Couple of weeks back I traveled to Hyderabad and had my first Uber experience traveling from Airport to Hi-Tech city and in the space of about 1 hour, it was clear that Uber was set to rule the Indian taxi market in coming years.
Why do I say that?
Let’s see… What do you want while hiring/renting a taxi when traveling within a city? Timeliness, cheap rental (per k.m), clean vehicle, courteous driver, no payment negotiations, seamless payment and safe driving. In that one hour I traveled from Airport to Hi-Tech city, Uber got perfect score in every department. I have had my fair share of cab travels, and I would rate my Uber experience one of the best.
Uber is quite young in India – They launched less than a year back in September last year and have been growing very aggressively. The are currently present in 6 cities including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
Today they announced addition of 4 more cities including Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Kolkata. Generally, Uber launches in one city and then moves to next. However, for the first time they have announced launch of 4 cities at one time. With these new cities, Uber India is now 10 cities strong and is the largest market for Uber outside the US (by number of operational cities).
Uber’s rise has been so fierce in India, that incumbent taxi operators seem to have been suddenly jolted with their arrival. Such has been Uber’s rise that “The Association of Radio Taxis” have filed a complaint stating Uber is in “gross contravention of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and RBI mandate on credit card transactions in India”.
Uber is after all a mobile cab rental app and operates in a non-traditional way, where they directly collect payment from customer and then pay the driver after their deduction of their commission. While it may or may not be in contravention with FEMA/RBI guidelines, the complaint launched by incumbent operators show that they are really worried by Uber’s arrival in India. And this is not the case only in India, Uber is facing such backlash from many cities across the world.
We have said it earlier and we say it again – Uber is disrupting the Indian rental car market in way no one would have imagined!