After Ola, Meru Launches Scathing Attack on Uber For Breaking ‘Indian Laws’


Meru Blog

Nationalism has a way of oppressing others – Noam Chomsky

After Ola, it is the turn of Meru to suddenly become patriotic and induce nationalism in the hardcore business of taxi services and technology. In a blog post published on Meru’s website, they have severely attacked Uber’s business practices, and blamed them for breaking Indian laws.

They even compared Uber’s global expansion and business acumen with gold smuggling in 70’s and 80s, claiming that Uber first breaks regulations and laws, and then force the establishment to change laws as per their own convenience. Despite being themselves a product of capitalism, Meru’s scathing attack on Uber has hints of anti-capitalism vibes, based on the premise of lofty nationalism and patriotism.

Taxi War Turning Into Patriotism & Blog War?

Last month, when Ola filed an affidavit in Bangalore court against Uber’s ‘anti-India’ practices, and accused them of breaking Indian laws, Uber’s general manager of south and west India, Bhavik Rathod, wrote a blog post defending their company and its operations via blog post.

He said, “We (Uber) are a law abiding, for-profit company and that is why it matters that the new laws being framed for a new sector like ours, take into account the innovation and change that technology has brought to the industry.”

Dismissing the claims of being ‘foreign’ hence anti-national, the blog asked some deep, relevant questions for the whole entrepreneurial community: “What makes Uber ‘foreign’? The fact that we are established in San Francisco but have a hyperlocal team solving problems that are locally relevant? Or that, just like our competitors, we received most of our funding from ‘foreign’ investors?”

Meru’s latest salvo via blog post was actually against Uber’s blog post, as they attacked each and every point highlighted by Bhavik. In their blog post, Meru raised issues such as RBI’s removal of 2-factor authentication (which was actually good, as it was considered negative for online purchases); service tax issue which Uber is allegedly flouting; matter of obscure laws such as no point-to-point bookings within cities and even issue of wearing badges for taxi drivers.

Woven with a thread of nationalism and patriotism, Meru’s arguments are clear cut signs of desperation against a bigger competitor which is eating away their profits.

Meru-Uber’s Old Rivalry Reignited?

Way back in 2014, Meru along with Easy Cabs and Mega Cabs had actually filed complaint against Uber for the same very reasons, and now, as Ola initiated a nationalism campaign against Uber, they are reigniting the fight, which has certainly very less fizz left. This once again proves that Uber is still disrupting the Indian taxi market.

Instead of complaining against a tech based business, Meru should actually thank them for inspiring. It is after Uber’s entry in India that Meru introduced cashless payment feature; and partnered with Paytm and other mobile wallets.

Ironically, last year, there were rumors that Uber may acquire Meru as well!

Do you think using nationalism and patriotism is a valid format for defending one’s market share against a global biggie? Do share your views by commenting right here!

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