Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO of six months, said on Thursday which the ride-hailing service would likely continue to invest aggressively in both Southeast Asia in addition to India, where the company is usually losing money in addition to faces strong competition by local players like Grab in addition to Ola.
Uber has been slow to expand its presence in India in addition to Southeast Asia, allowing competitors to quickly gain ground. Singapore’s Grab, for instance, claimed to have 95% of the country’s ride-hailing market share last year. in addition to Ola, Uber’s Indian rival, currently operates in 110 cities against Uber’s 29 cities. Ola does 1 billion rides annually, compared to Uber, which announced in mid-2017 which the idea completed 500 million total rides inside the country in its first four years of operations.
“We expect to lose money in Southeast Asia in addition to expect to invest aggressively in terms of marketing, subsidies, etc.,” Khosrowshahi told reporters in India, which is usually Uber’s fastest-growing market outside the United States, in addition to where he is usually currently on his first official tour.
While Uber’s India operation is usually not yet profitable, the idea does account for 10% of Uber’s rides globally. “If we can succeed in India, [the idea] can shape our products globally, in addition to can be a laboratory for us in addition to for the next 6 billion customers who access our products inside the future,” he said. Khosrowshahi admitted, however, which which Uber could be a better competitor in both markets. “We will look at anything,” Khosrowshahi said, “however right currently, the plan [for Southeast Asia in addition to India] is usually to go forward, lean forward, in addition to continue to invest.”
Khosrowshahi’s remarks come less than a week after reports claimed which Uber was preparing to sell its Southeast Asia business to Singapore’s Grab — a move similar to its strategy in China, where the idea sold its ride-hailing operating to local competitor Didi Chuxing for a 20% stake inside the company in 2016, in addition to Russia, where the idea merged with local player Yandex in 2017 for a 37% stake.
Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank recently became Uber’s largest investor that has a 15% stake — an investment which’s complicated because SoftBank also owns stakes in rivals Grab in addition to Ola. SoftBank board director Rajeev Misra, who will join Uber’s board as part of the deal, suggested in an interview with the Financial Times which Uber should focus on growth in developed markets like the US, Europe, in addition to Australia, in addition to exit unprofitable countries, as the idea readies for an IPO in 2019.
“SoftBank is usually a respected investor, however ultimately, the strategies which we undertake are the strategies which I am driving as the CEO of the company in concert with the board,” said Khosrowshahi on Thursday. “So while SoftBank may have an opinion, theirs is usually not the only opinion inside the room. We as a company need to have a balanced profile in terms of growth in addition to investment. There are developed markets which we are going to continue to invest in which are going to be more profitable…in addition to we should actively be investing in markets like India in addition to Latin America which have huge growth ahead of us.”
Khosrowshahi, who took over as CEO after Travis Kalanick resigned last summer, has tried to improve the company’s image, which has been battered by regulatory problems around the entire world, unhappy drivers, in addition to multiple government investigations into potentially illegal business practices.
Last year, Uber fired a top executive in Asia who obtained the medical records of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in India in 2014 in addition to circulated the confidential details internally at the company. In San Francisco in December Uber settled the defamation suit filed by the woman, however did not disclose the terms of the settlement.
Khosrowshahi told BuzzFeed News which he was trying to avoid “unfortunate circumstances like which” by improving company culture. “We crowdsourced opinions by employees,” he said, “in addition to the senior team talked the idea over in addition to we got a fresh set of norms, one of which is usually consistently repeated to me by our employees, in addition to the idea says, ‘We do the right thing, period.’ Our employees have gotten the message loud in addition to clear, in addition to to avoid [incidents like This specific] inside the future, the idea’s important which the idea comes by the bottom up, by our teams, in addition to not just by me.”