Indian rival slams Uber’s business model

Ola puts Uber in the shade

Uber’s high rival in India has some unsolicited recommendation for the U.S. startup: Go native.

“They’ve a really cookie-cutter strategy when it comes to what the model is and the way [to] drive feed it into any geography,” Pranay Jivrajka, a high govt at Ola Cabs, stated on the sidelines of CNN’s Asia Business Discussion board in Bangalore.

Jivrajka, who till not too long ago served as Ola’s COO, stated that Uber ought to ditch its one-size-fits-all strategy and as an alternative attempt to perceive “native nuances” that might assist it to establish companies that “customers and drivers really need.”

Uber declined to touch upon Jivrajka’s remarks.

Uber and Ola have for years waged a bitter battle for supremacy in India, a market with 1.3 billion potential prospects. The nation has taken on elevated significance for Uber after a sequence of current setbacks elsewhere in Asia.

The San Francisco-based firm suspended its operations in Taiwan final week, six months after it offered its operations in China to native rival Didi Chuxing. Didi, which is taking the struggle to Uber in key overseas markets, is one in every of Ola’s buyers.

In India, Uber has usually discovered itself enjoying catch-up with its Bangalore-based rival. Its most up-to-date native product providing — permitting Indian customers to ebook a automotive for a whole day — is already supplied by Ola in 85 cities.

Ola additionally lets customers ebook one in every of India’s ubiquitous three-wheeled auto rickshaws, a service Uber began however then discontinued in 2015.

“What has helped us is having an ear to the bottom when it comes to understanding what the customers need,” stated Jivrajka.

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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick insists that his firm just isn’t ready to go away India.

“We’re dropping, however we see a path in direction of profitability,” Kalanick stated throughout a December go to to Delhi. “We see ourselves being right here in the long term.”

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India is not all the time a simple marketplace for both firm — tens of 1000’s of drivers representing each Uber and Ola went on strike in Delhi this week, demanding higher pay and advantages. The Delhi authorities has supplied to mediate the dispute.

Jivrajka didn’t touch upon the protests, however stated that Ola’s major focus stays bringing extra drivers onto its platform.

“We’d like extra drivers as a result of the tempo at which demand is rising is approach greater than the best way provide is getting aggregated,” he stated.

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Jivrajka additionally had some recommendation for an additional Silicon Valley big hoping to enter India: electrical automaker Tesla.

“There aren’t any guidelines on the Indian roads,” Jivrajka stated. “One factor lots of people say is that in case you can drive in India, you may drive anyplace.”

— Manveena Suri contributed reporting

CNNMoney (Bangalore, India) First revealed February 13, 2017: 8:48 AM ET

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