Ridesharing

Uber Prepares For Battle In India With Ola As Main Competitor

Ridesharing in India is expanding quickly. In fact, India is on pace to overtake Uber’s U.S. market, which currently stands at number one.

Despite intense competition from local ride-hailing apps in India, Uber is seeing a 40 percent month-on-month growth in its Indian market, which spans across more than 100 cities and towns.

Both Uber and its main competitor in India, Ola, hold more than 70 percent of their revenue from only five cities in the whole country: Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi-National Capital Region and Kolkata.

Uber maintains that it simply connects drivers with passengers and continues to add additional investment in its customer experience.

Both Ola and Uber have similar products, but experts say they have certain hurdles they have to overcome in order to indeed grow.

Internet access is a huge issue. To date, the two businesses have leaned on GPS to calculate fares. Unfortunately, the internet speed in India is relatively slow, which results in inefficient and unpleasant experiences for both drivers and riders.

The true competitors that are getting priced out, taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers, are still a force to reckon with. They’ve hosted protests in major cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kochi.

Government acceptance is also an issue. In Bengaluru, India’s information technology hub, in April of this year, the local government pushed to stop Uber and Ola operations in the state until drivers secure a special license from the government. In New Delhi, a cab must install a digital meter. Then, in August, the Delhi government mandated that every taxi must be a motor cab with a valid fitness certificate issued by the transport department, be driven on clean fuel and have a seating capacity of no more than seven passengers.

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