a nearly two-month country-wide lockdown that is currently set to end on May 17.
Uber has resumed operations in designated green and orange zones in India, which accounts for more than 80% of the country’s 733 districts, said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
In a bid to curb the transmission of novel Coronavirus, India suspended public transport services and enforced a nearly two-month country-wide lockdown that is currently set to end on May 17. In a notification released on May 1, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) permitted certain relaxations primarily in green and orange zones that included allowing cab aggregators like Uber and Ola to operate. However, major markets like New Delhi and Mumbai fall under the red zones.
“While our rides business has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, we have taken quick action to preserve the strength of our balance sheet, focus additional resources on Uber Eats, and prepare us for any recovery scenario,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement following the announcement of the company’s Q12020 results.
The US-headquartered company announced a reduction in customer support and recruiting teams by more than 3,700 employees which it said was consistent with “lower trip volumes and (the firm’s) hiring freeze”. The job cuts will affect 14% staff around the world. “All together, the actions we’ve taken and the actions we intend to take in the near future will result in a reduction of more than ($) 1 billion in annualised fixed cost versus our Q4 plan,” Khosrowshahi said in the earnings call.
Reaching profitability as soon as possible remains a strategic priority for the company, the CEO said. However, “the disruption caused by Covid-19 will impact our timeline, by a matter of quarters and not years”, the CEO added.
Uber’s net losses shot up to $2.9 billion in the three months to March 2020 from $1 billion in Q12019. Total revenues increased to $3.5 billion in the January-March quarter from $3 billion in the year-ago quarter, a rise of 14%.
Uber said it achieved a pre-tax gain of $154 million from the sale of its India Eats business to Zomato.
In January, Zomato acquired Uber Eats India in an all-stock translation. The deal gave Uber nearly 10% shareholding in the Gurgaon-based food delivery company.