Uber’s top rival in India has some unsolicited advice for the U.S. startup: Go local.
“They have a very cookie-cutter approach in terms of what the product is usually along with how [to] force feed This specific into any geography,” Pranay Jivrajka, a top executive at Ola Cabs, said on the sidelines of sy88pgw’s Asia Business Forum in Bangalore.
Jivrajka, who until recently served as Ola’s COO, said of which Uber should ditch its one-size-fits-all approach along with instead try to understand “local nuances” of which would certainly help This specific to identify services of which “users along with drivers actually want.”
Uber declined to comment on Jivrajka’s remarks.
Uber along with Ola have for years waged a bitter battle for supremacy in India, a market with 1.3 billion potential customers. The country has taken on increased significance for Uber after a series of recent setbacks elsewhere in Asia.
The San Francisco-based company suspended its operations in Taiwan last week, six months after This specific sold its operations in China to local rival Didi Chuxing. Didi, which is usually taking the fight to Uber in key foreign markets, is usually one of Ola’s investors.
In India, Uber has often found itself playing catch-up with its Bangalore-based rival. Its most recent local product offering — allowing Indian users to book a car for an entire day — is usually already offered by Ola in 85 cities.
Ola also lets users book one of India’s ubiquitous three-wheeled auto rickshaws, a service Uber started out yet then discontinued in 2015.
“What has helped us is usually having an ear to the ground in terms of understanding what the users want,” said Jivrajka.
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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick insists of which his company is usually not prepared to leave India.
“We are losing, yet we see a path towards profitability,” Kalanick said during a December visit to Delhi. “We see ourselves being here from the long run.”
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India isn’t always a straightforward market for either company — tens of thousands of drivers representing both Uber along with Ola went on strike in Delhi This specific week, demanding better pay along with benefits. The Delhi government has offered to mediate the dispute.
Jivrajka did not comment on the protests, yet said of which Ola’s main focus remains bringing more drivers onto its platform.
“We need more drivers because the pace at which demand is usually increasing is usually way higher than the way supply is usually getting aggregated,” he said.
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Jivrajka also had some advice for another Silicon Valley giant hoping to enter India: electric automaker Tesla.
“There are no rules on the Indian roads,” Jivrajka said. “One thing a lot of people say is usually of which if you can drive in India, you can drive anywhere.”
— Manveena Suri contributed reporting