Six months since San Francisco based cab aggregator Uber announced the launch of its food delivery vertical UberEats in India starting with Mumbai, the platform has already gone live in six cities.
Six months since San Francisco based cab aggregator Uber announced the launch of its food delivery vertical UberEats in India starting with Mumbai, the platform has already gone live in six cities. Bhavik Rathod, head of UberEats India, said the vertical is on a fast paced expansion mode considering the immense scope the Indian food tech market in an interview with FE’s Ondrila S Sarkar. Excerpts:
UberEats has entered the market when most of your competitors are trying very hard to cut losses and turn profitable. What will be your strategy?
Uber has always had a technology and data competitive DNA, that’s the backbone of the organisation and UberEats comes with the same technology and data backbone that powers our rides platform. We have a large consumer base and I am very confident that a lot of them will hop over to our Eats platform given the same level of convenience, reliability and ease of use. We have been in this country for more than four years and have huge data to understand most of the traffic and other situations. So when we are powered with all that data we can get very contextual in the way we reach out to our riders and similarly to our eaters. This will essentially fuel our growth for UberEats also.
What will be expansion plan of UberEats in India?
We do not have any further announcements to make on that. We are still not present in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune or Ahmedabad which are the other big cities in India and are the obvious choices because of the business potential that the cities offer. There are also a large number of consumers in these cities who are using the rides platform.
How many restaurants have you already partnered with?
So in most cities we went live on the day of the launch itself we had at least 200-250 restaurant partners. We went live in Koramangala and HSR in Bengaluru with just 200-250 restaurants and in just about two months we are adding restaurant partners in hundreds and the numbers have already tripled in the couple of months that we’ve been around. The same goes for all the other cities so far, like the numbers have more than tripled in Delhi in the last few months.
The cost of listing restaurants in UberEats is slightly higher than the other platforms. How will this higher listing price give you traction in the food delivery space?
I do not want to get into the numbers because it varies between the various restaurants, but we are a true partner for the restaurants and are nothing but an extension to the restaurant itself. Every order that comes for them is incremental. This is why they really value their partnership with us. We work very closely with them to understand the economics of the business. We have a very deep partnership with each and every restaurant partner. Every partner understands the value of the brand that Uber gets with itself and also understand our consumer base that can exponentially increase their revenue and make them accessible to a larger set of people that they currently cannot access.
How have any app downloads you seen so far?
App downloads are increasing exponentially. We are focusing on covering our riders who use our ride hailing application to also becomes consumers for the UberEats application. Every time we launch in a new city, run a new campaign or even during the weekends we see a massive spike in downloads. It’s interesting to see how the trend shapes out. The UberEats mithai shop during diwali within the UberEATS application saw a huge surge in downloads, so consumers are reacting to our campaigns.