Uber, the technology based cab hire company working out of the US, has now come to India. The company has begun rolling out its services in Bangalore and has now announced its “secret testing mode.” The startup makes use of an interactive app which allows users to call for and pay for a cab using a dedicated Uber app on their smartphones. And the startup offers five classes of cab that customers can request, ranging from the run of the mill to the ultra-luxurious.
The company is not just looking at India as a potential market for expansion, though. The cab hire company recently expanded to Dubai and China as well. The startup has, so far, been able to raise $300 million from investors and is touted as one of the hottest startups in the US. The list of investors is considerable, with names like Menlo Ventures, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Goldman Sachs featured prominently.
While talking about what it plans to bring to the Bangalore market, the company has said, “Whether it’s getting to your favorite pub for happy hour or the iconic MTR for filter coffee, the endless one-ways and the incessant symphony of car horns can make even the most staunch local residents lose their minds. Bangaloreans deserve an easy and classy way to get around town, and Uber is here to deliver.”
Uber makes use of a dedicated app to help you call the cab of your choice
And the company is going all out to promote its services, with big names like Raghu Dixit and Vasundhara Das being the first to avail of the service. The start up, despite all this, is being careful about its launch in India, though. While talking about its secret testing mode, Uber has said that “availability (of the service) will be limited as we work to make more cars available and test our pricing.” The company is still filling the gaps in its ground staff as well, as it has put out a job listing on the official post for a community manager, who can “be the face of Uber in the city and grow Uber’s brand”.
Transportation regulations in India are notorious for being complicated. An example of this is the fact that a vehicle hired from one locality might not be allowed into another locality in places close to Delhi and Mumbai. Taxi fares themselves are regulated by the government and taxi driver unions. Another big problem faced is the 1989 rent-a-cab scheme which states that all such services require a list of permits. And the Indian online transport market already has quite a few players functioning like OlaCabs, TaxiForSure, book my cab, Meru cabs and Easy cabs. All these are presumably the reasons why Uber has decided to take it slow in the Indian market.