Uber’s top rivals in India give unilateral advice to US startups.
“They take a very cookie cutter approach in terms of what a model is and how it is a model. [to] Planai Zivreika, top executive of Oracabs, said he was a bystander at CNN’s Asia Business Forum in Bangalore, forcing it to supply every region.
Jivrajka, COO of Ola until recently, should stop Uber from a versatile approach and instead try to understand “local nuances” that help identify services that “users and drivers really want.” I said that.
Uber declined to comment on Jivrajka’s remarks.
Uber and Ola have fought fierce battles for hegemony over the years in India, a market with 1.3 billion potential customers. The country is becoming more and more important to Uber after a recent series of retreats elsewhere in Asia.
The San Francisco-based company shut down its business in Taiwan last week six months after selling its business in China to its local rival Didi. Diddy, who is fighting Uber in major overseas markets, is one of Ora’s investors.
In India, Uber often catches up with Bangalore-based rivals. The latest local products that allow Indian users to book cars all day are already offered by Ola in 85 cities.
Ola will also allow users to book one of India’s ubiquitous three-wheeled rickshaws. This is a service that Uber started but discontinued in 2015.
“What helped us was to listen in terms of understanding what our users wanted,” said Jivrajka.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick claims his company isn’t ready to leave India.
“We are losing, but we are looking at the path to profitability,” Karanik said in a visit to Delhi in December. “We see us here in the long run.”
India is not always a simple market for either company. Tens of thousands of drivers, representing both Uber and Ola, went on strike in Delhi this week, demanding better wages and benefits. The Delhi government has offered to mediate the dispute.
Jivrajka did not comment on the protest, but said Ola’s main focus would continue to bring more drivers to the platform.
“We need more drivers because the pace of increasing demand is much faster than the way supply is aggregated,” he said.
Jivrajka also advised another Silicon Valley giant, electric car maker Tesla, who wants to enter India.
“There are no rules on Indian roads,” Zibrazika said. “One of the things many say is that if you can drive in India, you can drive anywhere.”
–Manveena Suri contributed to the report
CNNMoney (Bangalore, India) February 13, 2017 First Edition: 8:48 AM ET